Stand Up for #CultureNOTCostume this Halloween

Social Media images from Twitter and Facebook captured by Indian Country Today Journalist Vincent Schilling

(Above: Social Media images from Twitter and Facebook captured by Indian Country Today Journalist Vincent Schilling)

Halloween is TODAY and there is still time to make changes to your costume!

This recent Indian Country Today Article by Vincent Schilling brings to light images that have already started popping up on social media, of people dressing up as “Standing Rock Water Protectors” for Halloween.

DON’T Dress up as a Water Protector to mock or make fun of a very serious situation in North Dakota. Culture is NOT a Costume, and appropriating aspects of Native American Culture is NOT ok.

In a nutshell, cultural appropriation is the use of icons, rituals, aesthetic standards, regalia, or behavior from one culture by another. The person appropriating often has no knowledge of the significance of the icons or regalia or any understanding of the significance or history behind the cultural traditions.

Check out our #CultureNOTCostume campaign page to learn more about cultural appropriation and how you can make sure that your costume is respectful of other cultures.

#CultureNOTCostume #NODAPL #Halloween

TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark Goes LIVE!


Speaker Elyssa Sierra Concha received a standing ovation!

LCE Founder Maggie Dunne applied for a TED  license to produce a TEDxYouth event in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her goal was to produce an event which engaged both Native and Non-Native Youth as speakers and helpers and allowed them to engage in dialogues about their ideas worth spreading. After the application and review process was completed, TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark was born and WOW was it a success!

Among the speakers who shined were:

  • Elyssa Sierra Concha, spoke about the negative statistics that are used to define Native Youth on Pine Ridge Reservation and the people behind them. Her frank and intimate discussion brought the audience to their feet and earned her a standing ovation.
  • Andres Gallardo, an artist and activist who has been very involved in LCE’s art program, spoke about how he created the GEM Movement (“Giving Everyone Moments”) by distributing his artwork around the world — for free. Andres has participated in LCE’s art programs in the past.
  • Regan Garcia, a High School student from Rapid City, spoke about today’s definitions of gender identities and the new vocabulary that goes along with those identities.
  • Amanda Hadden, the Founder of the Adorned Campaign, which seeks to encourage young women to focus on self worth, delivered words of encouragement. The Adorned Campaign has partnered with LCE in the past to provide support to young women on Pine Ridge Reservation.
  • Khian Norby, an 11-year old musical genius, rocked the house with his guitar and his message about doing what you love!
  • Tara Rose Weston, Oglala Lakota, spoke about the obstacles she faced growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation and as the member of a military family, and how Lakota values helped her to persevere to make a good life for herself and her family. Tara encourage youth to be resilient.

The event took a Village to Produce.

Organizers were: Maggie Dunne (Lead Organizer and Speaker Coach), Cindy Dunne (Organizer and Speaker Coach), Troy Fitzpatrick (Organizer and Venue Coordinator), the Journey Museum and Learning Center (event venue), the FILM ROCKERS videography team at the SD School of Mines, William White Photography (check out the Flikr Album), The South Dakota School of Mines (made the TEDx Lettering for the event), Office Depot Office Max in Rapid City, the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City and and a cast of more than 40 adult and youth helpers from Rapid City, Pine Ridge Reservation which reached into the local Rotary Clubs, LCE’s Youth Board and engaged Native and Non-Native community members.

We have assembled some of the videos here below…. ENJOY!

TEDx Website Banner
Special props go out to the SD School of Mines’ FilmRockers. Lead Media Director John Harrison coordinated all media necessary for filming, was a cameraman during the event and then edited all of the videos in the project! Thanks also to FilmRockers cameramen: Ezra Thorson, Charles Heyer, and Brian Roberts. You guys rock!

TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark took place in April 2016 and is the first TEDxYouth event ever produced in Rapid City, South Dakota.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, like ours, are self-organized.

Learn more about TEDx HERE.

