A Letter to the People of the Cheyenne River Reservation

Dear People of the Cheyenne River Reservation,

I’m sorry that I did not get to spend more time with you, a week could never be enough. I’ve heard so many stories, so many tales of strength, and seen so much love in a community in the short amount of time I had with you. To say that it was an honor to be a part of your life for several days would be an understatement, you have taught me so much about what it means to enjoy life and what you have. For most of you, life has not been kind. Many of you face struggles unimaginable to many people, but I want you to know that your stories have impacted thirteen lives, and we will never forget them. The point of our stay with you was to do a service for you, instead I feel you have done me a service. You have shown me that people can persevere through some of the worst tragedies, and that you always have hope for the younger generation. To those of you that I talked to, thank you. You made me feel at home in a place very far from my own home. To all the little girls I met and played with, as we say in our small traveling family, you are the Strongest Girl in the World. To the boys I met that have some of the hardest lives, you can do whatever you set your mind to, whether it be going to college, or changing your circumstances. I believe in all of you, and I will never forget any of you.

Juliana Siler


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