LCO youth attend Opioid Summit in Leech Lake
By Nicole Smith
A group of students traveled to Leech Lake Reservation to attend the Opioid Response Summit that was held on November 13th and 14th at the Northern Lights Casino. The summit had featured speakers as well as a youth and elder panel. Some of LCO youth participated in the youth panel. They were asked a number of questions and one of them was how the drug epidemic is affecting the youth.
"I have little sisters and it's important that they understand that they have a choice on how to live," said Hailey Baunchie, LCO Youth Council.
"It is effecting the youth negatively, and you can see these people all around you," said Destiny Kingfisher. "It takes away from the people they look up to, the youth need more positive role models and we are trying to change."
The TGB generously donated for the Gwayako-Bimaadiziwin, LCO Youth Council and the LCO Ojibwe School and chaperones LuAnn Kolumbus, Jason Martin, Sirella Ford and Nicole Smith to attend the conference. Vice-Chairman Jason Schlender knew the importance of having LCO youth present at this summit, to see that this opioid problem is affecting other Tribes as well.
The main goal of this summit was to find solutions to the problem that is affecting so many Native people. Leech Lake tribal chairman Faron Jackson, Sr. felt it was importance to listen to the youth and elders on what needs to be done to start healing the community.