LAKOTA TINY HOUSE NATION
"Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss." - Black Elk
This campaign began with the recent suicides of 5 young teens on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and 7 additional suicide attempts by other teens in the same community. Having developed deep and meaningful relationships with the Lakota Nation over the last 10 years, I was deeply saddened and then angry about this terrible, irrevocable loss of young lives, their promise and potential. Sending my sympathy is not enough. Being in ACTION about these deaths is what everyone connected to this project feels must happen.
In conversation with our LTHN project partners, what became most clear about the young people of Pine Ridge is their desire and willingness to be part of something meaningful and true to the culture. These children and teens have the heart, the intellect, and the desire to do good things, to realize all their potential as Lakota and as young adults. and to be able to navigate this very chaotic and confusing world. While most relatives and friends provide the spiritual and cultural resources needed to make their children's and grandchildren's lives happy and healthy, many of these same families don't always have the financial resources that are also necessary to support their health and wellbeing. Youth sometimes feel a hopelessness that becomes overwhelming.
For those of us who do have the financial resources, and, who can make a donation will help us to build not only Tiny Houses but will add pride, self-esteem and a measure of safety that comes from being part of something positive and worthwhile while not feeling isolated or alone.
Your donation combined with the sweat equity and building supplies that are waiting to be put to use at our staging area in Manderson, SD this summer (just a few miles from Wounded Knee), will help us launch this important project at a time when it will have the greatest impact for these children and families .
The Lakota Tiny House Nation team is asking you to support our LTHN fund to ensure that we have the financial resource in place so that our team can begin accepting applications and prepare to build our first six Tiny Houses in the summer of 2015.
These houses will be built by a dedicated group of mentor/carpenters, electricians and plumbers - from both on and off the Reservation, with a youth-driven team of builders. The youth will also make the decisions about who will receive the finished houses and how they will be used to better the lives of their friends, families and community. Being empowered to make decisions that impact their lives and communities in positive ways is what this is all about.
Your financial help will enable us to launch this project with the capital necessary to build the first six sound, liveable Tiny Homes that can serve as not only homes, but classrooms, food distribution centers, clinics, animal shelters, craft huts, retail stores, welcome centers, safe houses, and much more.
Youth empowered. Youth managed. Youth sustained.
This effort is designed to provide valuable training, job skills, living skills, community-building skills among peers, ownership and equity, and pride in a group of youth that are eager to begin the project. Our further goal is to create a sustainable business and grow it to meet other home and shelter needs while empowering a youth-driven business on the Reservation - a place where jobs are scarce.
Most importantly, this is a Lakota-driven initiative with the support of allies from around the country. It is not outsiders "fixing an Indian problem". It is a thoughtfully considered cooperative action designed to provide a positive solution to a devasting tragedy. We wish to build community and cultural understanding while protecting our most valuable resource...our children.
Any amount you can give will help us purchase materials for the build which will occur over a two week period in July. We anticipate the cost of each house to be between $6000 - $9,000, with some of the materials provided by the recipients themselves and some donated. We are accepting recyleable building materials as well.
Your kindness, generosity and sharing of this campaign is gratefully and deeply appreciated.
Many thanks and welcome to the LakotaTiny House Nation.
There have been times that we've been discouraged. Things have taken more time and money than we ever expected, but what' s always been true is this:
1. We're not quitters.
2. We believe in the project and its message.
3. YOU have always come through to help and make sure it gets done - some just once, three years ago when we started; some just in the past few weeks who just discovered us, and some all along the way. Big donations or small, all come from the heart and an understanding that each of us can and does make a difference when we see each other as kin.
Thank you! Byron assures us that we're close to finished...and if his cell phone didn't always get jammed with sawdust he'd send more pictures. We're on it!
P.S. Our next project is setting up a "Tool Warehouse" so that our build team will have what they need to work.
Thank you for making all of this happen!
With love and appreciation,
All of us at LTHN
We will post pictures of our open house and celebration to share with all of you who made this possible!
Our home in Manderson is almost finished and we have been able to support another grandmother get into a home in Kyle. We are also sending our build crew to a tiny house workshop summit next week with Henry Red Cloud, of Pine Ridge, to learn more about tiny house building from experts around the world. These are young men on our build team who want to do good things in their communities and we're SO happy we can include them in this workshop!
We all know how important this project is and your support of it is one of the reasons why we are able to continue. Thank you for your support and kindness.
Should you have a question, concern, recommendation or would like to help us fundraise, please contact our founder, Mary, at: mlcollinscom -at- gmail.com. She would be delighted to speak with you!
