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Joe L.2

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2 reviews

Review for The Tipi Raisers, Oglala, SD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

It was the positive energy of my dirty, bruised and exhausted daughter who returned from a four day volunteer experience on Pine Ridge the week before Thanksgiving that got me involved and hooked with volunteering for the Tipi Raisers. Five years later and dozens of trips to Pine Ridge have filled my soul with cultural enriching experiences and the soul lifting joy of helping others. It is a blessing to be part of something bigger then myself. No matter what brings me to the Reservation regardless of what aches my muscles, sores my back and dirties my hands the work is honest, the appreciation is genuine and the relationships are authentic and true.

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for The Tipi Raisers, Oglala, SD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

It is so easy for me to push aside my awareness of my unearned privilege. And I know that human civility requires us to be aware. Four years ago my then 15 year old daughter joined the Tipi Raisers for a trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation the week before Thanksgiving. When she returned she shared her experience on the Pine Ridge Reservation while our family enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving meal. My daughter introduced us to several Lakota traditions such as smudging with sage and the spirit plate. This added authenticity to our Thanksgiving meal. I was intrigued and consequently I joined her when she returned to the Reservation on spring break. The work was honest and true and the experience was transformational. I met many Natives and forged valued relationships. I have returned to Pine Ridge nearly a dozen time since. The "Rez" is a tough and difficult place. The poverty is thick and heavy. The work is hard, honest and true. From the Lakota people I find appreciation but mostly grace. On the "Rez" I look into myself, I become aware of my history and how my cultural history of colonisation is culpable for the "present" of the indigenous people of this country. I become aware of my unearned privilege. I become aware of the consequences of history. From the Lakota people I discover the richness of their culture but mostly I experience the fullness of their Grace. The staff of the Tipi Raisers do a fantastic job facilitating a growth experience and rich relationships.

-Joe Loetscher

Role:  Volunteer