From Bamm Brewer
A few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon I took a couple hours to relax and tune into a football game. As usual, my phone rang right at halftime.
The president of the parks and recreation department was calling. He had some buffalo hind quarters that needed to be processed. It was going to several families who needed the food really bad.
I met him at the garage and we had a great talk about the One Spirit Lakota Meat House and the huge need for one here on the reservation. We have accomplished a lot so far. Yet seeing the hungry people come in was a sad reminder that the we need the project to be completed today.
Our Progress So Far
We are so happy to tell you that we have now completed the outside building structure, plumbing, cement for the loading dock, sidewalk and indoor flooring. You could say that we are at halftime now and it will be downhill from here. As we get closer to finishing the project it gets even more exciting.
There have been 12 employees here to help us with the first phase. The project has provided jobs for tribal members and has helped them to support their families.
The building construction has been a great hands-on experience. We have done most of the work ourselves with the advice of our consultant, Dale McGaa. Dale checks on our work daily and lets us know the proper way to do something ahead of time. It makes me really proud to know we are building the meat house ourselves. None of our workers have homes of their own so this project is showing them they can build their own house. It’s a been a great learning experience.
This is a project that is different from any other that One Spirit has done. In a place where there are not many jobs, tribal members are now creating their own. A lot of the people doing the labor could also have the chance to work at the facility once it’s up and running.
Getting Ready for a Strong Finish
We’re heading for the final frontier with electrical wiring and interior lighting fixtures, wash room equipment, interior framing and walls and a steel beam rail system installed. Then we have the electrical hook up from power company and putting in the septic system. The last things to complete are the hot water heater, walk-in cooler, front entrance deck, over head porch and the gravel driveway.
When we’re finished, it will be a state of the art, USDA-certified facility.
We are almost there.
Thanks to our Amazing Sponsors
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project. Every bit of your donation goes towards its completion. We are very proud of the Bring Back the Buffalo Project and it would not be possible without your help.
Through the generosity of one donor, we have received $14,000. They have issued a challenge to the rest of the One Spirit family to raise the remaining $15,000 to complete the construction.
While supplies are available, donations of $50.00 or more will receive a commemorative Crazy Horse Ride T-shirt. Donations of $100.00 or more can receive a traditionally-crafted porcupine quill bracelet created by Lakota artists.
Standing with the Lakota
The Bring Back the Buffalo Project is not only about feeding the people. The buffalo have provided for the Lakota for hundreds of years. Their return symbolizes the independence and full sovereignty of the Oglala Lakota nation.
The buffalo will be a sustainable source of jobs and revenue. Returning the them to Pine Ridge is an investment in the future of the Lakota people.
If you want to go far, go together.
- African proverb