Event draws attention to suicides on reservations

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Dozens of people hoping to draw attention to the high suicide rate on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation gathered for a candlelight observance.

The Friday night event at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center corresponded with the Lakota Nation Invitational tournament.

Jennifer Mesteth tells the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/YxugDx) that she knows the pain of suicide firsthand. Her daughter once attempted.

She works for the Emergency Youth Shelter on the reservation, which gives refuse to Native American boys and girls between 12 and 17 years old.

In some parts of the United States, suicide among Native American youths is 9 to 19 times as frequent as among non-Native youths.

Nineteen-year-old Annie Richards of Kyle says people need to talk more to Native American children having problems.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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