|FEATHER RAE COLOMBE|
Shane Red Hawk is a man, a Lakota, who cares about youth. Shane tells us:
One of the biggest issues with our kids is consistency,” Shane said. “People promising and never providing — empty promises. If we didn’t do this now, there’s opportunity to lose a little faith from our kids. We have to show them resiliency, we have to show them love, we have to show them compassion, and we have to show them consistency. We have to show them by example.
Shane doesn't just sit around moaning about the state of Indian youth, something the kids themselves are sick of hearing all the time, and something made clear by Lakota students at Todd County High School last February. Ticked off after a Diane Sawyer news special which was advertised as a program examining life on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The program spoke of Pine Ridge as,
A corner of this nation in the shadow of the majesty of Mount Rushmore…a kind of hidden America...where children with warrior names and warrior dreams wake up to poverty, alcoholism, unemployment.
Now, no one can deny that life at Pine Ridge and other of the reservations our nation has hemmed in Indians is far from easy (and pretty much worse then anywhere else in the settler nation known as the USA...which is itself the reason all the problems exist in the first place, but we will save that for another time). Poverty, poor health care, and all that is far too common on the reservations.
However, that is not all that it is. Lakota Country News wrote:
The Lakota students, who live on the nearby Rosebud Sioux Reservation, were angered by what they saw as mainstream media once again portraying their people with stereotyped images.
“Who are they to say what we are, when they don’t even know us,” asked 18-year old Feather Rae Colombe, a senior at Todd County High. “Everyone has problems, you know. That’s why people are the way they are, because of life’s situations. But you gotta see the good side, ‘cause everyone has a good side.”
The kids produced their own black and white documentary entitled "More Than That" which,
...takes the viewer through the hallways, classrooms and gymnasium of Todd County High School. Using their bodies as sign posts, the students explain that they’re more than stock images of poverty, alcoholism and violence. With words drawn on their hands, arms and faces, they share the traits that describe who they really are. Humor, intelligence, creativity – the list goes on. The point the students are trying to make, said Hanson, is that they’re not victims.
The kids took their video to a conference of the National
Association of Federally Impacted Schools in DC.
One of the students, the young women quoted above, by
the name of Feather Rae Colombe, spoke to those in
or try this, may be easier to read,
NOTE: IF YOU CAN NOT SEE HER WORDS ABOVE OR IF
THEY ARE TOO SMALL TO READ,
PLEASE CLICK HERE
Feather Rae was a remarkable young woman. We lost her
recently in rather unusual circumstances, suspicious
circumstances that merit some sort of an investigation.
The world is made less without her.
The following is from Native News Online.