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Poets Slam At LNI

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Chynna Lockett
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Sharing experiences through poetry can help people clear their minds and connect to others. Students opened up and read their work aloud at a recent poetry slam.

Young poets between the age of 13 and 18 read their original work at the Lakota Nation Invitational.

Autumn White Eyes is a coordinator of the event and alumni of Dances With Words. That’s a program with the First People’s Fund that teaches young people spoken word poetry.

“A lot of students are talking about identity issues, about who they are and how that relates to themselves as Lakota people. And then I think you'll also maybe hear them speak out about maybe systemic injustices that they face and issues that are just impacting them as young people.”

White Eyes says Spoken word poetry is an effective avenue for self-expression.

“I think it’s a great way for you to share your story with your community. I think it’s a great way for youth to feel empowered and to feel that their stories matter and that they want to be heard among our community and that it’s going to be a welcoming environment to that.”

She says when youth speak their mind through poetry, it can help them transform as people and connect with an audience.