are opening their hearts to the young dreamers of the Pine Ridge
Reservation after watching their stories on "A Hidden America:
Children of the Plains," Friday's "20/20" special
with Diane Sawyer.
schools, organization and entrepreneurs featured in the special
and online have been overwhelmed with e-mails from architects and
community planners with ideas for mobile health clinics, new retailers
interested in investing and selling Native American products and
children and teens profiled on the show, meanwhile, have been flooded
with messages of support since the special aired. Alaina Clifford,
19, the teen mom with dreams of becoming a music star, said she's
heard from many other teen moms who have urged her not to give up
on her goals and praising her beautiful voice. Viewers have also
called the school of 6-year-old, Tashina Iron Horse, the exuberant
pow wow dancer who kept her spirit in the face of tragedy, to ask
what they can do to keep the young girl smiling.
Clifford, the teen with a tough home life who savored riding her
horse around the land she loved, will celebrate her 14th birthday
this week with an unexpected bounty of birthday gifts, from school
books to offers of tuition aid. Robert Looks Twice, 13, the star
student with hopes of becoming the nation's first Native American
president, has already amassed more than 1,000 potential voters
thanks to a Facebook fan page that someone established for him over
Robert's most treasured feedback, he told ABC News, is from someone
else: the father Robert had never met contacted him after watching
him Friday night.
Friday's full episode, "A Hidden America: Children of the Plains,"
best way to reach the children is through the mail addresses below:
c/o: Robert Looks Twice
HCR 49 Box 175
BIA 2 and BIA 33
Porcupine, SD 57772
c/o: Alaina Clifford
100 School Drive
PO Box 180
Porcupine, SD 57772
P.O. Box 124
Knee District School
c/o: Louise Clifford
100 Main Street
PO Box 350
Manderson, SD 57756
you would like to help the Wounded
Knee School District, the school profiled in the Diane Sawyer
special click here to visit the school's web site (http://woundedkneeschool.org/).
are also several organizations dedicated to improving life on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Learn how you can help these organizations
Lakota Funds is a community development financial institution (CDFI)
leading an economic resurgence of the Oglala Lakota Oyate on the
Pine Ridge Reservation through culturally appropriate strategies
reigniting the traditional Lakota spirit of productivity, commerce,
and trade. Since its inception in the 1980s, Lakota Funds has loaned
over $5.5 million, resulting in the creation of over 1,100 jobs
and over 660 businesses on or near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The Pine Ridge Reservation now has more local goods and services
available for community residents than ever before.
DONATIONS: To donate, visit http://www.lakotafunds.org.
CLOUD INDIAN SCHOOL
in 1888 by the Jesuits at the request of the revered Chief Red Cloud,
at Red Cloud Indian School, 600 Lakota students in grades K-12 receive
access to opportunities and resources that not only celebrate the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, but also give them the ability to
improve their lives and become agents of social change on a reservation
faced with extreme challenges. Red Cloud goes above and beyond a
basic curriculum to meet the complex needs of the students. The
ultimate goal is to help the students develop into Lakota leaders
of tomorrow men and women of conscience, confidence, competence,
all the foundation dollars infused every year to worthy causes,
less than 1 percent of all philanthropic money goes to Native American
causes, concerns and/or organizations. Red Cloud Indian School depends
on private donations for more than 95 percent of its operating budget.
This reality results from operating in an area with few local financial
resourcesthere are simply no local sources of substantial
financial support and Red Cloud does not charge its student tuition
The Red Cloud Indian School gets the overwhelming majority of their
funding through private donations and they receive no government
here to donate and for more information on the school.
LAKOTA COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE (CASA) PROGRAM
1990, Congress passed the Victims of Child Abuse Act and encouraged
the expansion of CASA (court appointed special advocates) programs
throughout the nation. Founded in 1997, Oglala Lakota Court Appointed
Special Advocate Program (OLCASA) is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization supporting and promoting tribal court-appointed volunteer
advocacy for abused and neglected children. OLCASA supports hundreds
of children in crisis each year by recruiting and training volunteers
to serve as CASA advocates. The advocates visit the children in
foster homes and residential facilities, interview parents, caseworkers
and medical professionals, and make recommendations to the court
regarding the welfare of the children.
Local volunteers must not only donate their time but also cover
all of their expenses out-of-pocket, including gasoline, to drive
to and from the courts and other far-flung locations on behalf of
the children, often a 200 mile round trip. The budget cuts and increased
expenses are having a devastating effect on both the children they
serve and OL CASA's ability to recruit volunteers. OL CASA advocates
for the children and you can advocate for OL CASA by becoming a
long distance supporter. Send a tax-deductible check or money order
and in-kind donations to Oglala Lakota CASA P. O. Box 5014 Pine
Ridge, SD 57770 Click
here to visit their website.
CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS (NCAI)
1944, the National Congress of American Indians has been working
to inform the public and Congress on the governmental rights of
American Indians and Alaska Natives. NCAI has grown over the years
from its modest beginnings of 100 people to include member tribes
from throughout the United States. Now as in the past, NCAI serves
to secure the rights and benefits to which NCAI believes they are
entitled; to enlighten the public toward the better understanding
of the Indian people; to preserve rights under Indian treaties or
agreements with the United States; and to promote the common welfare
of the American Indians and Alaska Natives.
In addition to supporting the general work of NCAI, you also have
the ability to direct your funds and support specific programs and
initiatives; Native Vote, NCAI's Capital Campaign, and the Youth
Fund. When making a donation, consider making a direct contribution
to these efforts. To donate, visit
this site. Learn more about NCAI at the NCAI
Luta Otipi is an Oglala Sioux Tribe alcohol and drug treatment center
that provides both inpatient and outpatient services for adults
as well adolescents ages 12 to 17. There are 15 counselors on staff,
who provide treatment assessments, treatment planning, individual
counseling, group counseling, family services and client education.
The program has locations in Pine Ridge, Wanblee, Martin and Kyle,
The program is under the oversight of the OST Health & Human
Services Committee. Anpetu Luta Otipi is run by the Oglala Sioux
Tribe and federally funded, however their funding does not cover
all their expenses. To donate, visit http://www.anpetulutaotipi.com.
VALLEY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
in 2006, the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is
an organization dedicated to empowering Lakota youth & families
through cultural and spiritual awareness. Thunder Valley built on
a foundation of spirituality now is engaging sustainable community
Thunder Valley is planning to build a green sustainable community
on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation which has sites for homes,
a place to incubate businesses, youth shelter, community fitness
center, community training facility and other facilities needed
to create opportunity for the Oglala Lakota Nation. To donate, visit
RIDGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Chamber is an association of business people-working together
to make Pine Ridge Area a better place in which to live, work, and
raise a family. A voluntary non-profit corporation whose purpose
is to create, sustain and enhance Indian owned businesses, therefore
improving the quality of life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Applying the Lakota values of Honesty, Wisdom, Respect, Courage,
Fortitude, Responsibility, and Generosity to the economic setting.
DONATIONS: To donate, visit http://www.pineridgechamber.com/
News does not endorse these organizations and be advised that not
all groups provide tax deductibility.