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Review for The Tipi Raisers, Oglala, SD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My fiance has joined the Tipi Raisers the past few years to serve the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota People, and this year I was fortunate enough to join her. Pine Ridge, South Dakota is a magical place, full of wonderful people, deeply though provoking stories, and poverty like I've not seen before in the United States.
Everything moves a little slower on the Pine Ridge Reservation, something that takes some getting used to, including progress on home repairs. They (Residents of the Reservation) are still repairing homes from a hail storm last August. That was essentially our role, as well as prepping for the winter.
Dave Ventimiglia, who runs The Tipi Raisers, has done something more incredible than I can put into words for this review. He has brought together locals and volunteers to work in teams at repairing windows, roofs, siding, and all other manner of home repairs. This is no easy task, as there are many intricate complications of white settlers entering the Reservation to do work (as one can image). The shear amount of work we were able to accomplish in our short stay was truly amazing, and in large part a refection on Dave's hard work and leadership.
We didn't just work, Dave provided all manner of cultural education along the way, helping us understand the Lakota people more fully and creating an all-round richer experience. Dave's passion is only surpassed by his sincere belief in the Lakota People, something I will forever remember and reflect on.

Role:  Volunteer