Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Community building at Pine Ridge: A 30-year project comes of age

by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

Involvement in community grassroots movements requires work with all kinds of families from which emerge leaders who will encourage and help guide the people toward common goals over the long term.

To build upon a community culture that can focus on behalf of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will inherit the Earth and the responsibilities of the nations: this is the task of community organizers of the highest order.

Such is the track record of the Pine Ridge Homesteads Initiative, long known as the ''Slim Buttes Agriculture and Development Project.'' This project involved a long-term commitment by a core group of families and working people based in the Slim Buttes community in western Pine Ridge Reservation, but with practical extension work with approximately 500 families across the reservation. The project assists in building grassroots facilities and living conditions for Oglala-Lakota families long destitute in remote lands and reservation districts.