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Gardens of progress

One of the touchstones, or foundational principles, of One Spirit has been, from the beginning, to help the Oglala Lakota help themselves. Instead of merely handing out aid as such, we have always tried to find ways to enhance the ability of the oyate to become more self-sufficient. This applies not only to improved nutrition, which our food program works to address, but to help create the means for the Lakota to work on solving problems on the reservation that respects Lakota traditions and culture.

Charging Buffalo Facility

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At Year's End, A Great New Beginning

Entrace of Charging Buffalo FacilityThe Charging Buffalo Facility Exterior

One Spirit has always had as our core mission the providing of nutritional support to the people of the Oglala Lakota living on the poverty-swept Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
As we have grown and identified other ways to help these proud people out of the morass of poverty, disease, and desperation that years of neglect have caused, the Lakota have always responded by working harder and harder to achieve self-sufficiency. They have not settled for becoming charity cases, but have used the assistance we have tried to provide to find their own way to take care of the Oyate ("People").

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About the Okini Program

Okini is a Lakota word meaning "to share material things"

Many Ways to Share

Imagine not having coats or shoes for your growing children or blankets for them or elders to stay warm in the bitter South Dakota winter where the temperatures can reach below zero. The Okini program allows us to reach out and touch peoples lives, letting them know we care. This is a unique program that allows individuals, families and/or with friends to share with the Lakota in different ways.

One way is the Okini list which is a list of families and individuals who are in desperate need of clothing, shoes, blankets, pots & pans, etc. These families in need have been listed by our intake coordinator. The wonderful thing about this program is that you are able to look at the list of people and families to see what you can help with. By offering a helping hand, you can help change their lives for the better.

Direct Assistance

This list is updated frequently with new families and shows what existing families have already received. You can choose to help an individual, part of a family or a whole family. The great part is that when you notify the coordinator with what you have, they will give you the individuals full name and address and you will be able to mail it to them directly. Your gift to the family will then be posted next to the families name. Imagine the happiness they have when they receive a box from a unknown new friend and realize that someone cares about them. It does not matter how much or little you send, you are touching some one's life. The items you send can be new or gently used.

Some of the sad stories are of a mother who can not send her children to school because they have no clothes or shoes that fit. A grandmother who has just received custody of her four grandchildren and they have no clothes other than what they are wearing. A family who has lost their belongings from a fire and have little clothes, blankets or heaters.

A Great Way To Get Involved

The Okini program is a wonderful way to become involved with the One Spirit family. As you can see, there are many ways to help and we are always looking for creative new ideas to expand our program. Please visit often as our list of needs is always changing.

Visiting the Okini list will not only be benefiting the Lakota Sioux families, it will be a life changing experience for you.

“If each of us looks deep inside ourselves we will find that which makes a difference.”

-Horse Woman Spirit Runs Free