GREAT FALLS — The issue of suicide among Native American youth will be in the spotlight later this month thanks to a new documentary.
The documentary titled "The Bears on Pine Ridge" will debut at the Big Sky Film Festival in Missoula, which runs from Feb. 19 through Feb. 28.
It focuses on a reservation in South Dakota but is meant to raise awareness about Native youth suicide in general.
Blackfeet Tribe Substance Abuse & Suicide Prevention grant supervisor Terrance Lafromboise said a documentary like this could be a big help to the reservation’s efforts.
“There is this understanding of different nations, but when we have this indigenous identity we can connect to it and use it to understand that we both are going through these same processes,” Lafrom Boise said.
“It’s happening across the country and I think it would be a good tool to educate and bring awareness," Boise continued. "Fundamentally, having such resources on a mass media scale like that brings attention and when you bring attention to subjects people are more adept to just understand and want to learn.”
Blackfeet members struggling with suicide can call the tribe’s Honor Your Life Building at (406) 338-5563. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Here is a preview of the film: