On June 22, 2015 Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (Thunder Valley CDC) broke ground on a regenerative community housing development for the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
This was done with the support of local, regional and national partners including the Sustainable Home Ownership Project, USDA Rural Development, Enterprise Community Partners, the Northwest Area Foundation, and the Bush Foundation among others.
The project will create 32 single family homes, apartments, a small farm and aquaponics greenhouse,, a grocery store, powwow grounds, a youth shelter, artist studios and more.
Beginning in 2010, Thunder Valley CDC coordinated a regional planning process for the Oglala Lakota Nation through the inaugural grant of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program.
The goal of this initiative is to create sustainable and interconnected communities that provide better housing, places for business to thrive and a healthy supportive environment for youth, elderly and families.
Six of the eleven poorest counties in all of America are in South Dakota and they are all on Indian Reservations. The poverty in these communities is historic, generational poverty, that is largely kept out of sight and out of mind of national audiences. On Pine Ridge, the Oglala Lakota community is coming together to take hold of their future.
The project, when completed, will serve as a model for Native and rural communities on Pine Ridge and across the country, designed to be resilient to environmental and economic changes, while focusing on the triple bottom line: people, prosperity and the planet.
It is essential that Native youth are leading the efforts to regenerate the health and economy of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.