Faced With Trauma, Tribes Fighting to Curb Rising Suicide Rates [brainerddispatch.com]


By Natasha Rausch, Brainerd Dispatch, November 21, 2019

On a grassy landscape along a sidewalk in Lindenwood Park at the edge of Fargo, Grace Poitra and Robbie Lass knelt to pray.

Lass, from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, and Poitra, from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota, had met four years earlier, and started dating just a few days after they’d first met. Now they had a son together, Joey Little Bear.

During their relationship, Lindenwood Park had become a go-to for whenever Lass was going through a tough time. He struggled with substance abuse and depression, issues that Poitra thinks were a result of childhood traumas, like being attacked by a dog as a toddler, losing his grandmother who took care of him as a preteen, and spending time in juvenile detention.

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