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Sioux Tribe declares state of emergency on reservation suicides
issue also caught the eye of local leaders, prompting Rosebud Sioux Tribal
President Rodney Bordeaux to declare a state of emergency on suicides and
attempted suicides during a Tribal Council meeting"
"According to Rosebud Economic Development Corporation, the
Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement responded to three suicides and 193
attempted suicides from Jan. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2006; and three suicides and
51 attempted from Jan. 1 to March 13 this year." Quote
from above article in Rapid City Journal
The "Holy Roman
Catholic Church" in St. Francis South Dakota, removed an affective
"suicide prevention" program from radio station KINI on the Rosebud
Sioux Reservation. The program addressed the subject of suicide among young
Lakota youth living on the Reservation..
I had prayerfully
responded to a “State Of Emergency On Reservation Suicides” article I read
in the Rapid City Journal and came to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation on
March 16th. There I met with a number of Rosebud Tribal members
including Leo Campbell, John Spotted Tail, Debbie Black Lance, and later the
Tribal President, Rodney Bordeaux, his wife Jodi Waln, as well as employees of
the Education Department among others. During the week (March 19-27th) the
program was aired, not one of these individuals or other Tribal Members I met
and who had heard the program, told me that they thought the program was
offensive in any way towards the Lakota or the Catholic Church.
During my meeting
with Leo Campbell, he introduced me to Richard Iyotte, the then station manager
of KINI 96.1 FM in St. Francis. Iyotte invited me to the station and wanted to
interview me because I was an “attempted suicide survivor”. The interview
was 1 hour long in 2 parts. I had prayed to the Creator I would be led in what I
shared for the blessing of the youth. Immediately when the program was aired,
calls were received by the KINI receptionist from concerned Lakota parents and
relatives of Lakota youth. They were worried because there was talk among
the youth about taking their own lives. According to Iyotte, a “Traditional
Lakota”, no calls were received from listeners of the program complaining
about anything said on the program and that he personally felt the program
talked about suicide from a “Traditional” point of view.
I discovered to my
amazement, that KINI 96.1 FM was a "Catholic Church owned station" on
the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation and that programming is controlled,
monitored, and must be "Catholic approved" by the Catholic Church
through Robert Doody, "Vice President of Programs". According to
“sources”, Doody had no experience in radio. Richard Iyotte, with close to
10 years of radio experience as a station manager, has since resigned because of
this “dictatorship policy” of Doody as condoned and sanctioned by President
of the St. Francis Mission, John Hatcher.
According to Iyotte,
it was Doody who issued the "order" to remove the program. Doody
fabricated a LIE in stating that the reason why the program was removed was
because it "defamed" the Catholic Church. In my subsequent personal
meeting with Hatcher, he told me that Doody stated to him that the
"sacraments" of the Church were discussed in a denigrating way. That
is a simply a LIE. Not one word was stated about "sacraments"!
The only mention of
the Catholic Church was in the context of discussing Lakota Spirituality. I had
stated in the program, that the Lakota traditions of love, generosity, respect,
and honor, taking care of the poor, elderly, widows, feeding the hungry etc.,
were in place, operative, and a way of life among the Lakota LONG BEFORE White
European Christians came to "Turtle Island" i.e.. "America".
I said that this "spiritual tradition" was taught by and learned
from the Creator direct, not from "White Christians". In fact, I said,
Lakota spirituality in how they treated one another was more after the example
of Jesus then from the majority of experiences the Lakota have had with
I also said that the
love demonstrated between the Lakota was a way of life that was not taught to
them by "Billy Graham" or the "Pope". That statement is a
historical fact. I also mentioned that the Lakota could pray to God direct. My
understanding is that the Lakota always have prayed to the Creator direct before
there were “priests” or “ministers” representing “White
Evidently, Doody did
not listen to the WHOLE program and the "context" in which those
statements were made. Furthermore, he lied to Hatcher in telling him why he
pulled the program. Hatcher in turn, "believed automatically" what
Doody told him, rather then listening to the program himself.
