Great Falls Tribune: Senate hearing in Poplar examines rash of Indian youth suicides

At this northeastern Montana Indian reservation, ground zero of a Native American child suicide epidemic, there aren’t enough stories like 16-year-old Fanci Jackson’s.

Jackson considered hanging herself with a rope when she felt she couldn’t take any more bullying at school, the teen from Frazer told a U.S. Senate field panel taking testimony on the epidemic on Tuesday.

But then she changed her mind.

“I thought of my mom and dad and how much they love me. And if I leave, what would they do without me? But most kids don’t think,” she said in tears.

Jackson spoke at the hearing held by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and prompted by an outbreak of youth suicides on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Six students from schools on the reservation killed themselves last year and nearly 20 attempted to do so, causing leaders from the reservation’s Sioux and Assiniboine tribes to declare an emergency.

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