News, Articles, Announcements

Spring 2024 Newsletter

Liberated Voices

Volume #3 | Spring 2024

THIS PAST DECEMBER 21st LLUP held a third Talking Circle, involving about 20 participants. Robert Horse Stands Waiting and Phillip Yellowbird Still called in from the Durfee State Prison in Springfield, SD, and spoke about the effects of incarceration on themselves and on the indigenous popultation. Stephanie Yellow Eagle and Stacey Low Dog share about their work for indigenous justice.

Fall 2023 Newsletter

Liberated Voices

Volume #2 | Fall 2023

SUMMER 2023 FOUND LLP actively engaged in events that support the Native American community in Rapid City and across South Dakota. Members of Lakota Lockup Project joined the “March for Justice: Holding Police Accountable” in July as they carried our LLP banner down the Main Street of Rapid City.

Aboriginal Person CulturalSurvival

Cultural Survival Grant

We’re excited to share that a grant for $6,000 has been received from Cultural Survival that will help forward our efforts to spark interest and enable youth, children, and their families and...
Hands Fists Resist Grant

We’re proud to announce that has granted $4,000 to Lakota LockUp Project. The funds will be used for expenses related to interviewing incarcerated Native Americans and developing their...
US flag on Wood Veterans United

Veterans United Foundation Grant

With great appreciation, we share that Veterans United Foundation based in Columbia Missouri, has granted $6,000 to Lakota LockUp Project. The funds are being used for expenses related to hosting...
Native design of waves

Winter 2023 Newsletter

Liberated Voices

Volume #1 | Winter 2023

WELCOME TO OUR FIRST ISSUE. The Lakota LockUp Project advocates for American Indians affected by the justice system, to support innovative approaches for cultural and historical trauma survival, rebuilding lives, economic justice, traditional family services, substance and alcohol abuse treatment, and equal access to education, thus strengthening communities.


The Lakota LockUp Project (Unlocking Our Nations) intends to uplift and revitalize Indigenous People impacted by racialized mass incarceration, inequality, and addiction by applying culture, education, ancestral teaching and innovative approaches to seek justice and healing — including mending affects of historical trauma — and to disrupt Indigenous pipelines into the institutions by advocating for Constitutional and treaty rights promised.

About Us

Throughout Indigenous contact with adverse colonization in North America and with countless broken treaties, many Indigenous Peoples have been in a perpetual LockUp. The Lakota LockUp Project (Unlocking Our Nations) is pushing back against racial ideologies of primitivism and injustice. We are utilizing culture, teachings, and language to restore and revitalize communities and empower them to heal and strengthen family hoops from intergenerational trauma, which includes the negative ripple effects of boarding schools.

We believe with help from the world community, we can disrupt the Indigenous pipeline into institutions and provide prevention of, and alternatives to, incarceration for young people.

Our unified efforts will raise up communities and promote resiliency for families and all those affected by the justice system, including those already imprisoned who are facing or serving astronomical prison sentences when Non-Indigenous Peoples with similar criminal offenses serve far less.

By these efforts, we can tackle abusive practices in the Courts and ensure compliance with human and treaty rights for individual Indigenous People. Thus unlocking our Nations and creating sacred change.

A Traditional Calling for Support…

We are sending you a “traditional calling” for support in a modern way. In the times of our ancestors, runners on foot or horseback would carry the message for help. Today, we are calling you through these modern technologies.

Our ancestors had a spiritual contract of pure hearts and clean minds when people requested support. This spiritual contract reaches across continents and reaches into every human heart for justice and equality. We welcome all who wish to help and bring about change!

As our great Lakota warrior stated many generations ago, we will unite and become one people. We can only accomplish this through unity!

Mitakuye Oyasin! (We are all related)

native family

I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become One Circle again.

—Crazy Horse

We are committed to…

  • Re-establishing cultural thought that expresses generosity, compassion, wisdom, and fortitude while navigating modern times.
  • Building up good character and the inner power of each person to re-shape their lives.
  • Advocating for alternatives for public safety concerns, rather than punishment or banishment.
  • Supporting Foundation changes to grant criteria that do not support the most marginalized, or those affected by the justice system and their families.
  • Voicing support for compliance with treaty obligations for Indigenous Peoples. In particular, the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.
  • Obtaining a small portion of land in the sacred Paha Supa (Black Hills) for cultural and healing purposes.

Services and Programs

  • Creating resource materials (Know Your Rights) and providing some legal books to prisoners and jails with high population rates of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Sponsoring “Talking Circles” that mediate ways to express pain, anger, and conflict. And, creating a space for community communication to take shape and plant seeds of growth.
  • Supporting online campaigns and letter writing for the release and assisting with issues affecting the imprisoned.
  • Advocating for legal representation for treaty and constitutional violations.
  • Alternatives to incarceration and youth diversion programs.
  • Re-entry initiatives, including assistance with locating housing.
  • Assisting in bail for single parents and supporting bail reform.
native family

Native Amerians are the highest incarcerated nationality in South Dakota

Graph of the Increased Incarceration of Native Americans

Click image below for more information

Graph of native jail incarceration over time

Contact Us

Native Dancer in Regalia

Subscribe to Our Newsletter