This week on Native Bidaské (Spotlight), Native News Online editor Levi Rickert welcomed legendary Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills (Oglala Sioux Tribe) to the show to discuss how he triumphed over obstacles he encountered during his life.

Mills, Oglala Sioux, took home the Olympic Gold in the 10,000-meter race in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He is the only American to ever win the event, and this race is considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history. 

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Since winning the gold medal, Mills worked to raise millions of dollars to assist Native American youth through the Running Strong for American Indian Youth organization, a non-profit organization he founded. He continues to be a strong advocate for Indian Country and a cherished hero and role model. 

During this episode Mills told Rickert:

“I want the youth to know that it takes a dream. For me, it took a dream to heal a broken soul, and as Indigenous people we’ve all faced trauma. So, I want them to know that a dream is vital. We need the dream. The dream is what takes you to a passion. You develop the skills to reach the passion and you bring them together and magical things happen. I want all young people to know that they are our future.”

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12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

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About The Author
Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian) is a staff reporter for Native News Online. Bardwell is also a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.