The teen suicide rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is staggering, 150 times higher than the national average. But a Rapid City exhibit serves to bring hope to all affected by or has even considered suicide.
Thousands of images of hope are on display at The Dahl Fine Arts Center in Rapid City. Elementary and middle school students on the Pine Ridge Reservation were given a camera to capture images of what looked like hope to them. Many students took photos of people, animals and even scenery as part of an anti-suicide campaign the Oglala Lakota College and the Lakota Voice Project launched in October.
“It was something they had all been touched by and everybody in the community has been touched by it in some way,” said Karissa Eifert, a Lakota Voice Project member. “Many had attempted themselves or have very close friends or relatives that have.”
“I think it’s a good way to show that through the eyes of the children because they are the ones that have to deal with a lot of hard things down there,” added Oglala Lakota College student Danielle Griffiths.
The 2,000 photo exhibit will be on display at The Dahl Fine Arts Center until December 31.