USD announces 19th annual Red Road Gathering schedule

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will serve as the host of the 19th annual Red Road Gathering at the Clay County 4-H Building, Sept. 18-20, in Vermillion.

The theme for this year’s gathering, "Journeys," focuses on the Red Road mission of providing a safe, structured, compassionate, supportive and informed environment for the participants to de-stress, receiving healing opportunities and network. Personal journeys such as DUI, suicide, the death of a child, justice, entrepreneurship, forgiveness and healing will be shared during the three-day event.

Special topics to be addressed on Sept. 18 include DUI, underage drinking and suicide. Following the film "Parents Matter" at 10 a.m., participants from the movie will host a panel discussion. The afternoon session at 1 p.m. is "Recognition of Suicide Prevention Month." Thursday’s events conclude at 7 p.m. with a community meeting of professionals, parents and students discussing underage drinking.

On Sept. 19, the Canku Teca Treatment Center in Lake Andes, S.D., will be honored for implementing and providing the Red Road Approach. Dave Anderson, founder of "Famous Dave’s," is scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. while Dr. Dennis Fritz, author of "Journey Toward Justice," will address participants at 2 p.m. Rick Thomas, co-founder of the Red Road Approach, will deliver his remarks “Walking the Red Road” at 3:30 p.m. to conclude the day’s speakers. The gathering concludes on Sept. 20 with "Therapeutic Approaches: Utilizing the Drum" at 8:30 a.m. by Chris Eagle Hawk, Lakota Elder and well-known powwow announcer, and Jerome Kills Small, Lakota Elder and educator.

In addition to the daily Prayer Walk at 7 a.m., Red Road Gathering activities include a roll call and tribute to Veterans; the drum groups Wase Wapkpa Community Oyate Singers, Wakiyan Maza Singers, Keshena, WI Drum Group; and daily breakfast at 8 a.m. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, please visit the Red Road Gathering Web site at www.usd.edu/redroad or contact Kathy Husby with the USD Alcohol & Drug Abuse Studies Department at (605) 677-5386.