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LCE Leadership advocates for Lakota Children!

We are excited to announce that  LCE’s Founder, Maggie Dunne, and Executive Director, Autumn White Eyes have been making moves to get the word out about LCE and are advocating for Lakota Children! Check it out!

Autumn sat down with her high school alma mater, and LCE school partner, Red Cloud Indian School to talk about her journey to Lakota Children’s Enrichment. Watch the video below, and read the full interview here.

Autumn also had the opportunity perform spoken-word poetry and to present on her work to the Scarsdale Rotary Club’s weekly business meeting! And this December, Autumn will be presenting at the Lakota Nations Education Conference, to work with educators on bringing spoken-word into their classrooms for Lakota youth! Autumn also wrote a piece on career advice for Jopwell’s digital magazine, #TheWell! Jopwell is a career advancement platform for professionals of color.

Maggie Dunne, Founder and board chair of Lakota Children’s Enrichment has also continued to advocate and get the word out about LCE! She was invited to the Obama Foundation’s first annual Obama Summit to speak on a panel which addressed obstacles facing women and girls. She spoke about how she founded LCE and her work to advocate for women and girls around the world! And MIT featured her work–read more about it here!

WOW! These two women are ah-mazing! Congratulations to LCE’s leaders for their great work!

If you are interested in booking LCE as a speaker for your club, school, or organization please contact us at info@lakotachildren.org!

We did it! Another awe-inspiring TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark!

Speaker Liliana Tamayo sharing her talk on Indigenous Rising Movements! #LakotaYouth

In 2016 LCE Founder Maggie Dunne applied for a TED license to produce the first ever TEDxYouth event in Rapid City, South Dakota. In 2016 and again in October, 2017, LCE was the lead sponsor of TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark!

The 2017 TEDxYouth event brought Non-Native and Lakota communities from the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations together in a collaborative educational environment at the Journey Museum and Learning Center in Rapid City, South Dakota on Saturday, October 14, 2017. There were more than 60 attendees including youth and families of all ages, who celebrated 5 speakers and one performer.

The event showcased these three young Lakota Women: Lily Tamayo, Marisa Snider and Wiyaka Little Spotted Horse. Additionally, Non-Native speakers with strong ties to South Dakota included:  Artists Nayana, Alice Liou and Jared Narlock. The speakers talked about a range of topics such as ageism, Indigenous Rising Movements, and how to save rhinos from poaching.

Janet Whiting, LCE board member who attended the event said, “The talks were beautiful and even though it was unintentional, it felt as though there was a strain of finding perseverance in each speaker’s topic.

Twenty Lakota youth and adult volunteers helped put the whole event together. Many of the youth volunteers were super-inspired after the event and said they can not wait for next year!

TEDxYouth@DinosaurPark would not have been possible without the incredible amount of support it received from the Rapid City community and its incredible line-up of sponsors!

Wopila Tanka (THANK YOU VERY MUCH) to:

WOPILA TANKA to our sponsors!

The Journey Museum and Learning Center
Indigene Entertainment LLC
The Performing Arts Center of Rapid City
Western Communications, Inc.
Copy Country, Inc.

In addition, LCE Executive Director Autumn White Eyes and LCE Director Cindy Dunne, worked hard coaching each of the speakers in the weeks leading up to the event to ensure that their talks were top flight!

Our official event photographer and videographer, Indigene Entertainment LLC is working diligently to get the videos edited so that they can be shared widely. In the meantime, we invite our followers, supporters, and allies to check out the photos taken at the event by following this link: http://bit.ly/TEDxYouthDinosaurPark2017

Thank you to our sponsors and all of our team members for making the event possible. If you are interested in sponsoring this event for next year please contact us at info@lakotachildren.org or at TEDxYouthDinosaurPark@gmail.com

You can watch the 2016 speakers HERE.
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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has a program called TEDx, which consists of local, independently organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TED provides general guidance for the TEDx program. Learn more about TEDx HERE.

Our speakers and speaking coaches did a great job!

Honoring Native Youth Voices! #LegendsandHeroes!

This October, LCE honored our long-awaited winners of the 2016-2017 Writing and Art Challenge: Legends and Heroes with two banquet ceremonies where we celebrated the students, their families, and their friends. The students were honored with their awards, custom plaques, and a healthy dinner. One award ceremony took place at Red Cloud Indian School to accommodate families who live on the South side of the reservation, and the other ceremony took place at the Cloud Horse Art Institute, to accommodate families who live on the North side of the reservation.

Communications Coordinator, Willi White accepted a $1,000 grant for writing and art supplies on behalf Red Cloud Indian School for Lane Anthony Bordeaux’s grand prize win in the middle school category. Dan Snethan, science, poetry, and acting club teacher also accepted a $1,000 grant on behalf of Little Wound High School for Wasu Janis’ grand prize win in the high school category. Advisory Board members and Local Pine Ridge band, Scatter Their Own: Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford and Scotti Clifford performed at the award ceremony. Juliana who was an art judge for this year, and the 2015 grand prize winner of the #WeAreHere art challenge gave an inspiring speech to the students on the power of art and encouraged students to keep writing, creating, and expressing themselves.  

