Native teens living among suicide epidemic finding Hope

By June 28, 2016

USA (MNN) — Tragically, quietly, in the corners and unseen spaces of our nation, there is a suicide epidemic sweeping through Native American communities and reservations.

Ron Hutchcraft Ministries (RHM) estimates suicide rates among Native teens are nearly 10 times higher than the rest of America.

(Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

(Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

“Something is horribly wrong there,” says RHM’s Ron Hutchcraft. “If in any of our communities we had the serial suicides going on that go on in a reservation unnoticed, we would have the national news and every agency possible descending on our town. But they continue to die off the radar and silently.”

The Native American community is in desperate need of hope and a reason for life. RHM shares the deepest hope possible; hope in Jesus Christ.

Warrior Leadership Summit

Yesterday, the Warrior Leadership Summit kicked off for hundreds of Native American young people from over 100 Indian nations across the US and Canada. The conference goes from June 27-July 3.

The Warrior Leadership Summit is essentially a discipleship conference for Native teens, but each year they also see around one-fourth of the attendants commit their lives to Christ.

“The messages and what we call The Battle Councils, which are smaller sessions, many of them will be taught by Native leaders. These will address the unique issues of trying to follow Christ in the very toxic environment of a reservation or Native community within a city. This is targeted specifically for them, and that’s what makes it so powerful.”

Pain and Addiction

There are many unique challenges and hurts facing Native American youth, says Hutchcraft.

The Warrior Leadership Summit runs from June 27-July 3 this week. (Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

The Warrior Leadership Summit runs from June 27-July 3 this week. (Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

“One time I asked this question in a large group in the main session. I said, ‘How many of you have either attempted suicide, know someone else who’s attempted suicide, or lost someone to suicide?’ Almost every hand in the whole auditorium went up. Is there any youth conference anywhere where that would be the truth; where it would be almost everyone there? That’s why we really have to address the issues underlying this hopelessness.

“There is [also] a massive amount of sexual abuse. One out of three Native American women will be raped in their lifetime. Now for me and for us on our team, these are not statistics. These are people we know. These are names and faces of precious young men and women, and the issues of sexual abuse and sexual violence have left tremendous scars on Native young people.

“There are rates of suicide, alcohol addiction, [and] drug addiction because of the pain of all that has been lost by Native Americans over the years and even in their lifetime. That’s their pain reliever. There are horrendous, almost epidemic levels of addiction.”

Hutchcraft says, in many ways, Christians in North America have been very focused on overseas missions while missing the Native American mission field in our backyard. Today, only four percent of Native Americans know Christ.

“I think Satan has created a double-blindness. He has blinded the first people of this nation to Jesus by convincing them that He is the white man’s God. And Satan has blinded the rest of North American Christians to Native Americans. We don’t even think about them. But God does.”

Summit Theme: Hope Rising

This year’s Warrior Leadership Summit with RHM has a powerful theme: Hope Rising. The worship band, the breakout sessions, and the messages are lead and taught mostly by other Native leaders.

(Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

(Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

“This conference, it’s about a Jesus who walks into that kind of a world and can heal a wounded heart, restore a broken life, forgive a lifetime of sinful choices, and give people who never thought they had a future…to give them a hope,” says Hutchcraft.

“One of the great nights will be the night we call them to the cross of Jesus Christ, literally. And if it’s like most years, there will be somewhere between one-fourth to one-third of the young people there who will choose Christ to be the driver of their life and, as we say, the Chief of all Chiefs.”

Funds Needed for Support Goal

Many teens attending the Warrior Leadership Summit are only able to go through donations to RHM’s Summer of Hope Outreach. Currently, the Summer of Hope Outreach only has 72 percent of their $575,000 goal funded.

(Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

(Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries via Facebook)

Click here to give, and help RHM reach their support goal for the Summer of Hope Outreach!

Together, we can show Native American young people that they are seen, that they are loved, and that we want them to know the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.

You can also request a prayer kit for the Summer of Hope Outreach here.

Hutchcraft says, “When you gather Native young men and women under the banner of Christ from all over the continent in one place where many of them will choose Christ, and where many of them will be trained and equipped to go back and become spiritual warriors for their people…this is so exciting because I feel like I’m standing and watching missions history take place.”


  • Where is the Warrior Leadership Summit held this year? How do Native American youth sign up to attend?

  • OH, Lord Jesus! Forgive us for failing to LOVE and EVANGELIZE the First People! Forgive our SELF-FOCUS! Bless those who are telling the Good News in other countries, who haven’t heard it, but turn a floodlight on the Native Americans so they may be SEEN and LOVED and PRAYED for and TOLD OF JESUS! In Whose Name we pray.

  • Great to hear of your mission outreach, we will do everything we can to bring awareness of your outreach and to support your mission. God bless your efforts and look forward to hear about the results of your Hope Rising conference.

  • Lyndsey Koh says:

    Hello, Wanda!

    We’re glad you are interested in learning more about the Warrior Leadership Summit!

    You can contact Ron Hutchcraft Ministries for more information. Here is their contact page:

    Their office phone numbers are also located on the bottom of the contact page.


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