SOURCE: One Spirit

One Spirit

September 03, 2015 12:33 ET

'Bring Back the Buffalo', One Spirit's New GoFundMe.Com Project -- a Big Step Toward Food Independence and a Return to Ethnic Food Culture

PINE RIDGE, SD--(Marketwired - September 03, 2015) - One Spirit, a Native American non-profit founded to assist and support American Indians announces a new Go Fund Me Project as part of its ongoing efforts to create food independence for the Lakota people of Pine Ridge.

Currently One Spirit has a monthly food donation program to provide food for starving children, elders and families.

  • An evaluation of the current food program completed in July of this year included 105 Lakota families who have received food for more than 6 months. The pool of participants included everyone on the food program who could be reached by telephone. All nine districts of the reservation were included. Of the families interviewed 86 families stated members of their family had health problems. 53 had diabetes, 32 had high blood pressure, 16 had heart disease and 19 had asthma. In the same evaluation, 64 families reported missing meals due to lack of food 2-5 times per week and 17 families stated they missed meals daily. 70 families said they run completely out of food before the reissuance of EBT (government subsidies on the 10th of each month.) Adults often missed meals to give children what food there was available. When food was available, meals were described as consisting of either cereal or potatoes during those critical two weeks.

One Spirit has a long term vision to transition from food donations to food independence with new programs including pantries, urban gardens, greenhouses and the Go Fund Me Project to Bring Back the Buffalo.

One Spirit's goal is to provide the Oglala Lakota people with the capability to increase their herds of buffalo and process buffalo and game to USDA standards on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. Having this facility will help combat hunger and at the same time provide a nutritious diet for the people of Pine Ridge. This will also help in the restoration of the people's culture, ceremonies, and their traditional relationship with the buffalo relatives. The facility will also provide true local food supply sovereignty independent of outside budgets, priorities or organizations.

Go Fund Me: http://www.gofundme.com/j72nzft8?pc=

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ5v0kj00EM

There are no local facilities to process the buffalo or game meat to the safe, accepted USDA standards or in a way that fully respects the Lakota traditions. The Tanka Bar Company of Kyle, South Dakota provides buffalo meats Nationwide, but does not have a facility or even plans on providing local meat processing to Pine Ridge.

For the Buffalo to be processed must be taken in vehicles to a facility about 45 minutes to an hour away, the closest facility, Clinton, Nebraska. This is a non-native facility. This facility charges anywhere from $600-$700 per buffalo and then tacks on an additional $100 if skinning is required.

One Spirit is hoping to complete the Lakota Meat Processing project by the end of 2015 and continue to supporting enlarging the herd to meet needs.

Doing this project for the people of Pine Ridge would result in a significant cost savings to the tribe and local people. The 30 to 40 thousand residents of Pine Ridge will benefit from the meat of the buffalo since it will be easier to obtain. As part of the culture of the Native Americans, the buffalo would be cared for and shown the respect at the end of its's life. The local ranchers and game hunters will also use the facility, resulting in about 100 animals being processed per year. The facility will also provide 2-5 jobs in a part-time capacity. Thus creating more economy on the reservation since job opportunities are hard to come by. This project would more than likely return the investment in 2-3 years.

PROJECT ITEMS REQUIRED

$10,000 Interior (washable plastic paneling and insulation)

$4,000 Septic system (tank, gravel and drainage)

$2,800 Cement flooring

$2,500 Electrical system and installation (lights, wire, labor)

$2,500 Labor (discounted)

$2,500 Supplies (perhaps two more freezers could be purchased, a vacuum packer, sausage machine and various packing supplies.

Free Water hook-up: in-kind

$24.3K *Minimum total budget amount needed to stand-up the Lakota Meat House

One Spirit is a Native American service organization founded to assist and support American Indians. We are proud to think of our organization, One Spirit, as a group of people who exchange friendship with American Indians. At present, our focus is the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota. We invite you to become part of One Spirit's network of sponsors, partners, friends and volunteers, to dream with the Lakota people a new dream -- and to help the dreams come alive! http://nativeprogress.org.

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