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Wacantognaka: Take Two

The Youth of Allen Give Back


Working on the playground

We have previously shared the moving story of Allen's beginning high school students and their demonstration of wacantognaka (generosity) as they pitched in to clean and refurbish the town playground for those younger than them. Among the Oglala Lakota, wacantognaka is one of the four core values of their traditional culture. And it seems to be contagious.


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Wacantognaka Beautifully Expressed in Allen

One of the greatest values to the Oglala Lakota is wacantognaka (generosity).

The concept includes more than simply sharing with others. It includes as well showing kindness, compassion and sympathy towards other people and towards all of nature without a price tag, i.e. without the expectation of reward. The simple act of providing wacantognaka is its own reward, making the individual better and happier in life.


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Honoring John DuBray

On Friday July 13, at the Allen Youth Center, a structure he caused to be built, John DuBray was honored by his community for daring to dream of a place for the youth of Allen and then making that dream come true.

John DeBray
Honoring John DuBray Quilt for John Dubray

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The Allen Youth Center Art Program Springs Forward

Thanks to a grant from the South Dakota Arts Council, which covers half of the artist-in-residence's fee, and in particular thanks to the outpouring of generosity from our loyal One Spirit family, the previously announced four-week Art Camp is now in full swing at the Allen Youth Center.

Randy Blaze At the workshop

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Building Community where Conditions are dire

Everyone except the most die-hard introvert or hermit among us feels a desire for some sort of community.

Among the Oglala Lakota, traditional culture has always placed paramount value on wacantognaka (generosity), which means sharing and giving freely among one's people (oyate). In other words, building community by caring for one another is an important value for the Lakota.

2 Visitors at AYC

Helping the Oglala Lakota achieve better lives, whether through our food programs, athletic programs, and cultural development that respects and build pride among the people: all of these have been guideposts for how One Spirit tries to help the oyate help themselves. When we first realized that community facilities providing a place to foster good health, education, activities, and cultural involvement were needed---especially for the youth---we decided to begin our efforts to meet this need in the town of Allen, with the One Spirit Allen Youth Center.

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Art Camp at AYC

Artist in Schools and Communities Residency Grant
Approved by South Dakota Arts Council


We are excited to announce that the our request for an Artist in Residency grant has been approved by the South Dakota Arts Council! This means that now we will only have to pay half of the artist's fee and the rest will be paid by the Art's Council.

South Dakota's Art Council


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