Feb 5, 2015 - Rapid City Community Armed with Knowledge: Will This Make a Difference? By Karin Eagle

RAPID CITY–A Jewish woman, scared for her life after receiving a diagnosis of cancer, becomes overwrought with emotion. Police are called to check on her. After doing their rather demanding and aggressive knock on her door, she answer the doors and upon seeing the police is mentally taken back to her traumatic past experiences with Nazi police. Her reaction? Grabbing a knife, Barbara Schneider begins to stab her door in anguish. To her the police at her front door means one thing; almost certain death.

The police unload two large cans of tear gas into her apartment. Again, the gas is another trigger for her to mentally equate the current situation with what she and millions of other Jewish people had gone through during the Holocaust. Barbara retreated to her bedroom, still with her knife. More officers show up, five in total in her apartment. Due to her anguished state of mind, Barbara does not respond to their commands….so they all five shoot her to death.

This traumatic, horrific death was the catalyst for the creation of the Barbara Schneider Foundation, named after the victim of an unimaginable overreaction of those officers. Based in Minneapolis, the foundation’s mission is “Improving Mental Health Crisis Response and Preventing Mental Health Crisis”.

Mark Anderson, executive director, along with his associate, Lamoine Lapointe, Sicangu, addressed a group of Native leaders from within the Rapid City Community and from the Pine Ridge Reservation to “begin the dialogue” in the community between the different populations; particularly the Native and Non-Native populations.

Understanding the struggle to know how to even begin the conversations needed to move past traumatic events is merely the first step. Several activities were conducted by the group to help reach that understanding,

The purpose of this meeting was to give an introduction to the model used by the foundation to help facilitate the understanding of the kind of communication that will be needed in Rapid City. The result of this understanding with the initial group of 30-40 individuals will be a larger gathering scheduled for February 25 at the Mother Butler Center. A possible group of 200 people from the Rapid City community and the reservations represented in the community will gather to receive the full training offered by the Barbara Schneider Foundation.

Utilizing the current resources in the community and creating a platform for all voices to be heard and empowered is the over all purpose of the training on the 25th. A crisis intervention and management system is the other.

Last Real Indians is committed to providing complete coverage for all the developments coming from this meeting, the upcoming training and all the resulting outcomes from it.

Last Real Indians