Positive COVID-19 cases have been remaining low, so the Tribe has been easing their restrictions. Thus, we have been increasing our in-person ministry efforts again while maintaining safety protocols with masks, social distancing, and minimal people indoors for gatherings.
We have still continued dropping off snacks with arts and crafts activities once a week (serving up to 150 youth) and a hot meal for the whole family twice a month (serving up to 300 people). In addition, we are celebrating the youths birthdays at the end of each month offering a gift and cupcakes to everyone. This always brings a smile to the family and young ones.
On March 19th 2021, we began opening our doors to the teenagers and young adults twice a week to have a safe place to study, relax, and learn. This evolved from a community member telling us of the concern youth are having without a quiet place to study and do homework, and even worse, the stress of the pandemic is increasing the amount of suicides. This led to us seeking a partnership with Behavior Management Services in Hot Springs that sends a Systems of Care worker on these nights to offer resources for clothing, utility support, phones, and teaching coping and life skills.
In addition, our local Lutheran Lakota Job Corps has expanded to create a mentorship component for hiring 18-24 year olds who are then working alongside the adults to serve in the various ministries at PRRC. Likewise, on the teenager and young adult nights they work with the youth as mentors themselves. This helps us loop the support and experience from adults to youth to teenagers, and ultimately, the children. Sometimes it’s easier for children and youth to open up and relate to youth closer to their age and living in similar circumstances.
This brings us to being trained as Coaches in the Encircled Method where we will support youth to discover their gifts, develop their vision and plan, encourage their spiritual identity, and encircle them with a supportive group from the community that will be with them through the difficult and celebratory times.
In the near future, we will begin having Kids Time and Preteen Time in person again, starting outside and then moving inside when the Tribe says it will be safe to do so. Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers...it means a lot to us, for we are in this together.
Takoje Wachi Oyate (Grandchildren’s Dance Society): The Grandchildren's Dance Society provides opportunities for the children who attend Kids Time and Pre-teen time to learn about Traditional Lakota Dancing and get to practice the different dances and aspects of a Traditional Powwow. Approximately once a month the dancers visit the Oglala Sioux Lakota Nursing Home and put on a powwow for the elders.
Pine Ridge Reconciliation Center
51 East Highway 18 PO Box 862 Pine Ridge, SD 57770 Phone: 605-867-5262