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2018-02-08 / Front Page

He Dog School Forms Boys With Braids

BY VI WALN
LCT CORRESPONDENT


Morris Kills In Sight, TCHS senior, encouraged young boys at He Dog school to take pride in having long hair. Photo by Vi Waln Morris Kills In Sight, TCHS senior, encouraged young boys at He Dog school to take pride in having long hair. Photo by Vi Waln HE DOG – A handful of Todd County High School students visited with K-8 boys at He Dog school last week and encouraged them to take pride in wearing their hair long.

The young Lakota men shared their personal feelings as well as their family teachings about wearing long hair. Each high school speaker encouraged the young boys to take pride in having long hair. They also told the boys to not be discouraged about others say about them or take personal the names they might be called because of long hair.

“It takes a lot of pride to have long hair, don’t be ashamed of who you are,” Morris Kills In Sight, a TCHS senior, told the young boys. “I started growing my hair when I was in the 5th grade and I got teased because of it. As long as you understand who you are, it will take you places.”

“The Boys With Braids group was formed to help young boys to take a lot of pride in growing their hair long,” stated Vikki Eagle Bear, He Dog School Principal. “We invite relatives to come and talk to our students about what it means to be a Lakota boy.”

“Don’t let anyone bring you down about having long hair,” said Mike Brave, who is also a TCHS student. “Having long hair is a lot of responsibility, you have to get up early to take care of long hair, it’s an extension of yourself. I’ve had my hair long my whole life.” He encouraged the young boys to “have fun be a kid, because soon you’ll have to start taking care of yourself.”

“Don’t be ashamed of your long hair, you will get through the hard times in school,” said Trent Poignee, a TCHS student. “When elders see you with long hair they have respect for you. Long hair is a big responsibility and you have to watch yourself. I’m glad I grew my hair long like my older brothers and my grandpa.”

“I had long hair in grade school but I cut it because I got teased,” said Jacob Wike, also a TCHS student. “I started growing it again in high school. My mom braids my hair and it’s a way to build a bond with her.”

“I went to school at He Dog and I had really long hair when I was younger,” stated Dineh Black Horse, a TCHS senior. He encouraged the young boys to “grow your hair because it makes you feel proud to be Lakota. When you have long hair, it’s a big responsibility. You have to go to the sweat lodge regularly or smudge yourself every day because long hair can attract something negative.”

Black Horse played football for the Todd County Falcons and represented the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Navajo Nation at the 2017 Down Under Bowl. “It was hard work preparing to go play football in Australia,” he told the students. “Sometimes I wanted to give up, I’ve had ups and downs. You have to work hard to get what you want in life.”

The group was accompanied by Rashad Shannon, TCHS PE Teacher and student Brandon Whipple, who took video to share on the TCHS YouTube site.

“No matter where you go, you will have your Lakota culture and that is the most beautiful thing in the world,” stated Shannon. “You can be anything you want to be, it’s your job to grow up to be young men. Don’t worry about what people say about you. I want you to feel good about yourself every morning at school. I want you to feel proud. Believe in yourself because you can do it. Do your homework!”

“We want to teach you to be proud so even if you go somewhere else, you will be proud of who you are and your long hair,” Principal Eagle Bear said. “When you are proud of yourself, nothing can bother you anymore, even when people might tease you about your long hair.”

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