LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of Native and non-Native educators and activists gathered on the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Lakota people in South Dakota to celebrate the opening of the Pine Ridge Girls' School, the first nondenominational independent college-prep girls' school on any Native reservation in America.
The school was founded in part to respond to the epidemic of youth suicides that have plagued the reservation in the last few years, and is grounded in Lakota culture and life ways, as well as traditional college-prep courses.
The school is already making a big difference, since girls who are both empowered in their own culture and know they are going to college aren't thinking about ending their lives," said founder Victoria Shorr. "They are too busy learning the geometry of the tipi and playing volleyball and winning art contests.
In celebration of its grand opening, the school hosted a "Founding Open House," which included a drum ceremony, and sage purification for the school and everyone in attendance - in true Lakota fashion.
Honored guests included School Council member Cheryl Crazy Bull, Head of The American Indian College Fund, Board members Carole Goldberg, former Vice Chair and current Native law professor at UCLA, Shorr, co-founder of the Archer School for girls, and distinguished Lakota educator and Board member Ethleen Iron Cloud Two Dogs with her husband medicine man Rick Two Dogs, who led the blessing.
For more information or if you'd like to donate, visit http://www.pineridgegirlsschool.com/.
About Pine Ridge Girls' School:
The Pine Ridge Girls' School was founded by a group of education advocates and Native Americans with the vision of a culturally rooted education that is guided by the best practices of all-girls education. The founders of the Pine Ridge Girls' School are dedicated to the revitalization of tribal ways of living, especially as those ways ground our students in their journey to adulthood. We value the beliefs and and traditions of the Oglala Oyate (nation) and view those beliefs and traditions as the foundation of the education that our school will provide.
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SOURCE The Pine Ridge Girls’ School