Lakota Youth Speak began in 2015 as a restorative justice and adolescent enrichment program that collaborates with teenagers in La Plant (a small town on the Cheyenne River Reservation, 2 hours away from Standing Rock Reservation).
Since then, Lakota Youth Speak has provided teens and young adults with access to sacred Lakota sites (like the Badlands and the Black Hills), offered community member-led workshops focused on Lakota heritage and skills, and connected indigenous grief and mental health professionals and activists with teens and adults through a series of group meetings
During the first year, Lakota Youth Speak was funded by “Davis Projects for Peace,” a foundation that awards grants to self-designed holistic, sustainable initiatives in communities across the globe. These funds helped us start this project, and after the challenges and successes of the first year, members of La Plant asked for it to continue indefinitely.
Now in its fourth year, the Lakota Youth Speak project continues a commitment to amplifying indigenous youth voices, and reaffirming that indigenous lives matter–now, more than ever– across the globe. The funds raised for Lakota Youth Speak will support:
- Purchasing simple materials for the bi-weekly meetings we will be holding with young folks; each meeting touches upon one of the five tenets of our project;
- Cultural affirmation and celebration
- Access to sacred/outdoor sites and spaces
- STEAM Education
- Agency through peer support and creative exercises
- Sustainable, self-supported living
- Supporting “La Plant Grows It’s Own Ideas;” a community gathering of arts and ideas, led by young people in La Plant. The conference will include Lakota artists, chefs, farmers, and activists giving talks, hands-on demonstrations, garden tours, a farm stand, music performances and more!
- Providing transportation to community events and significant places, including the RedCan Graffiti Jam in Eagle Butte, sacred Lakota sites throughout South Dakota and neighboring states, and to-and-from outdoor education excursions.