OK, there's more than enough despair to go around. But there IS hope too, and it's coming from people on the reservations.
You might now be either numb, outraged, a combination of the two, and wondering what you can do to help.
We've been doing a few things around here...first, under navajo's incredible leadership, making these issues visible. You can support Native American Netroots by visiting the site, and commenting on the diaries.
You may be also familiar with the project that Kossacks made possible, Pretty Bird Woman House, which is the only women's shelter on the Standing Rock Reservation. It's still functioning, but without the shelter director, Georgia Little Shield, whose determination was so instrumental in getting us motivated to raise enough money for a house. If Georgia puts her mind to something, it happens.
Georgia resigned for health reasons, but now she's doing better, and has become the Board president of a new grassroots organization called Okiciyap (we help) the Isabel Community, which just received its tax status as a 501 (c) 3 organization. They have started a food pantry and want to (start youth development programs, including a GED program and counseling. You see, Isabel is 30 miles from Eagle Butte and often the youth can't get there for schooling or other needs.
I would like to make this and the propane drive our seasonal action this year.
Right now they are working out of a trailer lent them by a board member, but a 30x60 building has been donated but they have to bring it back to Isabel. Here's the breakout of what that's going to cost:
Moving the Building
Transport 30 miles $7000.00
Building forms to set building down $2500.00
Skirting of building and new ramp $2500.00
This will be done by a contractor that knows how to transport the building and is a professional and will set and put the building together when it gets to Isabel. The Build of the forms will be done by a cement contractor Jackson's cement out of Timer Lake SD. The skirting and Ramps will be done by volunteers with the SD specification of disability Ramps.
One year Electricity $3000.00
One year water and sewer $780.00
One year Propane and Tank set up $1800.00
Hook up to the to Town sewer and
Water pipes $2000.00
We are requesting a one year utility for the building and when this year is up we should be able to have fund raised and applied for grants to run the building. We will need to get hooked into the city sewer and water so we will have this done by the city.
Total amount requested $19,580.00
Notice how they left out a computer and internet service? I rounded the figure to $20,000
While we raise this money don't think they're just sitting around. This is a serious grassroots organization:
I have started a website Okiciyap, where you can go to get more information.
Here are their goals:
To provide educational, recreational, cultural, health and lifelong learning opportunities for youth and adults.
To offer educational advancement opportunities for adults and seniors.
To ensure that no one in Isabel or in surrounding areas goes hungry
If you would prefer to send a check:
Georgia Little Chair, Board Chair
PO Box 172
225 W. Utah St
They're starting from scratch from the grassroots. Lets give them a hand.
No dough, but willingness to help? Write some diaries on this with us!