Archive for May, 2014

Dacotah Tipis Intern Needed

Internship Position: Administrative Office Assistant

Internship Term: Summer/Fall 2014 (Maximum of 625 hours)

Internship Compensation: $8.00 per hour

Office Assistant Purpose: Maintain office operations daily; receive and distribute all communications; serve partner families, vendors and volunteers; maintain office supplies and equipment.

Office Assistant Duties:
• Forwards information by receiving and distributing communications; collecting, creating and mailing correspondence; creating, copying and filing information and documentation.
• Uses and maintains office equipment; keeps track of office supply inventories; monitors equipment operation; reports any needs, issues or failures to the Director.
• Maintains office schedule by keeping the Director’s calendar, the Board of Director’s calendar, and the Volunteer Center calendar.
• Serves partner families, vendors, and volunteers of the organization by answering questions, forwarding information and messages, scheduling and confirming appointments, scheduling and confirming volunteer reservations, and ensures completion and filing of all volunteer paperwork.
• Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities such as and training.
• Enhances organization strength and reputation by striving to excel at daily tasks, accepts ownership of job accomplishments and failures, and explores opportunities to add value and capacity to the mission of the organization.

Skills/Qualifications: Office Experience – General, Scheduling, Telephone Skills, Typing, Documentation Skills, Meeting Planning, Verbal Communication, Written Communication, Dependability, Attention to Detail, Administrative Writing Skills, Internet and Face Book literacy.

Client Contact

Greet walk-in customers and clients and introduce first-time visitors to the organization by providing information about the firm and its services. Offer company brochures or literature, website address, and Face Book friendships. Answer telephone calls, using proper telephone etiquette and professional speaking tone. Direct calls to the appropriate staff members and take accurate messages when staffers are unavailable. Keep a record of all inquiries made by potential volunteers and donors.


Review all mail including e-mail; correspond within your authority and direct remaining correspondence to appropriate addressees. Pull and attach necessary file information to correspondence, or prepare for handling by other staffers. Prepare outgoing mail and packages, using correct postage and packaging units, such as letters, large envelopes and boxes.


Transcribe dictation or compose correspondence as directed. Proofread documents before preparing a final draft or provide drafts to supervisor for review and approval before putting it in final form. Distribute correspondence to proper addressees. Attach proper documentation and information to support the correspondence as needed, such as board minutes that may need to be attached to a cover letter.

Board Meetings

Assist the Director as needed to prepare for monthly board meetings. Receive board minutes from the board secretary; produce final copies of board meeting minutes for the following month’s board meeting, and file hard and electronic copies after approval by a quorum of the board.

Database Management

Manage company information in electronic databases and update accordingly. Ensure back up of computer files at scheduled intervals. Coordinate database management projects with the Director.


Become familiar with the office and equipment. Take measures necessary to learn the operation and basic maintenance of the equipment. Monitor computer and office equipment to maximize productivity and reduce down time.

Administrative Specialties

The Habitat for Humanity organization and the construction field provide their own special demands. You will assist local residents with housing inquiries providing information on the Habitat program, helping them explore our home ownership opportunity, and assist selected families in their journey of building and owning a home. You may also at times refer clients to other local agencies that have common goals to further assist them. Also unique to Habitat and other NGOs, is the service of volunteers (both individuals and groups) who travel here from all over the nation and Europe. As a host agency for HFHI’s Global Village Program, Dacotah Tipis strives to provide all guests with a full and rewarding experience during their stay. You will assist the Director and Volunteer Liaison as needed to ensure our guests have a fantastic stay.


Strong verbal and written communication skills are key, with the ability to adapt communication style to audience, from partner families, volunteers and staffers to executive leadership. Presentation skills and public speaking skills are desirable due to working with groups and visitors from around the world.

The ability to work with limited supervision is also a key personal attribute. Be able to consistently exercise sound judgment and discretion. Pay attention to confidentiality of business data and personal information of clients, employees, volunteers and Board executives, and abide by all tribal, state and federal laws. You should have proficiency with MS Windows operating systems, including software such as MS Word, MS Outlook and MS Publisher. Will be familiar with Facebook or will be willing to become familiar with daily Facebook networking.
Your minimum education should be a high school diploma or equivalent. Pursuit of an associate degree in business or a bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred. Exposure to business concepts, practices and principles is highly desirable.

Read about the Crow Creek Reservation and the Dacotah Tipis Organization

For consideration of placement contact:
Bob Werner @ 605-245-2450 office, 605-680-0402 mobile.

Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 487 Fort Thompson, SD 57339 USA
Phone: (605) 245-2450 Fax: (605) 245-2450
Email: Website:

Overview of the Crow Creek Reservation and the Dacotah Tipis Organization

Location: Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation, Buffalo County South Dakota, Home of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, descendants of the Dakota/Lakota Oyata displaced to the Fort Thompson prison and reservation encampment after the Dakota War of 1862.

Demographics: Located on the beautifully scenic Missouri River in central South Dakota, the Dacotah Tipis HFH affiliate office is within walking distance to the Big Bend Dam at Fort Thompson, giving our volunteers extremely convenient access to swimming beaches, picnic areas, primitive and full amenities camping, fishing and exploring.

Well know in walleye fishing circles across the nation, Lake Francis Case (below) and Lake Sharpe (above) provide some of the best fishing in the mid-west and upper plains for walleye, small-mouth bass, northern pike, catfish, paddle-fish and white bass. Our volunteers and visitors fall in love with the Missouri River at first sight, and many seek its cool refreshing comfort after a long day working on the Habitat partner family’s home.



Its remarkably clean water comes to us from the Montana Rocky Mountains snow melt, yet warms nicely into the summer hosting frolicking swimmers well into the evenings. Always a wonderful opportunity to join the local kids at the swimming hole.




After supper and reflection, our North Shore use area immediately upstream from the dam is perfect for outdoor mass celebrations, reflection, daily roundtables and large bonfires with barbeques and S’mores.



Population: Although the Crow Creek Reservation encompasses 125,591 acres, the tribe only consists of approximately 1,230 enrolled members living on reservation, again consisting primarily of exiled descendants of the Minnesota Bands- Mdewakanton (People of Spirit Lake), and Ihanktonwan (People of the End).

During the mass relocation of many Dakota after 1862, over one third of the people died from disease and starvation leaving a decimated population to begin building a new community at Fort Thompson. Many, many never completed the journey.


Pictured here, the Medicine Crow family cut a caution-tape “Ribbon of Hope” for the future of their children as they break ground on their new home in the Habitat development. County wide for Buffalo County – South Dakota, the population was 1,912 as of the 2010 census, with the majority of non-Native residents being white farmers and ranchers.



Basic economy: Typical to the Great Plains, the largest industry here is agriculture. We are in the heart of America’s breadbasket, and corn, wheat, milo, sorghum and soy beans cover any tillable landscape here.
Dacotah Tipis has even turned a shovel to 5 acres of cornfield to create our latest housing development containing six, three-quarter acre lots. Being very rural and remote, most local employment opportunities consist of tribal administration, tribal utilities, tribal schools hotel and casino operations, and Bureau of Indian Affairs admin, realty and road departments. The average median income of resident households in Buffalo County, South Dakota was $12,692, and the median income for a family was $14,167 as of the 2010 census. That’s annual income!

Cultural/ethnic background: Volunteering on Crow Creek is an immersion into the lives of the present and past Great Sioux Nation. It is a privilege to visit and serve here; a community of old ways and new tribulations, and a community with new ways and old tribulations. Immerse yourself into a conversation of raw local history with one of our tribal elders, or challenge your wits and stamina by engaging in the high-energy environment of the Boys and Girls Club of Three Districts during non-construction diversified volunteering efforts.

“Waste Mani” (washte’-mo’ny) means “To walk in a good way”.
Daily, volunteers diversify their efforts of serving our community in many good ways. We don’t just build homes here, we build bridges of hope & reconciliation working with children at the Boys and Girls Club, Elders at the Golden Age Center, and with other local programs and agencies here on the Rez.


Affiliate history: Dacotah Tipis was founded in 1992 by an ecumenical group of ministry from three local churches in Fort Thompson in an effort to help alleviate the critical housing shortage and conditions on the reservation. When the organization received affiliation status with HFHI, Dacotah Tipis became the very first Native American Habitat! It has always been a struggle for the very impoverished and ultra-rural affiliate, but to this day has survived to be the only active and building Native American Habitat affiliate.

Proud to be a supporter of our state SSO and mission, Dacotah Tipis strives to continually participate in statewide training events, networking opportunities, and fundraising galas.
Pictured is a Dacotah Tipis raffle basket of our local Native art and craft on display at HFH SD’s annual event. The collection was put together by our donors, volunteers and board members.
Community housing need: “Situation Critical” Locally on the reservation there is a critical housing shortage forcing multi-generational families to live unbearably cramped living situations. Much of the housing stock that exists is older and in poor condition.

Due to ancient ways of taking care of the village, cases of families housing immediate and extended family members to the tune of 12 persons in 2 bedroom homes are pretty common, with children lacking not only bedrooms, but also the beds to sleep upon. The housing stock on the reservation is mostly government rental housing with some old self-help program homes mixed in on family parcels. The rest consists of trailers and very old homes that lack weatherization and maintenance to withstand the brutal -30 degree F winter temperatures and winds here.