I met with Hatcher
after the program was pulled and I asked him if he had listened to the program
to verify what Doody had told him. He said no. I asked him if he would listen to
it and he said yes. I also asked him to reconsider the decision and have the
program restored. I also stated that, given the "alleged defamatory
statement" was but "one sentence in a hour program", that if it
was so "offensive", then simply delete that statement, reinstate the
program, and everyone would be happy. And then the Lakota youth and
families would continue to have an opportunity to listen to those understandings
the Creator had given me as an attempted suicide survivor that they had not
heard before and for their blessing..
Hatcher did not do as
I had asked because the program was neither “edited” to remove the alleged
“offensive statement”, nor was it put back on the air.
The airing of the
program produced immediate results with meetings between two young Lakota teens
and their Grandmother, a family of teens and their mother, a nine year old girl
and her guardian. Each young one had discussed committing suicide. The
Grandmother had heard the program and asked if I would meet with her grandsons.
I did and shared my own experience as an “attempted suicide survivor with them
as well as the other young people. Those meetings were blessed by God and in a
good way and because their families had heard the program.
Also, because of the
radio program, I was allowed to speak with Lakota youth at the Wanbli Wiconi
Tipi which is the Rosebud Youth Wellness and Renewal Detention Center. Patricia
Broken Leg was my contact. The youth there, like most young Lakota, are
constantly struggling with "life on the rez" in the form of no jobs,
few if any fun and wholesome activities, dysfunctional families using drugs,
alcohol and who gambled, as well as "gangs" etc. This then causes the
subsequent White man’s term called “depression”. I describe it rather as a
natural response to a not natural social, economic, and spiritual environment.
In fact, I call this incognito spiritual genocide which is engineered by the
very powers of evil that created “reservations” in the first place. In my
readings, I understand that Hitler used the model of “reservations” to
create “concentration camps”.
I told the youth
“that the evil spirit which the White man listened to in spiritually
engineering reservations, had one goal only, and that was that they would end up
exactly where they were now, with the hope that, “you would continue your
pattern of non-Lakota thoughts and behavior, and eventually end up in prison”.
In other words, “the created reservation environment was designed to kill you
first spiritually and then physically, so that that if you did not first kill
yourself or someone else, that for sure you would be exposed to and use drugs
and alcohol and commit crimes against your OWN PEOPLE resulting in guaranteed
time in prison. This plan I said, “is intentionally designed to destroy the
Lakota Oyate in destroying the last generation which YOU represent”. After
all, the same “plan” is working wonders in African American and Hispanic
“reservations” and interestingly enough, “rap music” is THE “dark mind
and power source” which allows for this plan to work as evidenced in those
I told them that
“not being Lakota is why you are here in this detention center” That in
being Lakota, if you would live out and share that love and those traditions
taught by the Creator to your people, then you would be Lakota and anything less
would be a contradiction of and a denial of being Lakota. It is one thing to
“look and talk as a Lakota and it is another to live and love as a Lakota”.
Basically I said, “the White mans system is inspired by Satan direct from the
throne of hell to make sure you lose your Lakota spirit of love for yourself and
As an "attempted
suicide survivor", I told them I understood the thoughts and feelings of
suicide that overpower oneself, where they spiritually come from, and how to
overcome them. I have done personal battle with those "demons”
representing the forces of darkness that work fervently to destroy Lakota souls.
I was one such targeted soul and I gave in to those "Satan inspired
thoughts". Some may question that statement but I ask, from where do
self-destructive thoughts originate from? Are they built into drugs or alcohol?
And yes, they may be “taught” by outsiders but even then, who or what
“inspired” them? I said that when I feel those thoughts, that I pray to the
Creator in the name of Jesus to have those feelings removed.
I related to them
that the Creator allowed me to feel His displeasure because I had tried to kill
myself when my wife left me. He allowed me to feel His displeasure, which I
personally call “hell”, during which I was shown all the other things that I
had done in my life not pleasing to Him. I experienced this for 3 ½ hours with
no escape, time out, or place to run. It was scary to say the least. Close to
the end of this time, I began to feel His love, forgiveness, and compassion and
that He must have felt I learned my lesson. This is a lesson I will never forget
and would not wish it on anyone.
