Percy White Plume and family will be the first of many to have a Lakota tiny home constructed for them. Photo from Facebook
First Lakota Tiny Home recipient chosen
By Brandon Ecoffey
LCT Editor MANDERSON— A campaign that began as a response to a rash of suicides on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is ready to see its efforts pay off with the selection of the very first recipient of a Lakota Tiny Home. In an email from Mary Collins, creator of the Lakota Tiny House Nation campaign, confirmed that their group had met and selected the first recipient of a Lakota Tiny Home. “The group met and determined that Percy and Angie White Plume were this year's recipients. We had many requests and many applicants and chose Percy and Angie for their work and generosity, for their need for a home that can also support their business, Horse Spirit Society, (Sung Nagi Okolakiciye) and for the supportive team of workers who are involved with the build,” said Collins. The group selecting those who will receive the tiny homes was specially selected by organizers in an effort to get the youth involved. “It will be the youth who will make the decisions as to who will be receiving the completed houses and how they will be used. All houses constructed will be livable but can be used for several other purposes such as classrooms, clinics, animal shelters, retail stores or safe houses,” wrote Collins in the blog on the gofundme.com page. The homes that are being constructed by a team made up of local and foreign carpenters the group hopes to begin constructing these homes that will cost somewhere in the range of $9,000-$12,000.
The home takes shape. Photo from Facebook
On the group’s gofundme.com page, Collins, who lives in Vermont, says that the project is the result of her personal feelings about the suicides on the reservation. “Having developed deep and meaningful relationships with the Lakota Nation over the last 10 years, I was deeply saddened and then angry about this terrible, irrevocable loss of young lives, their promise and potential. Sending my sympathy is not enough. Being in actions about these deaths is what everyone connected to this project feels must happen,” said Collins. As part of the effort the project is designed to not only provide much needed homes to the reservation but also to create something that is lasting. “This effort is designed to provide valuable training, job skills, living skills, community-building skills among peers, ownership and equity, and pride in a group of youth that are eager to begin the project. Our further goal is to create a sustainable business and grow it to meet other home and shelter needs while empowering a youth-driven business on the Reservation - a place where jobs are scarce,” said Collins. "Most importantly, this is a Lakota-driven initiative with the support of allies from around the country. It is not outsiders ‘fixing an Indian problem,'" Collins said. "It is a thoughtfully considered cooperative action designed to provide a positive solution to a devastating tragedy.” (Contact Brandon Ecoffey at firstname.lastname@example.org) Find the award-winning Lakota Country Times on the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.
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