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Pine Point Youth Hit the Half Pipes!

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund (one of six Super Bowl Legacy Fund grants to support tribal projects), Pine Point youth on the White Earth Reservation will soon be able to enjoy three brand new skate parks! Planned for three White Earth Reservation communities, youth will now have the opportunity to learn and practice their skills in skateboarding, BMX riding, inline skating, and scooter. This is exciting not only because of the community enrichment it will bring to White Earth, but also because of the benefits it will have on youth health and wellness.

According to Clinton Alexander, a public health advisor for the Health Division of the White Earth Reservation, skate parks and the enthusiasm they generate throughout a community are able to combat much of what confronts tribal public health concerns for youth, including suicide, obesity, and low self-esteem (Indian Country Today). He goes on to explain that law enforcement professionals consider skate parks to be ‘green zones,’ deterring crime because of the activity there. In other locations such as the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, they have become mechanisms for suicide prevention, as well as drug/alcohol intervention. This makes sense for health professionals such as Alexander, because youth who face mental health or emotional/behavioral issues do not typically join or do well with team sports. Skate boarding, however, is a solitary sport that provides the same coping methods that team activities do, while still allowing youth to build relationships with other skaters or bikers.

“It just seems common sense that tribal communities do these,” Alexander said. “This skate park will be an opportunity for kids to discover a talent and passion for a sport they may never have been exposed to otherwise.”

Click here for the full scoop on this amazing initiative!