The suicide rate among indigenous youth in the Northern
Plains is at an alarming rate. Wac’in Yeya is a pilot
research grant in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing to
conduct focus groups with Lakota youth and develop
creative projects about what gives them hope. A primary
issue related to suicide is hopelessness, however; there
is a lack of research on what instills hope in our
indigenous youth. The data from this project will be used
Develop suicide prevention programs
Provide hope to Lakota Youth
Determine culturally specific causes of hopefulness
This study has three components.
Conduct focus groups with youth about what provides
them with hope.
The participating youth, along with other local
youths and adult leaders, will develop photo voice
projects to portray their ideas from the focus groups
including culturally relevant representations of visual,
music, dance, and other factors.
A community meeting where the youth present their
projects to an invited group of family, peers, and
The concepts generated by the youth will be utilized to
design suicide prevention projects that instill hope in
Lakota youth in an area where the suicide rate has been
at an epidemic rate over the past year. By having youth
generate the concepts of hope and provide input on what
would be hopeful for them, it is expected that these
programs will have a greater impact for the community.