We are looking for:
1. Sponsoring donors (Groups that want to sponsor a home - 1 at a time - and make it your special project!)
2. In kind contributions (materials, labor, expertise)
3. Donations to fund our "LTHN Toolkit" (Building tools, a flatbed trailer, a good, workable work truck...)
4. Continued small donations (these have been sustaining us and we are deeply grateful to all of you!)
5. Opportunities to speak at events, tiny house forums, etc.
6. Got an idea? Share it with us!
Again, thank you. We are all one community!
From all of us at LTHN
Imagine you are caring for your three grandchildren, all under the age of four, and your home is a tent. Michelle Little is that grandmother. Here is a photo of her with her three grandchildren and the "home" that they currently share.
Lakota Tiny House Nation, in addition to now completing the work on our tiny home in Manderson, (updates to follow), has committed to working with Michelle to help her settle into a new home in Kyle. She saved enough money to buy a good, used trailer, and LTHN is helping her make it ready to live in. By her own efforts, she is living the principles of LTHN and her Lakota traditions.
Michelle moved back to the Reservation at the request of her mother who sadly passed away recently. She wanted Michelle to raise her grandchildren in their own homeland. Michelle honored her mother's wishes and returned home. She has worked hard to care for the children and to save enough money to buy the trailer. LTHN is helping with final expenses so that it can be made ready for her to move in.
While not a "tiny home"; the trailer fulfills our mission of providing safe, sustainable housing on Pine Ridge while working with families that want to "pay it forward" and help others. Michelle is that person. We are glad to help!
Our contractor Byron Desersa will inspect the trailer and LTHN has assisted in providing enough funds for lot rent deposit, electrical, propane and sewer hook-ups. It's a small amount of money and it will go a long way in providing this family a safe, sustainable home on the Reservation.
Thank you for all you do to help us. If you would like to contribute to LTHN, visit our GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/lakotatinyhousentn . 100% of your donation goes into the funding of tiny homes and the renovation and reclamation of existing homes on the Reservation.
If you would like to contribute specifically to Michelle Little's "Housewarming", please indicate that in the notes of your contribution. Thank you!
And DO share our story with friends and family. We are all one. You make this happen and we are deeply grateful to you for your generosity and belief in the power of compassion.
This would NOT have been possible without the help of the more than 260 donations that have been made through our GoFundMe campaign; nor the donations In-Kind from our builders, roofer, roofing company and others who have contributed to make this project possible.
Thank you for your generosity and belief in a world that is sustained by cooperation, compassion and kindness. We will continue to work to build more homes as funds allow. Your support (in whatever way you are able) is what makes the difference.
Please Donate. Share. Participate. Focus on the things that bring us together. Thank you!
Hello what you are doing is amazing helping the youth of your community. I am a Native to Kanata aka Canada....What i would love to see one day is our reservations go completly Traditional and live year round in teepees like our ancestors lived and eat only from the land! Many Natives live in the white man world so to speak they want the money, the vehicles an houses..I honestly believe if we went back to our Tradinaonal ways of life our ancestors and Creator would be honored n proud.. just imagine for a moment that it was your reservation that started to build all the teepees and make ur whole community Traditional that would make the history books for the western world..if only it was that easy
Wouldnt it be more sustainable if you used cob to build the houses so you wouldnt have to cut down what little forests we have left. I live in the only other Carolingian forest left besides whats left of the rain forest. A family decided to sell log homes and deforested a huge stretch of their land and I dont think thats right. Cob is natural and can be taken from the ground where you plan to make a walipini for food storage. Just cause its small doesnt mean its done sustainably. Cob
My husband I visited one of his best friends while in Culinary School. He lived right in the heart of the reservation. Not far from the Nebraska border, only a few miles. Partner leaving we felt it in us to help spread the word. We have a very small following in the U.P. We made this documentary to help show everyone what life is like in Pine Ridge. http://youtu.be/4wg1tdFiXho I pray the money is raised and the reservation can begin to rebuild.
Tess I would be more apt to listening to you but you say you live in the forest, which means you don't mind cutting trees for your home only don't want others to be there. . as for pine ridge I'm sure they would be appreciative for want ever material would be available. Come and try living their hard scable life.
Tess Butler, consider this project instead. It is more to your liking http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/lakotahome/
I would not donate to cutting down trees.
Le logement est un problème récurent sur la Réserve et il faut bien commencer par quelque chose ! Alors renseignez-vous auprès de Lakota Tiny House Nation... les petits projets débouchent souvent sur de grandes réalisations :-)