Tribal president declares state of emergency over increase in youth suicide attempts Posted: Wednesday, December 9, 2009
PINE RIDGE — Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls will declare a suicide state of emergency for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during a news conference at 1 p.m. today.
I want to share a personal story, because I hope people contacting the White House will save lives by giving hope. How many, I don’t know. I wouldn’t share it unless I thought it would be helpful to others. Suffice it to say, hope through someone to talk to would’ve been the difference between a 20 gauge shotgun to my head or not at 17.
I was 17 years old and my codependence combined with normal adolescent neurosis and feelings of abandonment left me feeling absolutely hopeless. I was raised in a good family and we had a good house, but New Years Eve of ’87 found me calling suicide hotlines – but nobody answered.
I further spiraled into hopelessness thinking, “New Years Eve, they know it’s a night of higher suicide rates, that’s it.” I made the decision to end my life.
It was really a strange feeling going into my parent’s room, putting a shell in a 20 gauge shotgun with tears streaming down my face, and pointing it to my head. I had taken the safety off. I just wanted someone to help me and talk to me. Nonetheless, I put enough pressure on the trigger for it to go off, but I saw something out of the right corner of my right eye. The gun didn’t fire and I was amazed that it didn’t. I put it to my head again and these thoughts seemed to be streamed into my mind, “If you do this, you’re one selfish bastard.”
I put the gun up.
I sponsored someone 13 years later, and when he committed suicide via an overdose I understood why. However, many were at his funeral and I still remember thinking, “I wish you could have seen then how many people care now.”
From a MySpace bulletin:
Autumn TwoBulls: Take a Stand Against Poverty & Suicide in Lakota Country join us in Calling The White House ~202 456 1111Share
Today at 3:13pm
Autumn TwoBulls: Take a Stand Against Poverty & Suicide in Lakota Country join us in Calling The White House ~202 456 1111 This is the time when my people should be treated fair and with justice.
Support the Sweet Grass Suicide Provention Program here in Pine Ridge Reservation
This is an epmidemic among Lakota Country please give our Lakota Youth a Voice for Hope!
Follow -Up Call In to White House Tuesday March 2, 2010
Help bring a voice to the Lakota Nation in the matters Poverty and Suicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation/Contact White House
To Friends, Relations and supporters.,
Thank you for the overwhelming response to our White House Call In last Tuesday 2/16 and again on Friday.
Over the last while, you have seen and heard of the terrible situations and conditions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Again, I am asking you to come make your voice be heard.Last Tuesday all of you overwhelmed the Comment line 202 456 1111.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, please take the time to call in again.We need to keep this subject on the President’s “Radar” and this is a way for us to be heard.
Tell President Obama of the awful conditions facing my people here on Pine Ridge. Tell him the Oglala Sioux Tribe Declared a State of Emergency on Suicide in December Remind him of the promises that he has made to the First Nations/Native American people. Promises waiting to be fulfilled.
When you call the comment line tell them about the grinding poverty rates, the 80% unemployment and the desperation that is leading so many of our people and youth to commite suicide. We are asking that Aide is brought to our Lakota Nation in these matters.
1: When you make your call, please be respectful
2: State in your call Why you are calling, i.e., Suicide and povertyon the Pine Ridge Reservation, etc
3: State that you would like to know what the President can do about this.
4: Remind respectfully that the President made promises to the First NationsNative American People during his campaign.
Help us to be heard again, we’ve only just begun use our voice.
Together we can make a difference for the people. One voice together, loud enough for the President to open his mind and his heart to my people, the Lakota Nation of Pine Ridge Reservation.
Please begin calling during buisness hours which are 9am – 4 pm Eastern time. Keep calling and emailing all day.
I am so grateful for the support in this effort to help Our Lakota Nation be heard. Lets work together as one voice
Pila Unyape, Wopila Tanka Echichiyape
Respectfully, Autumn Two Bulls
Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge South Dakota
PHONE THE WHITE HOUSE:
202 456 1111
Faced with rash of suicides, OST President Two Bulls declares an emergency
In an emotional appeal to the people of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls declared a state of emergency Thursday in the face of overwhelming numbers of suicides and suicide attempts on South Dakota’s largest reservation.
Chief Teresa TwoBulls declared a State of Emergency weeks ago, as conditions have become unbearable in a very harsh winter. The White House is silent.
Where is the HOPE that President Obama has promised? Where is HOPE for the Lakota?
Here is the President’s Opening words to the Tribal Nations Conference last November.
Pine Ridge Reservation America’s Own Third World Country
I have never quite understood people who travel oversees and put forth so much effort to help those in Under developed countries, when we have a place right here in the US that has Third World conditions. Technically, this place is not “in the United States.” It is an Indian Reservation, therefore a Sovereign Nation.
– snip –
• The Average life expectancy
on the Reservation is 46
• Pine Ridge Teen suicide rate is 150 times higher than the National Average
• 65% of the residents of the Reservation live in sub-standard conditions such as no electricity, running water, and often, without heat