Welcome Waylon Gaddie!
Oyate Nawincahcinjin (Defends the People), Waylon Gaddie, is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and comes from Allen, SD.
He grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and currently resides near Lost Dog, a small community on the northeastern portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation. He is a graduate of Little Wound High School, Kyle SD. He received an Associate of Science Degree in Carpentry in 1992 from Western Dakota Vo-tech in Rapid City, SD, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Fine Arts from Oglala Lakota College (OLC) in 2015.
Since 2008, Waylon has worked with K-12 students on the Pine Ridge Reservation and surrounding areas in Lakota Culture and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM ) outreach and afterschool programs. Waylon was a presenter and volunteer mentor at the Oglala Lakota College Math and Science Department Native Science Field Center Program.
In 2013, Waylon and his wife Helene founded Generations Indigenous Ways, an informal science educational program that integrates Lakota Culture and Western Science. Generations Indigenous Ways is a Native non-profit organization that is an affiliate of The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples Inc. Waylon is the organization’s Lakota Culture Advisor, and is currently helping organize afterschool science programs as well as Lakota cultural seasonal camp programs on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
In his spare time, Waylon enjoys dancing at pow-wows all across the North American Continent. He is known for his expertise in Northern Men’s Traditional Dancing. Waylon brings his knowledge of Lakota Culture, youth programming, and community outreach experience to the Allen Youth Center.
Waylon Gaddie has been hired as the first full time director of the Allen Youth Center. The Youth Center Building was funded by One Spirit and was opened last year. Since the opening, programs have been operating part time while the search for a director was going forward. Waylon started as Director on February 15th and is getting the center ready for full time programming for the youth.
Board of Directors
The Governing Body
The youth center will be governed by a community board that includes:
- Jeff Harris
- John DuBray who pushed for the center for years, pressing the needs of the youth and helping One Spirit raise funds for the building.
- James Cross, the Allen Tribal Representative who worked with John and One Spirit to ensure that the dream of the center came to fruition.
- Jeri Baker, Director of One Spirit, who funded the center and will continue to provide funds for the director and the programs while the community establishes the center as a non-profit, 501c3 organization.
- Waylon Gaddie - the new Director
- Youth from the community who will be identified and installed as voting members of the board.
Lakota Based Skills and Activities
The programs at the youth center will include among other things music, art, after school homework help, always snacks, astronomy and Lakota star knowledge, Lakota language, Lakota life, nature and survival skills, and gardening. The center will be open daily. Hours and activities will be posted inside.
Currently One Spirit is raising funds for a full basketball court. A $5000 donation has been made to start the fundraising. The full cost of the court will be about $25,000.
One Spirit is a 501c3 that has been working with the Lakota on the Reservation since 2005. In addition to building the Youth Center, they have food, heat, sponsorship, youth, and urgent need programs. Their food program provides food monthly to more than 300 families all across the Reservation and is distributed at the end of the month when it is most needed. The program also keeps nutritious snacks for the kids at the youth center, helps with food for the Bear Cave and the Cohen House. The youth program supports running programs that have camps in the summer and sends Lakota young people to various running events including the Denver and New York Marathons.
The Board plans that the center will be a source of continuous support to the youth and will be a model that can be replicated across the Reservation.