Native Americans are forgotten in the media, and that has real consequences. Without it, you feel alone, you feel like you don’t matter.
It was hard growing up without any role models, without any example or idea of what I could grow up to be.
But now I have the opportunity to show other Native kids that there is hope. We're still here and our cultures still going strong.
This is why I created the Native Pride Project. We create Emotional Care Packages that are designed to instill pride and self love in the Native Youth community.
-Lucas Brown Eyes
The most important message that I want to convey is that being Native American is beautiful, our culture is beautiful, and we should all be proud to be Native American.
Native American Youth have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnicity. With some tribes having a rate 10 times higher than the national average.
In 2015, the Oglala Lakota tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation declared a state of emergency after a string of youth suicides. This is particularly close to home for me, as I’m Oglala Lakota,
and because I lost my brother to it.
This is why I want to bring hope to the youth in Native Communities.
The Native Pride Project is working with the Allen Youth Center, One Spirit (a top rated 501c3 charity), and The Bear Project's Suicide Prevention Program in Pine Ridge to bring inspiring Native Pride Packages to 1000 children on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
A scalable project where any Native community can get involved so we can reach as many Native children as possible.
Every part of the package has been created with great care:
Letters to provide role models
Artwork to provide inspiration
Poems for emotional well being
Lakota Language Cards for language preservation
Beanies & Gloves for the harsh winters
Native Facts booklet for Pride
Patches & wristbands to wear their pride
Membership card to pledge to love yourself
Lucas Brown Eyes
I'm an Oglala Lakota Tv Writer.
I know the pain of losing a family member to suicide.
And it's my dream to inspire Native Kids to love themselves.
A 501c3 Charity working with the Lakota People on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Officially Recognized by the Oglala Lakota Tribe.
Top Rated on Great Non-Profits.
GuideStar Gold Non-Profit.
The BEAR Project
A 501c3 Charity the Be Excited About Reading program is a literacy and life outreach project youth and families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. They address urgent issues like suicide, literacy, drop out rate, and bullying.
We have dozens of Native American role models participating the project.