FIRST UP FOR 2016! The University of St. Thomas volunteers will arrive this weekend.

The Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity volunteer season will start this weekend with a group from the University of St. Thomas. The University of St. Thomas is a private, Catholic, liberal arts, and archdiocesan university located in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
They will be staying at the new Volunteer Center on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. The group will work be involved in home construction and in the local cultural activities.

This is the information summary provided to the students:

Dates: March 21st – 28th, 2016
Group Size: 2 student leaders, 8 participants
Cost: $500
Quick Facts:

Construction work on the Rez
Learn about the Dakota/Lakota culture and people
Experience life on the Crow Creek Reservation

Host Community:

Coming to Crow Creek will be a life-changing experience. Dacotah Tipis provides a service-learning experience that gives volunteers not only the chance to work across Crow Creek with our Dakota/Lakota friends, but also the chance to be immersed in Dakota/Lakota culture. Dacotah Tipis believes that forming relationships with the Dakota/Lakota people and studying their history, culture, and spirituality as we grow in our understanding about their lives and culture is as important as the work we do. They like to take some time during the week to let our Volunteer groups experience some cultural things, as well as local recreation.
Justice Issues:

Homelessness—Dacotah Tipis will continue, in 2016, the work we began in 1992 – addressing the housing crisis and rehabilitation and renovation needs on the Rez. With the help of volunteers we continue to see dreams of Homeownership come true for our Dakota people.

Poverty— Crow Creek is the poorest area of the United States, and living in desperate poverty creates its own culture. Acting and living according to Dakota/Lakota culture and living in a culture of poverty are often two different things, and at times are inconsistent with each other. As you travel around the Rez and interact with the residents here, be mindful of the fact that both cultures exist here and it is very difficult to distinguish between the two.
Cultural Opportunities:

Cultural Walks, which may include visiting a Sundance Grounds or CemeteriesCultural Talks/Roundtables with various Elders/Members of the Crow Creek Sioux TribeEvenings at the lake with Bonfires, food and/or smoresSweat Lodge Ceremony/Smoking of the Chanupa (Prayer Pipe)Searching for some of the Buffalo HerdExperiencing the Dakota/Lakota languagePowwow (Annually in August)Pristine Reservoir Swimming 9. Fishing a world class Walleye FisheryNature Walks:Gathering Herbs, Digging Turnips, Picking berries or plums (depending on season)Gathering Rocks (Grandfathers) and/or wood for campfires & Inipis (Sweat Lodge Ceremony)
Food, Lodging, and Travel:

The group will drive a 12-passenger van to South Dakota. You will be staying in the Dacotah Tipis Volunteer Center. It is a Volunteer Center built by volunteers for volunteers. The Volunteer Center has a beautiful fully functioning kitchen where the VISION group will spend community time preparing and eating meals together. The Volunteer Center also includes bunking areas for women and men.

The trip fee of $500 includes van rental, site transportation, lodging, work materials for the site, meals, and programmed group activities. Additional expenses not included in the program fee, include: spending money for souvenirs as determined by the group agreement and food en route to site (~$50).

For more information, visit:

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