Tag Archives: suicide rate among Native Americans

Spare a thought during Thanksgiving for the original citizens of Turtle Island – By Mohamed Hamaludin


It was nearly 400 years after English colonists arrived at Turtle Island, as natives call the land that would later become the United States of America.

Every year, some members of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota ride horses or run on a 300-mile pilgrimage to Mankato, Minnesota. The Crow Creek Sioux are descended from the Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe and the journey commemorates the United States government’s hanging of 38 Crow Creek tribesmen on Dec. 26, 1862. It was the largest mass execution ever carried out and came at the end of the U.S.-Dakota War. Last year, after taking part in the 13th annual Dakota 38 Memorial ride, J’von Justice Shields, 17, a star football player, killed himself. His was not an isolated case of Native American suicide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in March last year that the has been rising since at least 2003 to 21.5 per 100,000 now — “more than 3.5 times higher than those among racial/ethnic groups with the lowest rates.” Around 35.7 percent of them are aged 10 to 24, compared with 11.1 percent for whites.        Continue reading

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