Crow Creek High: Students Hammer to Help!

July 9th, 2013  |  Published in Community, Education

O’siyo. There is a critical need for housing on almost all Native reservations throughout the country. A brilliant solution was created by Crow Creek Sioux Reservation’s high school. Oren Voice, a wood-shop teacher with a team of three faculty members began a program that enlists students to help build the much needed homes on the reservation.

Crow Creek high school students building homes for other tribal members. Photo- Crow Creek Tribal School. ICTNM

Crow Creek high school students building homes for other tribal members. Photo- Crow Creek Tribal School. ICTNM

Excerpt: Overcrowding Leads to Innovative Housing… Stephanie Woodard, ICTMN

“In building homes for tribal members, our students will learn computer-design and building skills, how to bid on a job and more, said Oren Voice, wood-shop teacher at the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation’s high school, in Stephan, South Dakota. It’ll give them a good technical education and help them prepare for careers.

Under Voice’s supervision and a team of three additional faculty members, a crew of 11 students began building a home on the reservation June 4. In two days, the students had the subfloor in place and had framed two walls, using conventional balloon construction. “We’re ahead of schedule and should have no problem finishing the entire home, kitchen cabinetry and all, by November,” said Voice, a tribal member. “Then a family can move in.”

Crow Creek shop teacher Troy Naser shows decorative metalwork students are selling to help finance homes they are building for fellow tribal members. (Stephanie Woodard) 2

Crow Creek shop teacher Troy Naser shows decorative metalwork students are selling to help finance homes they are building for fellow tribal members. (Stephanie Woodard).

The dwellings will help the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe chip away at not just unemployment among tribal members, but also a critical need for housing experienced on almost all reservations throughout the country… As soon as the students finish the first house, they’ll start another one, said Voice. He was thrilled to report that the kids haven’t forgotten anything he taught them last year: In fact, they told me they’re so happy they took my class. 

The Crow Creek tribal council provided seed funding for the program, including money to buy the necessary tools, and will buy the homes when they’re finished. More support for the project will come from sales of large- and small-scale decorative metalwork by students of automotive shop teacher Troy Naser. He gave the rest of the team a look at finished pieces for the tribal housing department and other clients. The hunting scenes, galloping ponies and other vivid imagery showed artistic talent and careful craftsmanship—a harbinger of more top-notch work to come from Crow Creek’s youngsters.” Read more…

“More support for the project will come from sales of large- and small-scale decorative metalwork by students. The hunting scenes, galloping ponies and other vivid imagery showed artistic talent and careful craftsmanship—a harbinger of more top-notch work to come from Crow Creek’s youngsters.” ~Troy Naser~ Automotive shop teacher.

Kudos to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the High school, the hard working teachers, and most importantly the wonderful students! They set a Positive example of what can be done if all people pull together.

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