Pine Ridge Partnership
LocationPine Ridge, SD
ClientOglala Lakota Sioux
DeveloperCenter for Disaster Philanthropy / American Red Cross

The SNCC team presented processes, projects, and potential approaches for culturally responsive green development at a series of Pine Ridge Partnership Summit meetings convened by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and supported by the American Red Cross. The Summits brought together representatives from over 30 organizations – including local and tribal groups, The White House, FEMA, HUD, and the USDA – to discuss how to work together to bring hope and healing to those impacted by the recent disasters and how to prepare for future challenges.

The Summit was a concerted response to the severe storms and flooding that racked the Pine Ridge Reservation last year. An already chronic housing shortfall in one of the poorest US counties was instantly compounded as wind and water damaged homes across the reservation. In 2015 The White House named Pine Ridge a ‘Promise Zone,’ to ‘create opportunity, engage stakeholders on issues and solutions, and promote and coordinate private sector partnerships.’ As a Promise Zone, the Oglala Sioux Tribe will receive preference for certain competitive Federal programs in addition to technical assistance, and help navigating related Federal programs. In August of 2015, FEMA issued a landmark Major Disaster Declaration for affected members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe: the first case of direct tribal assistance following a recent Federal legal shift. The need now is for local groups and allied organizations to collaborate towards resilient development outcomes. SNCC looks forward to working within this task force to find solutions for the 1,900 households that are currently registered for disaster assistance. We anticipate continuing collaboration with representatives from the Oglala Sioux (Lakota) Housing Authority, the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, and the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. The SNCC looks forward to collaborating within this consortium to implement regenerative planning strategies and architecture in alignment with the cultural values of the Lakota people. There is much work to do!