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One Spirit
PO Box 3209
Rapid City SD 57709

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Working with the Lakota people to end hunger and prevent diet-related disease.

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The progress will soon continue on our ever so important project. We are now preparing to insulate and sheet rock the interior of the building. After that will be the commercial grade glass board, which is a requirement for commercial food-handling buildings. This project is very close to being operational at the current time.

Outside of the Meat House

As a matter of a fact we already tested out the facility on 2 buffalo and 4-5 deer. The results were amazing. The building is very convenient and sure does make the processing a lot easier than the way we were doing it before. The building, to make a long story short, is very nice as a meat processing facility. It is going to work and handle a good sized inventory. This facility, when complete and after it gets rolling, should definitely be a big plus to our food program and a big plus to area hunters, live stock operators, ranchers and the OST Parks Buffalo and Elk Division.

The things that we came across that we saw that needed to be improved were things that already will be, once we get the project completed. It was cold in there, and we do have a wood stove installed in the building. After it gets insulated and sheet rocked it’ll really be nice. It will hold the heat better.

Insulation material Working on the insulation
The interior started Insulation going up tonight and all day

Meat cutting is good when it’s done in cold but it was arctic cold. To warm up we’d gather around the wood stove. Sharp knives were another challenge. Our knives needed to be worked over a stone and steel prior to cutting up an animal. We need some sharp knives and a sharpening system to keep them sharp.

The knives I got are custom-made hunting knives and the steel is hardened which means it takes longer to sharpen them, but they’ll hold an edge longer once they get sharpened. The knives that butcher shops use are meat-cutting knives that are easier to sharpen and there are different knives for different types of cutting - such as skinning knives and boning knives and cutting knives.

Basically once we are properly equipped it’ll be nice. A sharpening system is also needed. They are like a sanding wheel type run by an electric motor and can sharpen a knife real fast.

The last buffalo we did was a huge trophy buffalo bull. We found out our door is kind of narrow. We had to maneuver around the buffalo to get him in. However that door came with the building kit. We do need a commercial door where the animal comes in. I think Dale MaGaa said he had one. Then the hoist we used was a manual hoist. We’re going to need an electric hoist as the one we are using is really slow and inconvenient. It would also be great to get in the plumbing and the hand washing sinks. We have water there and some temporary lights, but the main lights will be better. As Chili White Dress said, they’ll be much brighter.

Yesterday I finally got in contact with Lowel’s for the sheet rock and insulation. They have reinstated the quote they gave us in December and we are planning to go after the materials first part of this week to start the project up for the finishing of the interior of the building. After that we will be ready to install commercial water-proof fiber board over the interior dry wall. Then it’ll be finishing the electrical, plumbing and adding hand-washing sinks.

The final phase to the bare-bones project will be equipping the building with a meat grinder, meat saw, bone saw, freezers and walk-in cooler. At that point we’ll be ready to start out a “Custom Exempt” meat processing facility. It will start out a custom Exempt facility but is designed to develop into a “fully inspected” unit. More info on that later.   

All and all I really enjoy working in the meat house. It’s really nice and there is a bright future ahead for One Spirit in this venture. This is getting us really excited as we realize we are so close. Let’s get this great project going. Thank you, Sponsors.    

Report by Bamm Brewer

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