WHAT WE DO
WHAT WE DO
What Volunteers and Tribal Members are Saying about Tipi Raisers:
Tom Hollow Horn, Wounded Knee resident
On behalf of our Wounded Knee community, we commend & thank the awesome crew of " tipi raisers " you made good memories with our children!! Atah, library coming soon !! wopila !! Lila Pila Unyapi! We are going to start a Lakota language class on a community level, get the sacred tongue from their elders, here!!
Karen Churnside – Volunteer from Boulder shares reflections on the 2019 Race to Winterize:
I was drawn to this as there is some history of my family coming out as settlers to the far-west and some interaction there that I took for normal growing up - not really realizing the history. As I’ve learned more about that it’s led me to feel that I have a debt here. So, I poked around trying to find appropriate opportunities because I have a sensitivity of groups that go into communities to impose what they think is best for them. Tipi Raisers sounded to me like it was making efforts to be grounded in cooperative decision making with those who live here on Pine Ridge and has a track record of having been here for quite some time.
The highlight of the weekend for me was having Mary Weasel Bear join us as we delivered donations across the reservation. Mary provided an informative tour and was able to convey how to honor the space. She shared her family history and expressed her hurt - the personal and historical hurt. But she also expressed hope in the sentiment that “We’re here, yes this all happened but we’re here in modern times and we’re here to stay!” Mary stressed how important it is that people are properly educated on both the past and the current realities on the reservation. It was tearful moment for me, hearing Mary speak at Wounded Knee, both heart-breaking and heart-opening.
Jo’ella Red Willow- Previous Youth Ambassador from Wambli, SD:
The Tipi Raisers have taught me to be more kind to others that are non-native. This non-profit organization is changing lives and has changed mine in multiple ways. Glad to be a part of it when I can.
Maria Wischmeyer, Volunteer from Denver:
There is a lot of competition for both our time and money. Non-profits abound. But few actually challenge your understanding of the situation. Tipi Raisers encourages more than the monetary donation; their intention is to foster relationships and breed possibility. There is not only a tragic need in Pine Ridge, but there is an enormous responsibility to those of us who have been the beneficiaries of the Native American oppression. It is a privilege to be a part of their efforts.
Pansy Weasel Bear – Tribal Government Employee, Mother of 6 daughters and grandmother of five.
I support the Tipi Raisers because of their love, hope, honesty, friendship and are hard-working people!! Thank you all...staff and supporters! I appreciate and am grateful to all the volunteers who go above and beyond to help our people in great need!!
Skyla Gabriel – Youth Ambassador from Colorado Springs:
The first time I came to Pine Ridge with the Tipi Raisers, I had no idea how drastically it would change my life. Every single experience I've had in the now 6 times that I've come up to the rez have changed me for the better. The elders, like Pansy Weasel Bear, have shared their wisdom and culture, given me new eyes, and filled me with appreciation, gratitude, and humility. Dave and Lori Ventimiglia, who run this organization, are the most incredible, down-to-earth, generous, kind, and loving people with a passion for the work that they do. I am so proud to be associated with this group and I'm so thankful for the path it's led me on, and I hope to be working with them for life.
More Testimonials from Various Volunteers:
I left yearning to understand more about the Lakota, their culture, their needs, their thoughts about the solutions and the future ahead. One brief visit is not enough.
This was a powerful experience to share with my family. I left the weekend feeling compelled to learn more about Pine Ridge and challenged to consider how I can incorporate the Native American experience (past and present) into the classroom where I teach.
The trip has been one of the coolest things I have experienced in my entire life. Stepping into Lakota culture and trying to understand what they have to deal with as well as trying to embrace their culture into your own was so fun and an amazing experience. I truly loved every part of the trip and the people were amazing.
Additional testimonials from volunteers and the community we serve can be found here at Great Nonprofits which has listed Tipi Raisers as a Top Rated nonprofit for five years running.
The Tipi Raisers is registered as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization in the State of South Dakota. 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
All media/graphics/photographs on this website © 2013 The Tipi Raisers/Ti Ikciya Pa Slata Pi.