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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Explore Tiny's Work

Standing in the Eye of the Hurricane: Learning from Yvonne "Tiny" DeCory

One of our Native Hope fellows, Yvonne “Tiny” DeCory, wakes up every day determined to help young people find their inner strength and overcome the challenges of isolation, poverty, trauma, and hopelessness.

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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.”

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Organizations focus on giving hope and sharing love for Valentine's Day

In another corner of South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Native Hope applauds the BEAR project’s mission as they plan to deliver 500 Valentines to the children of Pine Ridge.

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May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Native Hope Fellow, Yvonne “Tiny” DeCory, an activist and suicide prevention specialist, spoke on a panel at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. about the lack of mental health resources available to Native communities.

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Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Family Unity Day

Recently, Native Hope participated in the 10th annual Lower Brule Indian Reservation Family Unity Day, which is one of the largest events the community holds each year.

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Creating Space to Tell Stories: The Lakota Dream Museum

An exciting new venture is taking shape in the Black Hills of South Dakota, an effort to establish a permanent place that will show and tell the true story of the Lakota people.

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Celebrating the power of Native women and Native mothers

Without women there is no hope, no future, no carrying on of tradition and culture. This is why Native American cultures have always honored and respected women, elevating them to positions of reverence and honor in the tribe.

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Tiny: Suicide Prevention Specialist

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