Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

A Community Self-Empowerment Model for Indian Country: Thunder Valley CDC, PART I


“Our vision has to be as big as the challenges we are faced with.” –Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota- Executive Director, Thunder Valley CDC

Thunder Valley CDC, a non-profit organization on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota, has become a major source of hope and inspiration for Indian country, and most directly, the Oglala Lakota people of Pine Ridge. Thunder Valley CDC is bravely taking on the challenges of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and their comprehensive vision is unlike anything yet realized in Indian country.

Today, indigenous people throughout America suffer from challenges vastly disproportionate to the rest of society, and they often seem insurmountable. Poverty, unemployment, addictions, youth suicide, and low-life expectancy, among many other issues, plague tribal communities today as direct products of colonization and historical trauma. Addressing the tangled web of challenges within tribal communities becomes just as complex as the problems themselves, and nothing short of innovation and loving commitment can solve them.



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