Supporter Spotlight: The Scarsdale Rotary Club



Lakota Children’s Enrichment extends many thanks to the Rotary Club of Scarsdale New York for their amazing support – which has come in so many different ways:

  • Rotary Member Doug Metz, of the Scarsdale Agency, provided LCE with pro bono office space at a Scarsdale NY office for several years;
  • Members regularly participate in days of service, helping us package books, wash cars, and promoting awareness;
  • and last but certainly not least, for the third year in a row, the Club named Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc. one of 5 main grantees for its annual fundraising event held in Scarsdale NY!

LCE President Maggie Dunne said, “It takes a village — a generous village — to keep our programs going, and we are completely blown away by the generosity of the Scarsdale Rotary Club.”

Maggie first learned about the club when she was in High School in 2009, when she was awarded a scholarship for record of service. LCE received its first grant from the Scarsdale Rotary in 2012, to fund prizes in LCE’s First Annual Writing Challenge. LCE will be one of the beneficiaries of Scarsdale Rotary Club’s 2017 Fundraiser, so SAVE THE DATE for April, 6 2017!

The Scarsdale Rotary Club meets every Tuesday from 12 – 1:30pm at:

Moscato’s Restaurant
874 Scarsdale Ave
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Email them if you would like to get involved and like them on Facebook!

Help Charles KICK Cancer!

Charles at zoo

Please help us fund one of our most ambitious and important fundraisers.

Charles, age 6, has lymphoblastic leukemia, a form of blood cancer. A member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, Charles lives with his family in a condemned trailer on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Like all children with cancer, Charles faces an uncertain future.

Charles lives in one of the poorest counties in our nation. Although the community reports an unemployment rate of appx 80%, both his mother and father had jobs until Charles got sick. Due to Charles’ medical condition, however, his mother had to quit her job.

Housing and health care are managed on Pine Ridge Reservation by severely underfunded federal programs which have placed an extraordinary burden on Charles and his family.

They’re Living In Condemned Housing 

Charles and his 3 siblings, his parents and his 4 cousins — a total of 8 people– live in a two room trailer that was condemned months ago. There is a big crack in the ceiling and rain flows into the premises. They had to rip out the carpeting, as it was filled with mold.

Their application to FEMA for a new trailer recently was denied. When they appealed the denial, the family learned that while the appeal was pending all of the remaining trailers were distributed. They learned that the earliest they will be eligible for a new trailer is 2017.

The living conditions necessarily will make the recovery much harder for Charles, and further, jeopardizes the health of the entire family.

They Must Travel Hours for Medical Care

The Indian Health Services will not permit Charles to receive treatment for cancer in the surrounding region. He must travel to Sioux Falls, SD — about 5-6 hours away from his residence– to get routine and emergency treatments.

Please read the full story and materials at the below link, and share what you can with this wonderful little boy and his family. Small contributions add up.

Together, we can help CHARLES KICK CANCER!

All donations are tax-deductible. All funds raised will go to Charles and his family (less the credit card or Crowdrise processing fees).

Help CHARLES Kick Cancer! on Crowdrise

LCE Founder, Dunne, a Speaker at White House United State of Women Summit


LCE Founder Maggie Dunne at the White House State of Women Summit!

LCE Founder Maggie Dunne spoke in June of 2016 at the first ever White House United State of Women Summit produced by the White House Council on Women and Girls. She was in good company with an all-star agenda that included presentations by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah, Kerry Washington, Vice President Biden, Valerie Jarrett, Gloria Steinem, and Meryl Streep, just to name a few of many big names.

Founder Maggie Dunne explained how she came to be a speaker at the Summit: “I heard about the Summit from a friend and immediately applied to attend. A few weeks later, I received an invitation to speak at the Summit and, of course, I accepted the invitation!  The event was organized by Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett who assembled a collection of amazing women with positive and inspirational messages. I spoke on a panel, but also attended many inspirational talks and panel discussions.  I left the Summit feeling positive, confident and motivated!”

Maggie published an article in FORBES Magazine about her reflections on the Summit, which focused on six key topics: economic empowerment, health and wellness, education, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation and leadership, and civic engagement.

After her presentation, Maggie was interviewed by Native American Television, NATV.

The video interview is posted below. Enjoy!