Archive for December, 2012

Sister Charles Nominated for Outstanding Local Hero

The National Resource Center on Native American Aging is again seeking nominations for individuals in your community who you feel have impacted the lives of your elders. “Sister Charles Palm” has been nominated. She has served the elders of the Crow Creek Tribe for nearly 25 years with tireless commitment against an immense work load of feeding our needy elders.

She has founded the Golden Age elderly nutrition program, Crow Creek Food Bank, and the Dacotah Tipis-Habitat for Humanity affiliate at Fort Thompson, and serves as the treasurer for all to ensure adequate funding and proper use of those funds.

Currently she also serves as the Pastoral Minister for St. Joseph’s Parish here in Fort Thompson, SD. which puts the workload of running two Catholic parishes here on the reservation on her shoulders, including St. Catherine’s parish in Big Bend, SD.

She is the hardest working individual on this reservation, and has been for a long, long time.

More about Sister Charles:

Sister Charles was born and raised on a farm in Richardton, North Dakota. In 1952 during her high school years, Sister Charles was “called” by the Lord to enter the Convent at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota to become a Roman Catholic Nun. While serving her vocational calling, she quickly fulfilled the requirements of Mount Marty High School in Yankton, receiving her diploma in 1953.
In 1955 Sister Charles began teaching in both North Dakota and South Dakota, serving diligently where needed. During her teaching career she pursued her higher education with Mount Marty College in Yankton, SD. There she majored in education and minored in music, earning her B.A. in Education in 1967. Sister Charles continued her teaching ministry until 1974, at which time she began her vocational career in Pastoral Ministry. She served as Pastoral Minister for Saint Catherine Parish in Sisseton, South Dakota improving the lives of the members of the Sisseton/Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, while continuing her graduate studies of ministry with Mount Marty College. Sister Charles received her Masters of the Arts in Ministry in 2001. In 1991, Sister Charles and a handful of other Christian community members engaged each other in an attempt to help alleviate the terrible housing crisis on Crow Creek by creating HFH Dacotah Tipis, a Habitat for Humanity affiliate that would serve within the boundaries of the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation. Their wondrous efforts resulted in the affiliate being founded in 1992. As a founding board member, and serving the affiliate in many ways, Sister Charles has been directly involved with the Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity program for 19 years. Sister Charles currently serves as Pastoral Minister at Saint Joseph Parish in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, and serves diligently as Board Treasurer for both Habitat for Humanity Dacotah Tipis, and the Golden Age Elderly Center which provides a sit-down and delivered healthy meals program for tribal elders of the Fort Thompson, Crow Creek, and West Bend communities.

Re-Member comes to Fort Thompson

Remember group
 Reverend Keith Titus, Founder and Ambassador at Large of brought a large volunteer group from his First Congregational United Church of Christ in Charlevoix, and Atlanta, Michigan to support the work Dacotah Tipis HFH does on the Crow Creek Reservation in October. His group was instrumental in moving the home towards completion for our holiday deadline. RE-MEMBER is a non-profit organization which works with the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Volunteers comprised of individuals and groups (adult and youth) from churches, high schools, colleges, and corporations join them at their facility on Pine Ridge for one week at a time. “Our volunteers participate in various work projects across the Reservation, helping to rebuild relationships, homes, and lives” says Keith. Seated front and center, Keith and his wife Reverend Virginia Titus pose for a group photo after one of Keith’s readings of “Words of Wisdom” his daily readings in which Keith shares from his collection of some of the most profound and inspiring words of Native American and international people.

Group picture above (from left to right) are: Hank Henderson (Dacotah Tipis board member and public relations committee chair), Brian Henderson (Dacotah Tipis public relations committee member and videographer), both of whom travelled to south Dakota from their homes in Massechusetts to document and help with the build; Tom Young, Pastor Neil Wilson, Chandler Sheperd, Patricia Miller, Keith Titus, Jim Huntley, Norma Johnson, Vance Wood, Virginia Titus, Sally Whitley, Cath Kelder, Chauncey Long Crow, Sandy Edel, and Rudi Edel.

A wholehearted effort from a fantastic leader, Keith Titus explains why he has brought his support to Crow Creek, going above and beyond his own mission in Pine Ridge.  Neil and Vance were humble here in their interviews, but they were absolutely go-getters when on the project. Their crew made the closet shelving and baseboard installations look easy. Sally assisted Jim with the door setting and adjustment tasks which requires doing a pretty accurate set job. By the time she was done with the doors, she was confident enough to do it by herself.
The women Habitat for Humanity Dacotah Tipis
A Few Good Women take a break from their spackling, caulking, and painting duties to have some fun harrassing the kitchen cabinet installation crew. Jim gives direction to the cabinet crew as they unpack and ready the beautifull cabinets that were donated by Starmark Cabinetry located in Sioux Falls, SD. Chandler and Tom found out that painting all of the interior doors for the home is no easy task, especially after we found the Wagner power painter to be not so user friendly.
Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity
Although the development site is far from complete, the house is very close to having a family call it home for the Holidays. Sally checks in on the door painting crew, and decides they need “a few good women” to help out. This type of teamwork keeps the work fun. The cabinet crew gets the uppers in place and make some door adjustments while waiting for the lowers to be unpacked and readied.
 Hank and Jim at the Habitat for Humanity site Brian at the Habitat for Humanity Site Habitat for Humanity
Hank and I outside our warehouse. He does so much work for me from afar, but it was really great to have him back on Crow Creek again! Hank’s son Brian takes a break from the video gear to get the laundry room cabinet ready to hang. Seems the construction work is contagious. Tom and Chandler take a breather after painting door after door. They worked long and hard, not quiting until they were all done.

I would like to thank Keith and Ginny for a fantastic week here on Crow Creek. Re-Member’s  group provided significant funding and over 400 hours of volunteer labor to the Dacotah Tipis project. I would also like to say thanks for the hours Ginny and her crew provided to the community while staying behind from the construction crew.
To bring your group to Crow Creek,  Contact:

James J. Huntley, Executive Director Habitat for Humanity Dacotah Tipis
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
605-245-2450 Office/Fax
605-680-0402 Cel

Learn about the Dacota 38

Click here for Full Dacota 38 movie

If you plan to volunteer, please become familiar with the best practices for safety and loss prevention.

Volunteer Safety Training

Christ Episcopal Church on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation
Faith Based Partnerships

Click the image below to see the Google Map. Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
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Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity

Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
To apply for Home Ownership...

Sister Charles at Box 487, Fort Thompson, SD 57339


Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity

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