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Services to honor Cole Brings Plenty's life will take place this weekend and next week at Cheyenne Eagle Butte High School in Eagle Butte, S.D., and the Brings Plenty family cemetery in Red Scaffold, S.D.

The 27-year-old actor and Haskell Indian University student was a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. He was a cast member in "1923," a spin-off of the hit television series "Yellowstone."

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Brings Plenty was found dead in the late morning hours of Friday, April 5 near an abandoned vehicle in a wooded area of Johnson Country, Kan. His discovery concluded a five-day-long effort to locate him after he was declared missing in Lawrence, Kan. on Monday, April 1. Nearly 100 volunteers and law enforcement officers were involved in the search, which utilized drones, kayaks, horses and vehicles. 

While his cause of death has not been released, an investigation found no evidence of foul play, according to a statement released yesterday by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office. 

Brings Plenty's death has rocked Indian Country, with outpourings of grief and support flooding social media. Indigenous-led advocacy group Rising Hearts initiated "Braids for Cole" on Monday, April 8th, prompting thousands to wear their hair in braids to honor Brings Plenty, who wore his hair long in Lakota tradition. 

As well, his death has brought renewed attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP) crisis. American Indian and Alaska Native peoples are at a disproportionate risk for violence, murder, and going missing. Jurisdictional gaps and systemic apathy leave many of these cases unsolved.

Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart issued a statement  addressing the lack of trust that characterizes the relationships many Native communities have with law enforcement. 

"Through meeting with Cole’s family members and members of our Native American community, I clearly see that we are not where we need to be in partnering with a community that is very important to Lawrence’s history and to its current culture. " 

Ahead of funeral services, Cole's father Joseph Brings Plenty has posted on social media encouraging those interested to make a video sharing their memories of Cole to be played at his funeral. Videos can be sent to [email protected] 

A two-night wake service for Brings Plenty will take place on Sunday, April 14 and Monday, April 15 at Cheyenne Eagle Butte High School Gymnasium. 

A celebration of life and luncheon will take place on Tuesday, April 16, at the Brings Plenty family cemetery. Click here for more information. 

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About The Author
Author: Elyse WildEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Elyse Wild is senior editor for Native News Online and Tribal Business News.