• ORGANIZATION PROFILE
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  • MITAKUYE FOUNDATION MITAKUYE FOUNDATION

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Mission Statement

The Mitakuye Foundation was created to support and empower Native youth and address the ongoing teen suicide epidemic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in South Dakota. Most kids on Pine Ridge live in desperate poverty and the teen suicide epidemic there has reached staggering proportions. The work we do focuses on arts education and suicide prevention and we also support sports and cultural programming. All of our work is life affirming - which by its very nature is a major factor in suicide prevention.

Description

Art heals. And for many young people - who live in such distressing conditions and have survived the ravaging inter-generational trauma of physical and cultural genocide - art can help to lift one up out of the daily task of survival. Self-expression and being heard are two vital elements of the healing process, particularly for marginalized populations who are often made to feel invisible. These kids deserve the same opportunities that everyone else in this country has. They deserve to not just survive but to blossom and thrive. We bring opportunities into their communities for them to do just that.

Our programs include: The Hoye Wayelo ("I am Sending A Voice") Arts Immersion Workshops, The LIFELINE (a 24 hour suicide hotline run by members of the SweetGrass Project), Numerous prayer runs including the annual 500 Mile Sacred Hoop Prayer Run, the year round Art Contests and Creator’s Club, The B.E.A.R.S program, which runs reading and suicide educational programming and provides emergency services to kids in need, The Thunder Lake Boxing Club for boys and girls, The Arts Mentorship program, numerous community and suicide outreach events throughout the reservation, and our new reservation Dance Program - created in partnership with Running Strong For American Indian Youth.

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