What We Do
Mission and Goals
OLCJC is committed to advocating for the best interests of our Lakota children with recommendations for their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Some of our services provided include Court Appointment Advocacy for Investigation, Counseling, Case Management, Volunteer Training, and Cultural Services.
Our long-term goals include becoming certified as a National Children's Alliance (NCA) Child Advocacy Center by 2011, and becoming financially stable enough to advocate for every child that needs a voice on Pine Ridge Reservation. Someday, we would like to build our own residential treatment center on the reservation.
Today, children that must be removed from their families are sometimes scattered over hundreds of miles for lack of a safe place for them to live and receive counseling/treatment on the reservation.
What Makes Us Different
In a community whose sense of identity remains strong despite years of forced relocation and oppressive laws that prohibited us from practicing our traditional culture and ways of life, Oglala Lakota Children's Justice Center believes very strongly that the children we serve are best helped by programs which incorporate principles of Lakota spirituality to aid the healing process.
Some examples of how we do this:
May 2009: OLCJC hosted and conducted a Lakota spiritual ceremony to take responsibility for and ensure that the Lakota children are provided with the spiritual necessities which they are entitled to. Their ancestry has for thousands of years developed a spiritual connection that is invaluable and provides a foundation that is based in spiritual relationship. The ceremony then produced a symbol of that advocacy and representation known as the sage, or staff.
July 2009: OLCJC participated in preparing a youth camp in Oglala, SD. To initiate the youth camp, flags filled with tobacco were given to children where an adult prayed with them in each direction. An eagle feather was tied and a flag raising ceremony was conducted for them as spiritual protection.The rest of the community then honored the children by singing an honor song and shaking their hands. OLCJC Staff member Larry Swalley then gave an hour-long presentation with the hand drum on the Creation Story of the Lakota.