The young Lakota girl who makes this jewelry chose the name Kimimila, which means "butterfly" in the Lakota language. How fitting that the butterfly symbol in Lakota culture represents a need for change, greater freedom, and the courage to carry out those necessary changes. Tracey is a living example of the issues that persist at Pine Ridge and the Lakota strength it takes to overcome them. She grew up in a large, poor household in Manderson, SD which include (10) grandchildren living in a small tribal housing home with a grandmother and great uncle. They often had no heat, no electricity, no food, and no opportunity for improvement. Tracey's efforts in school earned for her a scholarship to the renowned Red Cloud Indian School where 100% of the graduates move on to college or the military. However, issues in her family including alcoholism, drugs, and manslaughter caused her to run away. Her studies suffered as she often found herself living in stressful situations with the families of friends from school. In one of those precarious situations, she was taken advantage of by a much older boy and she became pregnant at 14. She became depressed and began to cut herself in an expression of desperation. She had to drop out of school and move away from the Reservation. She was desperate. Her entire life embodied the well-known collection of issues at Pine Ridge: teen pregnancy, suicide, extreme poverty, hunger, homelessness, unemployment, school dropout, and potential disaster.
Instead of giving in to these overbearing major life issues, you'll be pleased to know that Tracey instead has chosen a better road. She chose to keep her baby and she is back on the Reservation and back in school. She is with a stable boyfriend and family, and she displays an amazingly stable and positive outlook; often sending encouraging Bible verses to others via text.
Tracey is making these Kimimila bracelets and necklaces as a symbol of the strength and hope that define a Lakota woman.
By supporting her efforts, Wings Like Eagles is providing for Tracey an avenue of Transformation by creating a way for her to make a living, which will eventually break the cycle of poverty and handouts.
100% of the proceeds from these items will be used to help Tracey and others like her at Pine Ridge.
We are currently developing additional merchandise items for your purchase. Please prayerfully consider a donation through the mail or through this website so we can begin to make a difference for these people.
Wings Like Eagles, Inc / PO Box 99505 / Jeffersontown, KY 40269-0505