About Tiny's Work
Yvonne “Tiny” DeCory, Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge, is among those working to stop suicides on Pine Ridge. DeCory is founder of the BEAR program, which stands for “Be Excited About Reading.” This Native Hope fellowship, Tiny’s third fellowship, will allow her to offer her youth leaders in the BEAR program more help—they are role models in their communities, but at times, need extra support to overcome personal challenges. As a form of healing, these youth mentors perform dances and skits to help younger kids struggling with the serious issues of life on the reservation, including suicide.
This year Tiny’s goal is to hold weekly talking circles for these older BEARS in order to provide a place for the teens to work through their thoughts and share their stories. Because the Pine Ridge reservation is so large (the second largest in the US), transportation is vital to the success of these meetings. This fellowship will help to ensure the talking circles are a sustainable aspect of the BEAR program.
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Native American reservations in South Dakota brace for the coronavirus
COVID-19 is blasting minorities and underserved populations at an alarming rate. One member of a South Dakota Indian Reservation remarked that if COVID-19 hits, it will “spread like wildfire—it is all warriors on deck to fight this threat.”
Tiny: Suicide Prevention Specialist
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