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Mary Annette Pember: True Sioux Hope Foundation brings donors to Pine Ridge

Building on her successes in the business world, Twila True, a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is hoping to bring change to the homelands of her people. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember reports from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where the True Sioux Hope Foundation brought a group of wealthy donors last month:
For generations, they have made pilgrimages to the Pine Ridge Reservation. Each summer, waves of church groups, charitable organizations and volunteers from every imaginable source visit the reservation home of the Oglala Sioux tribe in South Dakota, bringing supplies, food, clothing and other kinds of help. Unfortunately, although such well-intentioned efforts may help a few residents in the short term, many in Pine Ridge complain that they undermine grassroots efforts toward self-empowerment.

On July 7-9, the True Sioux Hope Foundation made an especially ambitious effort to help out at Pine Ridge. Wealthy entrepreneur Twila True brought two busloads of about 170 wealthy supporters for a whirlwind tour of the reservation and the programs supported by her foundation.

True, an Oglala Sioux tribal member, founded the non-profit organization in 2014 with a mission to combat poverty on the reservation and, according to its website, “to inspire unprecedented, permanent, positive change for the Sioux Tribe by providing critical aid for the most vulnerable, as well as sustainability efforts including programs that support education, health and wellness and employment.”

True was born on Pine Ridge, and moved away from the reservation as a child. She is co-founder of True Investments, a real estate private equity firm based in Newport Beach, California where she makes her home with her husband Alan True. Named as one of the Most Influential People of 2015 by the Orange County Register, she also owns a chain of upscale nail studios, Polished Perfect, where she plans to hire Native Americans. True is also owner of Twila True by Mardo, a jewelry retailer.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: True Sioux Hope Foundation Tours Pine Ridge (Indian Country Media Network August 14, 2017)