#WeAreHere

Lakota Children
Jul 7, 2015 · 14 min read

Middle School Voices

The Writing Challenge Winners from Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

© 2015, Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s Writing and Art Challenge

Middle School Grand Prize Wining Entry

Tell the World

~ by Dorian Sage

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

Dorian is a middle school student from the Pine Ridge Reservation. In his Grand Prize winning essay he says:
In the Lakota way, everything is connected… We relied on the Earth, but it did not rely on us… In our tradition, you respect everything. This idea was lost with the European colonization of the Americas, and I’m trying to bring it back.

Tell The World

~ by Dorian Sage

In the Lakota way, everything is connected. In days past you could see it in the rustling of the leaves or the swift rushing of a waterfall. Now you can see it in more obvious ways. The worms tunnel below the Earth, searching for food while at the same time helping the plants collect oxygen through their roots. This insight is fading from the general population, and because of this we are no longer taking care of the Earth. In the past, the Lakota people would migrate so that the Earth had a time for cleansing. The area that we lived in would never be forgotten so much that it would die. We relied on the Earth, but it did not rely on us.

“Pretend (Bullying)”

~by Jeila Schuh

Middle School Runner-Up Award

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

Jeila Schuh’s poem addresses an issue that affects young people on and off the Pine Ridge Reservation — bullying.

Pretend (Bullying)

You look innocent
You play pretend
How can anyone believe that?

For Alanie Marie Martin

~by Paisley Sierra

Middle School Runner-Up Award

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

Poet Paisley Sierra’s poem is a tribute to a classmate and friend, whose life ended too early. Her poem illustrates the confusion, guilt and pain that can surround a suicide.

For Alanie Marie Martin

No one wanted you to leave.
We all loved you.
You left us without a reason.
But you’re now with Tunkasila.
He will take care of you.
Now that you’re gone.
Don’t worry about us.
We’ll be fine.
We miss you a lot.
When you laughed.
We laughed.
When you smiled.
We smiled.
And when you cried
We tried to make it better.
But you committing suicide made us realize;
We should have been there for you.
You were the funniest, sweetest,
and nicest person in the world!
No one thought that you would do that.
We Love and Miss You
Alanie Marie Martin/Mesteth

Hope For the Future

~ by Cetan Ducheneaux

Middle School Runner-Up Award

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

Cetan Ducheneaux has the great distinction of being a Runner-Up in BOTH the Writing and the Art Challenge. Cetan awed the judges with his thoughtful and optimistic reflection on Lakota culture and his call to action for people to work together and take care of one another. Cetan said: “I imagine a world where we all hold hands, to make the world circular again. All lives matter — we, as living beings, need to realize that.”

Hope for the Future

I have lived here for 15 years….
a place of serenity and wide open space,
to let your thoughts flow through the wavy grass,
the trees speak to you by rustling together a quote on quote “happy place.”

How Can I Help You?

~by Jetta Tobacco

Middle School Runner-Up Award

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

Jetta Tobacco is a Co-Founding member of LCE’s Youth Board. 2015 was the first year that she was old enough to enter the Writing Challenge and she won a Runner-Up award through an anonymous judging process! Through a partnership with Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Jetta and art challenge runner-up Savanah Jo Whiting recieved scholarships to attend a STEM camp in the summer of 2015 at the Rose-Hulman School of Technology. They were selected for the program through a competitive application process.

How Can I Help You?

I chose to write about suicide because there’s a lot of it on the Rez and just last week someone decided to take their life — they said it was because they were being bullied. There’s a lot of cutting on the Rez, too.

The War Within

~by Deanna Rae Chipps

Middle School Runner-Up Award

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

This short story by Middle School student Deanna Rae Chipps is about a young girl who was so absorbed with her problems and so angry about her circumstances that she did not face her problems and did not see that people around her wanted to help her. Finally, her older sister was able to teach her to face her problems, one by one, and to control her pain. Due to her sister’s encouragement the young girl was able to walk through the pain, with hope for a bright future.

The War Within

Fear, Hate, Madness, Loneliness, and Pain are things we have to face in our lifetime but of course, we all have happy moments and those are the moments we don’t want to ever miss, forget, or ever stop having. This story is about the trials and tribulations of a young girl whose older sister guided her to find the little girl that lives inside.

It’s Going to Be Okay
~by Ayiannah Carroll

Middle School Runner-Up Award

©Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc.
2015 #WeAreHere Writing Challenge

It’s Going to Be Okay
~

Suicide happens often, but can be prevented. Sometimes people do suicide over break ups, or bullying. There are programs for suicidal thoughts, and they can help. Movies, shows, and friends talk about suicide.

#WeAreHere: Native Youth Voices

High School and Middle School Winners from the Pine Ridge…

#WeAreHere: Native Youth Voices

High School and Middle School Winners from the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD, Speak Up In Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s 2015 Writing and Art Challenge

Lakota Children

Written by

Lakota Children's Enrichment #Nonprofit that envisions equal opportunities for ALL children. #Empowering #Lakota youth. Founder: @mhope13 LEARN. CARE. ENGAGE.

#WeAreHere: Native Youth Voices

High School and Middle School Winners from the Pine Ridge Reservation in SD, Speak Up In Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s 2015 Writing and Art Challenge