This was the first year that we chose to award the winners of the writing and art challenge through a banquet style award ceremony. Many parents thought this was a great way to celebrate the youth and hear their work. In the past we celebrated our winners through a school-wide assembly. This was a wonderful way to celebrate the students, however, because the ceremony took place during the school day, parents were not able to attend. For the Legends and Heroes theme, many students wrote about their family members, so we thought they should be invited to also be celebrated for being Legends and Heroes to the students!

Each award ceremony ended with an open mic for students to share their work with the group and they got a huge applause! Check out these photos of Lane Anthony Bordeaux and Thea Dubray reading their pieces for the group!

Our Executive Director, Autumn White Eyes also reflected on this year’s writing and art challenge:

I got involved with LCE as a participant in the Voices of The Land challenge. This challenge pushed me to share my spokenword piece with my community and I felt incredibly honored when I won the grand prize award in 2014. Through writing and art, Lakota students can express themselves and share their stories with the world. As a Lakota person, our history and our stories often feel invisible to wider society, however, I believe this challenge works to amplify the stories of Lakota youth to be shared with our allies who invest in the future leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

Next year, our writing challenge is Mní Wičhóni, meaning Water is Life. We are encouraging Lakota youth to share their stories on how they protect water and their reflections from the movement at Standing Rock that shook the world. Stay in touch with us for more information on next year’s challenge and please consider supporting our efforts.

We encourage our allies and supporters to sponsor our annual Writing and Art Challenge by making a tax deductible donation at the link below:

Celebrating Summer Internship Success!

The summer of 2017 brought Lakota Children’s Enrichment a new Executive Director, tons of sunshine and a new intern: Aimee Cheng! Throughout the month of August, Aimee worked diligently to get the word out about Lakota Children’s Enrichment’s work and events, and managed social media networks to raise awareness about the success of Native youth! Aimee is a rising freshman who is entering the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ this coming fall.

Before she heads back to school we want to take the time to thank her for volunteering her time with us this summer!  

Please read Aimee’s reflections of her internship with us and join us in celebrating her successful internship!

Aimee’s Reflections

My name is Aimee Cheng and I am excited to be part of the volunTEAM at LCE! I have volunteered previously with other charitable organizations, but until discovering Lakota Children’s Enrichment, I did not have the opportunity to work so closely with the behind-the-scenes aspects of a nonprofit organization.

Before working with LCE, my knowledge of Native American history and culture was very limited to what I learned through history classes in my high school — which usually did not amount to even a day’s worth of lessons. Within the short time I have been at LCE, I have learned so much more about Native culture, history, and current events; however, the ways in which the Native community thrives seems to be almost invisible to most of our country.

There is so much social injustice not only in our country but all over this world right now and making sure that people’s voices are heard is very important. Learning about the experiences and perspectives of others can help motivate more people to help fight against injustices. 

As an intern for LCE, I was part of the social media team: I searched for articles that help spread awareness about the presence, culture and perseverance of Native Americans within this country. Looking through all these articles, I was truly inspired by what Lakota and other Native Youth are doing to make their voices heard and how they combat obstacles in the path to success.

Entering my collegiate years, I hope to continue to utilize what LCE has taught me to speak up in the face of injustice as well as to not be afraid to share my own thoughts on what is right.

I have high hopes for LCE to continue in its support of Native Youth all over the nation and I will continue to support LCE in its endeavors!

Fun Fact: Aimee was accepted to Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy’s Pharm.D. program directly from high school. At the end of the 6-year academic program, Aimee will receive her Doctor of Pharmacy degree!

Way to go Aimee! Good luck in college this fall!

Want to intern with LCE this fall? Learn more at and apply TODAY!

If you would like to join LCE’s efforts to amplify the voices of Native Youth, then please consider making a tax deductible donation at this link.

 

Summer Soiree Success!

Last Thursday, August 10, 2017, Lakota Children’s Enrichment hosted a Summer Soiree at a spectacular private residence in a brownstone in Gramercy Park, NYC. Approximately 50 supporters attended the intimate gathering to learn about LCE’s work and to meet our new Executive Director, Autumn White Eyes. Maggie Dunne, LCE’s Founder and Board Chair, welcomed the group and gave the history of LCE’s founding. Autumn followed Maggie’s introduction by speaking about growing up in Pine Ridge, as well as LCE’s impact on her life and the lives of Lakota children. Autumn further set forth her vision of creating more arts, enrichment and mentorship opportunities for youth on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

This event was hosted by LCE’s board of directors:
Cindy Dunne, Esq.
Maggie Dunne, Chair of Board
Timothy Chilson Dunne
Paul Goldenberg
Ujju Mahatme, Esq.
Susanne Pari
Brenda Schad, Choctaw/Cherokee
Nora Steinman
Jonathan Ungar
Anna Elise Walton
Janet Whiting, Oglala Lakota

LCE wants to thank its host committee and everyone who made it the event to support our work. We cannot do this work without our supporters. Executive Director Autumn White Eyes said, “The night was a huge success! I loved meeting new friends and catching up with old friends to share about our work. I am really excited to be leading LCE this year and would love the extra support so that we can grow our team and expand our programs! Thank you to everyone who came out.”

Check out some of the photos from the event in the slide show above. If you were unable to make it to this event, but would like to make a tax-deductible contribution, then please head on over to our donate page.

If you would like to host an event like this in your community, then please contact us at info@lakotachildren.org