The Charging Buffalo Facility Exterior
One Spirit has always had as our core mission the providing of nutritional support to the people of the Oglala Lakota living on the poverty-swept Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
As we have grown and identified other ways to help these proud people out of the morass of poverty, disease, and desperation that years of neglect have caused, the Lakota have always responded by working harder and harder to achieve self-sufficiency. They have not settled for becoming charity cases, but have used the assistance we have tried to provide to find their own way to take care of the Oyate ("People").
Charging Buffalo Facility Interior with Dave Clifford
From the Allen Youth Center to the food programs, from the clothing and Okini sponsorships, from the various sports programs and cultural events, One Spirit has been proud to help the Lakota help themselves.
The Climax of a Long Effort
Four years ago, in concert with tribal members, the dream of having a FDA-approved facility that could allow the Lakota to process their own buffalo and game meats for provision to tribal members in need, as well as to provide employment and possible commercial sale of healthful reservation-produced food was born.
Charging Buffalo Facility Skinning Room
This massive undertaking became a labor of passion. Clearly, the financial aspects of building a free-standing building, legally compliant under federal regulations and furnished with state of the art processing equipment were significant---more expensive than any of us initially imagined.
In appeal after appeal, our One Spirit family kept stepping forward as they were able to continue providing the funds to achieve this important goal. Tribal members donated time, labor, works of art and more to help underwrite the effort. Slowly, the dream began to blossom into reality: the One Spirit Charging Buffalo Facility.
Charging Buffalo Facility Processing Equipment
Four long years of hard effort and high hopes have finally come to fruition. The last major piece of the puzzle was the need for the funds to purchase a walk-in cooler large enough to allow processing of buffalo from the reservation. The building was complete, the space was ready, and we made another appeal for the last needed donations to buy the cooler.
With tribal members offering matching funds and original art, the kind donations of our wonderful supporters kept coming in. We were getting closer and closer.
Well, dear friends, we are overjoyed and deeply thankful to announce that the necessary funds have finally arrived! Even as we have been able to maintain our monthly food program and all of our other activities, the additional generosity of our One Spirit family has brought us to the moment we have worked for over the last four years.
The completion, grand opening, and operation of the One Spirit Charging Buffalo Facility is imminent.
For those who would like to make an additional “END OF THE YEAR, BEGINNING OF THE FUTURE” donation, (and of course, year’s end is a good time to remember the tax deductibility of donations to One Spirit), we still have art pieces donated by tribal members available for your $25 donation. The donations will get those smaller additions like the drive-way and the pieces of equipment still needed accomplished, and we will begin the New Year with a tremendously important source of traditional nutrition available to the Oglala Lakota that will be one of their (and our) proudest accomplishments: not a handout, but a hand up.
Tools Ready for Use with Bamm Brewer
However all of our supporters choose to celebrate the end of the year and beginning of a new one, please know that the blessings of the Lakota and the gratitude of the staff at One Spirit are yours. The One Spirit Charging Buffalo Facility is a massive accomplishment and vital step forward toward achieving our goal of helping this proud Oyate achieve greater self-sufficiency into the future.
Meat Saw with Dave Clifford