Oglala Sioux VP signs partnership resolution with national non-profit

Friends of the Children
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A national non-profit is partnering with the Oglala Sioux Tribe to help area indigenous youth.

Friends of the Children, based out of Portland, Oregon, pairs children in poverty- and crime-stricken neighborhoods with adult mentors to help be a guiding force.

Oglala Sioux Nation Vice President Alicia Mousseau signed a resolution of support between the tribe and the organization. Mousseau said that the organization is rooted in the Lakota cultural touchstone of family kinship.

”It’s been part of who we are for a long time,” Mousseau said. “It’s knowing and having trusting, loving, and caring relationships with the people around you so we can take care of each other. So, that’s how we see this program, and how the program understands as well, and really values relationships.”

Gerald Cournoyer Jr. of the tribe’s Medicine Root District works closely with youth on the reservation, and is happy the program is contributing to be a positive force for young people.

He said that the lives of these young people will be improved if people can work together behind a common idea.

”We have to realize that we’re all related, Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ,” Cournoyer said. “Because we are all related, and we need to treat each other as better relatives.”

Cournoyer read the resolution prior to its signing at a ceremony in Rapid City Friday.