GV Student Jack Powers to Bike Across Iowa

October 3, 2017

On October 7th at 4:00 am, Grand View student Jack Powers will leave Sioux City and have 24 hours to bike 335 miles to Dubuque.  "I am hoping to bring attention to health disparities facing the Native American population at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, says Jack. "I have connected with Grand View professor, Andrea Halsted, who has a nonprofit by the name 'Mitakuye Oyasin.' Her organization works with the people in the Pine Ridge community instead of telling them what to do."

"I met Jack last May while I was speaking at Grand View," Andrea says. "During my presentation I spoke of my commitment and passion in benefiting the people of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It was during this presentation something in Jack was sparked and is fueling his efforts to raise funding and awareness for Mitakuye Oyasin, a 501(c)3 a non-profit, benefiting the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The reservation is a culture that faces third world health disparities and many medical needs, along with the lack of a proper social education."

The mission of Mitakuye Oyasin is not to change the fundamental ideology of the Lakota, but provide an education and tools to the people all while promoting their pride, integrity and independence. Several years ago, Dawn Bowker, of Grand View, was approached by several Native elders. They requested some help identifying why so many of the Lakota women were dying from cervical cancer at a rate 500 times the national average. This research was completed this year, 2017. The support received from the Lakota people was not only required but has continued along the way. The purpose of this research was to identify what and how information about HPV and cervical cancer should be developed, with the goal being an education program and movie created for Pine Ridge. The funding gained during this ride and future efforts will directly support this Lakota requested program.

More information can be found on their website: https://www.mitakuyeo.org/