Overcrowding Leads to Innovative Housing… Stephanie Woodard, ICTMN
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.
“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.”
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.
There are many legends about how the Indians learned about the Talking Feather/Talking Stick. Here is one of them…
Long years ago, when gods walked this earth and the land beyond, Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei, were together enjoying the warm summer day. It was a day when the crickets chirrupted in the waving, green grass,when they noticed a figure moving towards them.
As the figure approached closer Kanati said “Look, that woman is crying, what could be the matter?” “I can not imagine why anyone would cry on such a glorious day.” Replied Asgaya Gigagei. “Let’s ask her.”
As the woman drew nearer, they could see her buckskin was decorated with beautiful designs and colors. She carried a bundle filled with leaves, sage, and colorful stones and feathers. They knew immediately this woman was a holy being.
Kanati asked her “Holy mother, why are you crying so?” The woman looked up in wonder, because she had been walking with her head down. “I’m crying because the men of my village are fighting constantly! Each thinks his ideas for leading the tribe is the best!” Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei glanced at one another, in perplexity. “Why, if there are so many good ideas for leading your tribe, why are the men fighting? And why aren’t you and the other members happy!” The poor woman shook her head sadly and replied, “Yes, you are right, the men do have very good ideas, but every man wants to speak his own ideas, and not listen to anyone else. They all shout and scream at one another so loudly, that it frightens the children who run and hide behind their mothers. The women are sad because their husbands come to the house upset and angry. Furthermore, the tribe is suffering, because no one can seem to make a decision.” Just then a beautiful Eagle was soaring overhead, Kanati called out “Brother Eagle, may I have one of your feathers, there are poor humans in desperate need!”
Bother Eagle replied “Yes” and shook himself until a single iridescent, large feather fell to the ground. “Many thanks and Blessings on you” said Kanati. Kanati made secret signs and prayers over the Feather. Asgaya Gigagei helped him with the blessings. Kanati then said to the woman “This is the sacred Talking Father, it holds great power for the one who holds it. Go back to your people, hold this feather up in the air, all who see it will fall silent, and listen to what you have to say. Tell all who listen that from now on, who ever holds this feather, all present within the Circle Council must listen to his words. The feather must then be passed on to the next speaker.”
The woman thanked Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei and hurried back to her village where there was total chaos!. Everyone was talking at once, children were crying, men were screaming at each other. As soon as she held the feather over her head, all became quiet! No one could utter a sound! the holy woman proceeded to give the directions given to her by the gods. She then passed the feather to the first man. He called the Talking Circle together, and each man had his say as he held the feather. From that time on that tribe flourished because they now had direction, and each person could hear and understand what their peers said. The people worked together, to build a great nation. Along the way, they shared the wonders of the Talking Feather with other tribes they met. “And that my friends is the true story of how the Talking Feather came to be!”