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Lakota Elders and Executive Director Nick Tilsen (pictured third from left) at the Regenerative Community Groundbreaking.In 1889, the United States government forced the Oglala Lakota Nation onto a military guarded patch of land established as the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Over 125 years later, the reservation is still home to the Oglala Lakota Nation, yet many areas still do not have necessary infrastructure. A critical lack of housing push economic activity off the reservation, creating long commutes that perpetuate cycles of poverty and burden families with immense transportation costs.
Infrastructure issues on the reservation have been exacerbated by a long history of failed state and federal policy, convoluted land rights issues, and a pervasive neglect and misunderstanding of the issues facing the Oglala Lakota people and Native communities across the United States.
“Our people deserve better than this,” says Nick Tilsen, Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC). “And, although we are up against some very real struggles, we are 100% committed to the work ahead.”
A pragmatic “roll up your sleeves” attitude combined with a deep commitment to community engagement is what guides the work of TVCDC. Since its founding in 2007, the organization has sparked a revolution within the Oglala Lakota Nation, building economic prosperity, and strengthening community vitality through a truly comprehensive, grassroots approach.
Click the buttons below to read more about TVCDC's development model and its mission in action.
Over the years, TVCDC has taken on a wide range of projects aimed at tackling the largest issues on the reservation...All this is accomplished through a systems-based development approach with a "triple bottom line": people, planet, and prosperity...[continue reading]
Historically, housing and other development initiatives on the reservation have been undertaken by outside agencies, with a lack of community investment, and funded with limited resources, which often make projects difficult to sustain. From the outset, TVCDC knew its work needed to be done differently...[continue reading]
Get connected with TVCDC via their website, newsletters, and social media accounts. Listen to audio selections from TVCDC's SoundCloud account and watch the organization's short documentary. [continue reading]