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Tribal health group organizes Ateyapi Kicopi: 'Calling Back Our Fathers'

Organizers of a Rapid City event want to help Native American fathers assume their traditional roles and heal from past trauma to become role models for children.

Ateyapi Kicopi: “Calling Back our Fathers” is an educational event hosted by the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board. The one-day event features education sessions on families, family strengthening, mental health and community resources.

The health board's research has found many Native American people do not have anyone to model their parenting after. Grant Weston is the fatherhood coordinator at the health board.

“There have been many stories of how the mothers had to play the mother and father role during these times,” Weston said. “So with that being said, it is time now that I feel we need to bring up to speed, we need to encourage, we need to strengthen a lot of these fathers to be there. Not only to be a father figure, but also to be there as a supporter for the mother. We need to live in harmony.”

The event also features vendors, breakout educational sessions, games, door prizes and more. The event takes place March 17 at the Ramkota Convention Center in Rapid City.