The Oglala Lakota of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation believe the seventh generation of youth will lead a new awakening — through skateboarding. Skateboarding in Pine Ridge chronicles the lives of skater and suicide prevention counselor Brian Sherman and his young mentee Emily Earring (one of the park’s few female skaters). A skate park built in 2011 is now a second home and safe haven for 100 kids, and tribal elders hope another newly opened park in neighboring Manderson will be equally successful. For young Pine Ridge residents, skateboarding represents a way to break the reservation’s cycle of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and reaffirm ties to their ancestry.
- Greg Hunt