Creative new initiative to tackle opioid epidemic in Indian country launches this week

Skyhawk Reborn is printed in three languages: English, Lakota, and (soon) Dakota, with the goal of helping tribes revitalize their native languages.

RAPID CITY, SD – A new initiative to tackle the opioid epidemic in tribal communities is launched this week in South Dakota.

The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board received a grant to fund an opioid response program to provide prevention, treatment and recovery support services.

They’ve coordinated with a communications company to produce the “Skyhawk Reborn” comic book series, which focuses on opioid abuse and abuse. Great Plains wanted to find a creative way to engage and educate young people in Indian country.

“So our grant is for all people aged 10 and over – and of course you know they say the earlier you can start educating young the better,” says Staci Eagle Elk, Head of Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response Program.

Skyhawk Reborn is a fully animated digital and print comic book series that uses Indigenous culture and tradition to connect with readers. The cultural element is something that Eagle Elk believes is key to reaching its intended audience, and that’s why Skyhawk Reborn is printed in three languages: English, Lakota, and soon – Dakota.

“We say, ‘we are proof of the prayers of our ancestors’… we are also proof of their resilience and determination to survive,” says Eagle Elk. “That’s kind of the premise that we used, you know, their prayers… cultural traditions and their return and how those traditions can save our communities and tribal individuals today. “

Skyhawk Reborn will premiere at 2 p.m. Friday, October 8 on the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board Facebook page.

CLICK HERE for more information on the board and their efforts.

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