I next shared the
experience of a man who had “died” for 7 minutes while in a hospital in
Texas. He said his spirit was taken out of his body and that he met the Creator
who showed him a scene where a young man and an older man were attempting to
talk to their families and friends who were lamenting and crying and mourning.
These two were trying to tell their families that they were sorry for what they
had done but their families could not hear or see them. These two were those
that committed suicide as pointed out by Jesus and this was their spiritual
condition in the “spirit world” until the Creator relieved them of that
torment. They were allowed by the Creator to personally feel the pain of each
one affected by their suicide as if it was their own. THAT is why they were in
such torment. I also said, that I believed that the family and friends affected
by those who committed suicide, could pray to the Creator for them to be
forgiven and that those prayers would be heard.
I then asked the
youth if they would want to “hurt their loved ones, their parents, brothers,
sisters, grandparents, nieces and nephews and family and friends, those that
love you, that much? They said NO! I said there was always someone to talk
to that loved them in their family or among friends. The Creator loved them and
I loved them with the love the Creator put on my heart for them and that under
no circumstances, do not allow for those dark and destructive thoughts to
overcome you because if you choose to believe the LIE of those thoughts and
feelings, and then take your own life, you will NOT be escaping this one as you
thought but will see and experience the consequences of listening to a voice
that is not of the Creator.
Also I said, that
same man who was with the Creator was next shown a scene in a bar where men were
drinking. One man he noticed was drinking heavily. While sitting there, another
man attempted to reach for his drink and pick it up. He was unable to as his
hand passed through the glass each time he tried to pick it up. It was pointed
out that the man trying to drink had “passed away” but now was in his
“spirit body” and was still craving to drink. Then the man who was drinking
heavily passed out and fell to the floor. Immediately on his forehead, there
appeared a “spiritual opening” and the man in his “spirit body” who had
tried to drink but could not, entered into the man that passed out.
I shared that I
understood this to mean that alcohol and drugs (including anti-depressant
drugs), allow for this spiritual happening to take place and this is why when
one is “under the influence”, they then are more easily inspired by those
bad spirits that can now influence them to become more violent, abusive, and
self-destructive as well as having thoughts that lead to suicide, murder, and
murder suicide because using alcohol and drugs allow for evil spirits to inspire
I also shared that I
personally did not come from a "loving family background". I know the
destructive affects of alcohol in a family. For the first 6 years of my life as
a only child, I saw and felt it first hand because both my parents drank. My
father was an abuser who beat my mother and myself for as long as I could
remember. I also know what drinking is on a personal level as well as other
"sins" which I have tried to change throughout my life. I never
started drinking myself until I witnessed my mother lying on a hospital bed
“burnt black like a “marshmallow” from the top of her head to her ankles
She lived that way for three days. She had just been released from a hospital
for treatment of her liver because of heavy drinking. Being weak, she had tried
to light a cigarette and her clothes caught on fire.
After the hour
meeting with the youth, it was given a “10” by them in what was shared about
“suicide” and the spiritual elements of.
Upon returning home,
I sent an email to Hatcher asking him if he and Doody had a testimony from Jesus
(being they are supposed to “believe in Him") to remove the “suicide
ministry” program from KINI? Interestingly but not surprisingly, I received no
answer. Personally, I would stake my soul on the fact they did not! I told him
that my purpose in coming to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation was not to
"condemn and judge" the Catholic Church. Almighty God will do that for
the sins it is guilty of in "Indian Country" and elsewhere.
It is my opinion that
the Holy Roman Catholic Church, in removing the “suicide prevention
program”, have clearly shown that they do NOT in the least have a genuine
interest or concern over the "suicide" struggles among the Sicangu
Lakota Oyate and in particular among their youth. If they did, the program would
never have been pulled and by now it would have been restored.
I have downloaded the
program on my website for any and all to listen. You can be the judge of what
was said and if I defamed the "Holy Roman Catholic Church".
Personally, I find it "historically repugnant" that this entity whose
"history in Indian Country" has been more destructive then anything
else, would DARE to remove a program which had as it sole purpose, the saving of
lives, even the souls of young Lakota youth!. Do I need say more?