Suicide Awareness Walk/Ride Spans Reservation
A group of organizers and participants walked and drove across the Fort Peck Indian Reservation to raise awareness for suicide prevention June 5. The third annual Suicide Awareness Walk/Ride included stops in the communities of Frazer, Oswego, Wolf Point, Poplar, Brockton, Fort Kipp and Culbertson.
Walkers were invited to gather at 8 a.m, at the western edge of the reservation. The event wrapped up in Culbertson around 3 p.m. in a caravan parade down Broadway Avenue with Roosevelt County Fire Warden Mike Olson in the lead in a fire department truck.
“It was amazing to see how many people support Suicide Awareness Prevention on Fort Peck,” said Clover Anaquod. “Every participant and volunteer made this happen. The families who participated in memory and honor of their loved ones who have passed away from suicide were extremely heartfelt. This was just an idea and its the community members who participated that made this awareness event a reality.”
Organizers included Sasha Fourstar in Frazer and Freda Christian in Poplar, as well as Anaquod, Olivia Johnson and Mary Machart. Participants handed out literature and made themselves available for personal conversations at each stop. Christian lost her brother James Joseph Christian to suicide in 2019.
“Suicide is not an easy discussion,” said Anaquod. “Yet the more we talk about it, the more people will understand, they aren’t alone.”
Sponsors included the National Native Children’s Trauma Center, Fort Peck Tribes, Nakona Dakota Oyate Youth Council, Nike N7, Spotted Bull Recovery and Resource Center, HPDP, Frazer School, Roosevelt Medical Center, Culbertson Schools, Brockton Schools and the Frazer Community Organization.