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Review for The Tipi Raisers, Oglala, SD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter got interested in The Tipi Raisers almost 6 years ago while still in High School. What we didn't foresee was how it would call to our entire family.
We began with just a few local events and drives -- gathering of toys and footwear -- but it wasn't long before we felt called to visit Pine Ridge with the group and meet the people on their terms, on their ground. The experience clinched our relationship. We were moved by all of the people we met. The efforts made to connect non-Natives with Natives were sensitive and transforming. There is an intimacy to this non-profit that is hard to find anywhere else. It has a family-feel where accessibility, approachability and transparency are paramount.

On their website, they describe their reconciliation work:

This is complex work with no agreed upon definitions. It is wrought with generations of trauma from broken treaties, attempted genocide, overt racism and white guilt. We approach it with humility, curiosity and a deeply held conviction to get it right over time. Mistakes are made, misunderstandings happen. For our volunteers, where is their white privilege showing? For the Lakota, where are assumptions of prejudice or racism?

How beautiful is that?! This sort of exercise is sorely under-used and long overdue. I am grateful for this safe space to explore relationships that are difficult and complicated. Who doesn't need transformation in this way?

Role:  Volunteer