Oglala Sioux Tribe Vice President amplifies youth voice with young interns
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Oglala Sioux Tribe has seen big changes since the election of president Kevin Killer and vice president Alicia Mousseau.
Mousseau is working to grow future tribal leaders and amplify the voice of tribal youth. To magnify the voice of youth on the reservation, she works with several youth interns, ranging in age from 14 to 17.
“It’s getting my voice heard,” said 14 year old intern, Kennedy Frida. “And making me feel good and making me know that I‘m making change within my community. And us making change. Just kids, I know we’re teenagers, but you know, kids making change. And that we are the future generations you know. So, decisions made my government now will affect us and our kids later in life.”
Her interns believe that the emphasis on youth leadership is starting to trickle down to other elders within the tribe.
“And it’s really inspiring to see that a lot of the elders and the older relatives today do want the youths opinion instead of just going based off their assumptions and thinking what’s better for us,” said intern, Destiny Big Crow.
The interns appreciate the opportunity to be involved in their local government and make change. Their work has involved bringing forth and sponsoring various resolutions to the tribal council regarding LGBTQ rights and mental health. They also provide ideas and recommendations for youth to the the council and vice president Mousseau.
“I brought up an idea myself, because some kids don’t really like talking 1 to 1 with people,” said Frida. “So, just an anonymous box where you can put in your suggestions and the help you need. So it gets to the council and the people who need to hear it, but you don’t have to put a face on it.”
In addition to having youth interns, Mousseau has also held zoom conferences for youth interested in learning more about tribal council.