As many students probably know, this week is diversity week. Filled with films, lectures, and activities there is so much to learn from the presenters welcomed into Big Sky this week. One of these presentations is the showing of “Boxers of Brule,” a film focused on a girl’s boxing team created to help those participating to choose the right path.
The girls live on the Lower Brule reservation in South Dakota, where rising suicide rates are putting a strain on the community. The boxing becomes an outlet for the girls, helping them to let out their emotions in a safe, healthy way. The creator of the team, a woman named Shaionna, is a recovering addict, she was inspired to get clean and take up boxing when her sister committed suicide. She aims to prevent suicide in the girls she coaches.
Their journey is a long one. The girls have to overcome obstacles that very well could make them want to stop and fall into something easy rather than continuing with the hard work and dedication required for what they’re doing, but these girls are resilient. There comes a point though, where Shaionna quits, she moves away and relapses. Despite her being gone, the girls find a way to continue training and boxing. While she was away Shaionna mother passed away of an illness, her mother’s death brought her back home where she found treatment and is currently being treated.
This inspiring story attests to the determination and ability of people to find something that helps them and keeps them where they need to be mentally to survive. It shows the internal struggle of people for instant gratification vs. their needs for the future.