Meeting the need: Oh, there is hope! In 2009 Dacotah Tipis found a new Director to invigorate the program with some badly needed funding sources and a greater and more consistent volunteer base. The creation of our new public relations and marketing campaigns has significantly boosted donations and support, as well as providing a steady stream of fantastic volunteers from all over the nation and Europe. Leveraging these donations and volunteer man hours with local fundraising and volunteer efforts, Dacotah Tipis has been able to close on and dedicate 2 homes to families just in the last few years. This home pictured above is owned by the Medicine Crow family, our 2013 closing and dedication.

Building Globally: As we build locally, Dacotah Tipis Tithes to build globally. A short year after it’s founding in 1992, Dacotah Tips began its support of Habitat Guatemala thru a global tithe initiative program. As the old saying goes; “Wish for others, that, you wish to receive” Since 1993, our commitment to Habitat Guatemala has resulted in 8 families served, with new houses to call home and raise their children in. Our goal remains: 1 home here and 1 home there, per year.

Newsletter The Homeland Childrens Foundation…

Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked how you can become more personally involved with our projects on the Sioux Reservation in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. As you may know, our activities are primarily done in cooperation with Dacotah Tipis, the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. has been working feverishly to complete a new volunteer center in Fort Thomson to house those who with to participate in projects on the reservation.

A week has been set aside, beginning August 15th, 2014, for those families who wish to visit and participate in helping out on the reservation. This is a particularly exciting time in Fort Thompson, because the annual Native American Pow Wow will be held right there from August 16-18th! Families will have the unique opportunity to witness real native American culture, dance, arts,crafts, and native life.

This would be a wonderful way for your children to learn something about the history of the area, which spans the banks of the Missouri River, part of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Dacotah Tipis could host you at the center, or at the local Catholic church. The accommodations are simple, bunk beds and shared bathroom facilities. Habitat asks for a donation of $200 per person per week to cover the cost of each person’s simple accommodations, building supplies, and running the center, but no one who wants to volunteer is turned away if they cannot pay. Parents must provide direct supervision for young children. Older children can participate in the builds, but need to be 18 or older to use power tools.

After the Pow Wow, participants would be expected to volunteer on a build for several days. Tasks might include hammering beds together, doing simple electrical work, framing a house, pouring cement, painting, gardening, cooking, or working with the local youth groups. Habitat will require that you sign a basic waiver. During downtime, there is fishing for walleye, swimming in the Missouri River, and sometimes, horseback riding. Life on the reservation will allow you to view firsthand the challenges faced by the people who live there, and you will be able to make a difference by volunteering some of your time, skills, and caring.

If you are thinking about joining us, you might like to know that there are quite wonderful attractions for your family to enjoy in South Dakota, despite how remote the reservation is. Little House on the Prairie fans can visit the Laura Ingalls Homestead, which features covered wagon rides and great information about prairie life. Mount Rushmore is to the west of the reservation, in the heart of the black Hills/Badlands area. Badlands National Park is like no other you have seen! The Corn Place in Mitchell is a classic stop along Highway 90, featuring huge mosaics made out of…corn! You might think of adding some days at the beginning or end of your stay on the reservation to take in some of the sights. South Dakota is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S., big blue skies, endless prairies (where the bison still roam) and the Missouri River.

You would need to arrive in Fort Thompson on August 15th to begin. You need to be responsible for your own transportation. If you fly in to Sioux Falls, you will need to rent a car at the airport to drive the approximately 125 miles to Fort Thompson.

You can buy simple groceries at the convenience store in Fort Thompson, and fix meals in the volunteer center. There is a new green market that operates at least one day a week in the summer. There is a small cafe, a small casino which serves meals, and a very simple, clean motel, if you prefer not to stay in the volunteer center. Be aware that Buffalo County is the poorest county in the U.S., and it is remote. Supplies are limited.

To help get ready for volunteers, Homeland has set up a registry at so families can provide some of the items that will be needed at the center. Here is the link:

I already purchased one of the coffee makers, but if you are planning to be there, I strongly suggest looking into the shower curtains!

I hope a number of you can join in. It may be a life changing experience for you and your family. If you can’t come to South Dakota, please consider donating through the Target registry, sending a check, or gathering children’s books for grades 1-12. Books do not need to be new. You can also provide a $200 sponsorship for someone to participate in the build.

You can send tax deductible donations to:
Homeland Children’s Foundation
121 New York Avenue
Congers, NY 10920

If you are interested in participating in the Habitat build and would like more information, send an email to: Pam

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
See us on:
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

Listing all pages