Eleven Wake Forest University students will travel to the Cheyenne River Reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D., to work with the Cheyenne River Youth Project from May 12-25.
Called “The Tie That Binds,” the Wake Forest program seeks to cross bridges of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status and promote cultural awareness and respect.
While in South Dakota, the students will mentor and tutor children in an after-school program. They will also work at nutrition center for the elderly and help with building maintenance for the center.
“Native Americans are a misunderstood and marginalized community in our society,” said Vishak John, a junior from Roanoke, Va., and the student leader of the trip. “Our program hopes to create a link between Wake Forest and the children and adults of the Cheyenne River Reservation.”
The group has met weekly during the semester for discussions of Native American spirituality, music and poetry. They have also watched and discussed movies set on reservations and read about different aspects of Native American history and contemporary society.
Ulrike Wiethaus, associate professor of humanities, is the faculty advisor for the group and will accompany the students on the trip.
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