Mural to bring hope to Pine Ridge youth - KOTA Territory News

Mural to bring hope to Pine Ridge youth

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In the face of a suicide epidemic, a group of Lakota artists are asking, ‘What does hope look like'?

As part of the Lakota Voice Project, local artists and Oglala Lakota college students began work on the first of nine murals to be painted on reservations throughout South Dakota.

The goal is to raise awareness for the staggering reservation teenage suicide rate, which is 150 percent higher than the national average.

This mural will feature a young Lakota woman staring upwards into the sky at the word ‘hope', with Lakota imagery and words placed around her.

"It will offer a good variance of newer age style art to introduce it to the youth and then if they don't recognize what the words mean or say in Lakota it will offer curiosity to them to go and ask their elders," said Derek Smith, Mural Artist.

"The youth can see how big of a project we're capable of doing and maybe inspire them to choose a different path," said Aaron Percy, Mural Artist.

The mural is expected to be complete by Friday.

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