Ecosystem of Opportunity

Native Americans face some of the highest poverty rates in the country. In his remarks at the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference, President Obama called the situation “a moral call to action.” But activists working to improve the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota aren’t waiting for the White House. This twelve-minute video shows how the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation is harnessing the power of cultural identity to mobilize a movement for change—starting with a thirty-four-acre community development that Nick Tilsen, executive director of Thunder Valley CDC, says will establish a national model for just, sustainable, community-led development. The plan includes training for reservation residents to gain green building skills and guide the construction of their own homes. “It’s not just about buildings,” Tilsen says. “It’s about building up the people.”

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Organizations Referenced:

Native American Sustainable Housing Initiative, Stronghold Society