The purpose of this project is to contribute to a growing movement that is empowering American Indian youth across the nation’s many reservations; skateboarding. Emerging in communities as more than a hobby, sport, or past-time, skateboarding has revitalized the youth living on Native American reservations like Pine Ridge in South Dakota, which is home to the poorest counties in the United States, as well as some of the worst living conditions in the Western Hemisphere. The trend has impacted and lowered the suicide rates among the youth of these areas, which in Pine Ridge has been as high as 150% of the national average.
This project consists of designs for skateboards that remember a heritage of hardship and loss, and in embracing an ongoing, honest dialogue, the history of lies, betrayal, and violence that caused it. The Northern Plains design concerns Lakota history, and is a donation for Wounded Knee Skateboards, one of the more visible forces working with the youth and communities of Pine Ridge. The other boards offer ideas of how the progress at Pine Ridge can be expanded and shared with youth on reservations across the country, with ideas for the Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest Coast culture areas.
Faculty mentory: Sean Daley
"American Indian Skateboarding and Suicide Prevention,"
JCCC Honors Journal: Vol. 5
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarspace.jccc.edu/honors_journal/vol5/iss1/4