We have been truly humbled by the many volunteers who show up in so many different ways and whom without we could not accomplish our mission-critical activities. From collecting material donations to hosting Lakota families in their homes or strategic thought-partnership; our volunteers have become central to our ability to make a positive impact in the Indigenous communities we serve. This web-page is dedicated to our featured volunteer and will be updated quarterly.
FEATURED VOLUNTEER: Jim Churnside
Jim Churnsidehas been raising tipis with us for over four years! In that time, he and his wife Karen - a previous featured volunteer - have become central figures of our volunteer network and beloved friends in our community.
From caring for our horse herd in Lafayette, to offering his excellent carpentry skills on projects across three reservations, to - most importantly - bringing his deep spirituality, humor, and unconditional kindness to the Tipi Raisers Circle, we are so grateful for all the ways Jim shows up in service to Native communities. It is an honor to work and play alongside him.
Here are some reflections from the man himself on what this work has taught him:
"My first experience with Tipi Raisers was a work trip to Pine Ridge in 2019. Since then, I have participated in several trips and events, learning a great deal in the process. I have learned how quickly a group of people can become a community, if only temporarily. I have learned that it is more important to make connections than to finish any specific task. As a result, I have learned a great deal about the culture and recent history of the Lakota, Diné, and Hopi peoples. I have learned a deep respect for these peoples. I have learned how common activities like walking, horseback riding, and working can also be prayers. Incidentally, I have begun to learn how to work with horses.
As a result of volunteering with Tipi Raisers, I have had some amazing experiences. I worked to repair the fence around the graveyard at the site of the Wounded Knee massacre. I participated in an Inípi on the Pine Ridge reservation. I participated in raising a tipi. I worked on a house on First Mesa in the Hopi Nation that was initially built sometime around the year 1700. I attended a Hopi Kachina dance. Finally, I have participated in the sacred circle many times and have even had the honor of offering the prayer on several occasions.
The Tipi Raisers is a registered nonprofit in Colorado and South Dakota and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C)(3).
All donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be mailed or emailed.
Donations can be made online or mailed to:
7830 W. Alameda Ave. Ste. 103-186
Lakewood, CO 80226