All voices needed for planned Indian hosted community center

Founding members of the He Sapa Otipi Community Center Board. From left to right:
Gene Tyon, Cante Heart, Sandra Woodard, Bev Warne and Kibbe Brown.

He Sapa Otipi – Community Center for the People of the Black Hills – is in the early stages of vision planning for an Indigenous hosted community center to be located in Mniluzahan Otunwahe (Rapid City, S.D.) He Sapa Otipi will serve as a hub for resources, education, family events, and cultural gatherings.

Our mission strives for a community center that “builds self-determination, hope and healing of the mind, body, and spirit by reclaiming Indigenous traditions and values.”

This initial phase of visioning and community outreach involves sharing our progress with the community, receiving their feedback, and learning what their needs and dreams are. Our goal is to reach as many of our Indigenous Relatives residing within Mniluzahan Otunwahe as we can, as well as our Relatives residing within Tribal homelands and other places who visit the city often and/or share a connection to the city and He Sapa (our sacred Black Hills).

This first phase of our community outreach includes: (1) a 15-minute survey questionnaire available in both digital and paper formats; (2) a variety of youth engagement activities ranging from art projects to film competitions; and (3) a Drive-Thru Outreach Event & Wopila Lunch for community members to complete the survey or youth activities followed with pre-packed lunch(es) to go.

The Drive-Thru Outreach Event & Wopila Lunch will occur on April 23rd – 24th from 12 – 2 p.m. at the Rushmore Mall parking lot. A Wambli Ska Okolakiciya youth drum and dance group will be in attendance.

At the end of the survey, participants are invited to enter into a drawing for gift cards (there are 8 $25 visa gift cards), Lakota artworks and beadworks and many other gifts.

The survey questionnaire is available online at www.hesapaotipi.org/survey or by scanning the QR code below:

Through community outreach, we look to further refine our He Sapa Otipi vision to include the voices, dreams and knowledge of our Indigenous community as we continue onward with this journey to build a much needed community center in Rapid City.

If you have any questions or concerns about this project or your participation in this survey, you can email us at info@hesapaotipi.org. For more information, visit our website at www.hesapaotipi.org.

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