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Hope is theme of Pine Ridge suicide awareness campaign

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- A campaign under way on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to raise awareness about the high rate of suicide among the reservation's youth is reminding them what they do have -- hope.

As part of the Lakota Voice Project, about 200 disposable cameras were given to youth on the reservation. The students were instructed to document what hope means to them.

Fueled by high rates of unemployment, violence and alcoholism, the rate of suicide on the Pine Ridge reservation is at least 1.5 times the national average.

On Friday, the photos the students took will be on display at Little Wound Elementary School in Kyle. Campaign organizers also want to create a traveling exhibit.

The ultimate goal is to get a crisis team on the reservation and a suicide hotline.

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