Shoshone Paiute tribal youth leaders in Nevada hosted and participated in a Prayer Fire to address a rash of recent suicides in their tribal community. Marco Ovando, a member of the UNITY 25 Under 25 Leaders and members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Youth Council teamed up to address three suicides within a two-week period along with other health-related deaths. The Prayer Fire, to recognize victims and ask for healing and protection, was held at the community’s pow wow grounds.
“We also established a secure local hotline with CARES funding and worked with other tribes, states, and the federal government to address the crisis. The Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Youth Council also took part in radio messages to promote strength. I also live streamed council meetings and have been appointed to various boards and committees within the tribe,” said Ovando.
On December 28, a live feed was hosted by Dyami Thomas, Chance Rush, Tanaya Winder, and others addressing the crisis. The live event was supported by the State of Nevada, and accessible to everyone.
As a 25 Under 25 Awardee Ovando advocates for other Native youth to share suicide prevention resources with others in your community.