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The Northern Arapaho Suicide Prevention Program

Documentary

Children of the Northern Arapaho tribe on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, the horse culture of their ancestors is the connector to their history and culture, and a way to prevent suicide and drug addiction. Prior to the European ...See moreChildren of the Northern Arapaho tribe on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, the horse culture of their ancestors is the connector to their history and culture, and a way to prevent suicide and drug addiction. Prior to the European colonization of America, Arapaho homelands were the front range of the Rockies, from Wyoming to Colorado. "When the white men arrived they put us on a reservation and took away our horses," explained Elk Sage, Program Director for the Northern Arapaho Suicide Prevention Program. This short documentary demonstrates the importance of teaching Arapaho children to ride horses as a connector to their history and culture. "The horses help mend the broken hoop" added Elk. In an effort to counteract the widespread use of drugs and alcohol, as well as high rates of suicide, Allison and Elk Sage looked to their own Arapaho culture for the answer. They break the taboo of speaking publicly about drugs and suicide, and they invite children to talk to them about their problems. Initially, the program was focused on pre-adolescents and adolescents with parental permission. Over time the program expanded to include all ages. In addition to learning to ride horses, children practice the Arapaho language and spirituality. They sing, eat and have a good time, forming strong bonds for the Arapaho community and culture. See less
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Updated Dec 3, 2017

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