Nov 21, 2014 - RIP Jayla Rodriguez (8 yr old Girl from Pine Ridge Rez)

There has been a media frenzy involving  the violent dog-attack on Jayla Rodriguez and we, at LRI, don’t didn’t feel that an appropriate way to honor Jayla’s Story. Yes, it was horribly and unimaginably unfortunate for her family to go through this but we asked the family if they wanted to share anything publicly about their little girl travelling to the spirit world and this is their response. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. This is Jayla’s Story.

Jayla Marie Rodriquez, an Oglala Lakota, was 8 years old and in the 3rd grade at Red Cloud School on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  She loved her school and her friends.  She was a precious little girl with all the future in the world in front of her.  She was an outgoing wincincila involved in her school’s dance club where she was already a young leader and role model.  She came from a well nurtured and positive family setting and she will be remembered and honored for time to come.  It is appropriate to share her story, according to her family, because of the negative nature of the media frenzy that took place online, including her name being released without the family’s consent.  She loved to swim. She loved to play soccer. She loved to play baseball, basketball, football (she swore she was going to be on the football team one day) she absolutely loved boating and riding horse.  She loved riding bike.  She loved dancing fancy shawl at the local pow wow’s. She was a part of the Teca Wacipi Okolakiciye since she was in kindergarten. She sang to her dad every night in Lakota.  At night when they would say their nightly prayers she would end their prayer with a song.  She grew up in the Sundance circle and undeniably loved the Sundance.  She supported her paternal grandmother, uncles and relatives every year all of her young precious life.  This past summer in July she was honored with the opportunity to be the “tree girl”.  She loved to cook and ride horse.  She was a cowgirl that owned her own horses and saddle.  She enjoyed making crafts, especially during the holidays.  She loved everything and everything made her smile. She loved camping. She loved fishing. She loved spending time with her brother. She loved her grandma time. She loved going to pow wow’s with her grandma. She loved going boating. She loved spending time on the boat.  She loved life.  In Jayla’s own words, “I am thankful for my brother and dad and my dog, dad, grandma, Ken, Lyle, me, Martin, Trey and dogs.” (written at Red Cloud School, November 2014)

  •  There will be a candle light vigil sponsored by the Oglala Sioux Tribe on Saturday, November 22nd beginning at 2pm at Three Moccasin Park, 1 mile south of Pine Ridge. Feed to follow.  For more information contact OST councilmen Garf Steele at 605-867-5821

  •  One night wake services will be held on Tuesday November 25th at Red Cloud School.

  •  Funeral services will proceed on Wednesday November 26th at 10:00 AM at Red Cloud School.  Procession by horseback.

 Donations or gifts in honor of Jayla can be sent to:

Jayla’s Story


Pine Ridge, SD    57770

Last Real Indians