Mar 11, 2015 - IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE: Prayer Chain on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; March 11th, 2015

A group of Oglala Lakota youth between the ages of 11 – 20; all students, all residing within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, decided they wanted to create sacred spaces through prayer.  At a community meeting, a vision of love, acceptance and prayer in their sacred space came to them.  For them it was simple; let us gather the schools and show our younger relatives we love them and accept them for who they are and most of all pray with them.

On Wednesday March 11th, 2015 several schools will be participating in what these mentors are calling a “Prayer Chain” across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  From one side of the reservation to the other, these youth organizers will be connecting twelve schools to participate in this historic experience.  Prior to the event, each school and their teachers’ grades 6th – 8th have been completing a 30 minute lesson plan involving each of their students formulating and writing their own prayer from their heart.  In a universal manner these young 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will be connecting their prayers in making an old time tradition of ‘Christmas’ décor; a “(paper) chain”.  There will be 5 PRAYER CHAINS going on this day across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

From the beginning to the end, each “Prayer Chain” will link to the next school doing a 30 -45 minute 6 step process.  The size of the schools will determine the length of time spent at each school as they move along their sacred path. Here is the 6 step ‘youth-led’ process:

  1. HOCOKA (Circle up 6-8th grade along with their prayer chain in the gym)

  2. WACEKIYA (A prayer from the heart)

  3. WOIYAKSAPE (Offering of useful and wise words)

  4. OLOWAN (Singing a song of Encouragement).

  5. AZILIA (Purify the air with smoke)

  6. IGLUSOTAPI (Leave or vacate the area)

PRAYER CHAIN 1:           

 8:00 – 8:30     Red Shirt School/Evalene Brave Heart

9:00 – 9:45      Isna Wica Owayawa (Loneman)/Charles Cuny

10:05 – 11:25  Red Cloud School/Jennifer Sierra

11:45 – 1:00    PRHS FOOTBALL FIELD/Temple Nichols

PC1 Adult(s) & Youth Mentors:

Erik Brings White/Touch the Clouds, Inc.

LeShell Poor Bear/PRHS 12th grade

Cante’ Poor Bear/PRMS 8th grade


PRAYER CHAIN 2:           

8:00 – 8:30      Rockyford/Sara Roman

9:00 –   9:45    Wounded Knee District School/Alice Phelps

10:10 – 11:00  Porcupine School/Frankee White Dress

11:45 – 1:00    PRHS FOOTBALL FIELD/Temple Nichols

PC2 Adult(s) & Youth Mentors:

Babe Poor Bear/Pte San Win, Inc.

Kaylene Colhoff/PRHS Graduate/OLC Scholar

Isabella Lone Hill/Olriches School 6th Grade


PRAYER CHAIN 3:           

9:00 – 9:45      Our Lady of Lourdes/Theresa Lessert

 10:00 – 11:00  Porcupine School/Frankee White Dress

11:45 – 1:00    PRHS FOOTBALL FIELD/Temple Nichols

PC3 Adult(s) & Youth Mentors:

Lisa Schrader/MSW

Katrina Colhoff/PRHS 11th Grade


PRAYER CHAIN 4:          

8:30 – 9:00      Little Wound School BIG GYM/Dana Haukaas

9:45 – 10:30    American Horse School/Jodi Richards

11:45 – 1:00   PRHS FOOTBALL FIELD /Temple Nichols

PC4 Adult(s) & Youth Mentors:

Emergency Youth Shelter (EYS)

Jessica Poor Bear/PRHS 9th Grade

Teressa Colhoff/PRHS 9th Grade

Seanna Boltz/PRMS 8th Grade


PRAYER CHAIN 5:           

8:30 – 9:15      Wolf Creek School/Saunie Wilson

9:45 – 11:10    Batesland School/Connie Kaltenbach

 11:45 – 1:00   PRHS FOOTBALL FIELD /Temple Nichols

PC5 Adult(s) & Youth Mentors:

Shawn Keith/B.E.A.R. PROJECT


Once all 12 schools meet up at PRHS FOOTBALL FIELD the youth mentors who are guiding each prayer chain will then follow the same 6 step process that took place at all the schools.  During this process, OST Vice President, Mr. Tom Poor Bear will accept the “Prayer Chain” of all 12 schools on behalf of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s governing body.  He will be taking the prayers of the future leaders of the Oglala Sioux Tribe to the council chambers where the leaders within the nation meet on the regular basis. At a later date the “Prayer Chain” will be taken to one of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s spiritual leaders to burn during an inipi (Sweatlodge) ceremony.  OST Vice President, Tom Poor Bear will be offering some woiyaksape to close the day of prayer chains across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Facebook Link

Last Real Indians