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This is such a worthwhile project that when I was asked to write for it I didn't have a moment of hesitation when I accepted the offer. This diaries that have been written so far have told you about the history of the Okiciyap food pantry and the wonderful woman who developed the project. They have also told you about the magnificent quilt being auctioned and the meaning of the squares to at least one Native person. My marching orders came from the diary Meteor Blades wrote Wednesday, especially from this:

More than 125 years since the last tribes were forced onto reservations at the end of the Indian Wars, there has still been no Marshall Plan to help them rebuild, and many Native people still struggle just to stay alive. Many don't make it.
Follow me below the great orange basket as I provide additional support to the efforts of Okiciyap to help the Isabel Community stay alive.

The Okiciyap (We Help) organization does a wonderful job making sure that nobody goes hungry on the Cheyenne Reservation, but that's not all we're helping them do. I found their mission statement and their goals ambitious but very reachable with our support, so I'm taking my opportunity here to remind you of these.

MISSION

Our mission is to provide and coordinate services with courtesy and respect for each other and for the well being and protection of the residents in our community. These services are provided through partnerships that help people move towards independence, maintain pride and dignity and realize their potential.

Our community organization is dedicated to improving the health, educational attainment, human welfare, and opportunities for youth, adults and families in Isabel, as well as overall nutritional welfare

GOALS
Through collaborative partnerships with families, community, and agency resources, we wish to provide a continuum of supportive human services based on an individualized comprehensive assessment of family strengths and needs.  We strive to:

    ensure that no one in Isabel or in surrounding areas goes hungry,
    provide educational, recreational, cultural, health and lifelong learning opportunities for youth and adults; and
    offer educational advancement opportunities for adults and seniors.

OBJECTIVES
   Provide a low- or no- cost food program and an emergency food program for those without sufficient means, serving approximately 325 families a month.
    Provide regular weekly recreational and cultural activities to 75 youth, encompassing youth from grade school, middle school, and high school
    Provide adult recreational and cultural programs for an additional 50 individuals, and health education and services to 300 children and adults.
    Increase the proficiency of 60 adults in Isabel by making available Lakota as a Second Language, G.E.D., and life skills classes.
This is an organization devoted to making the lives of the people in its community better, healthier and more fulfilling. This is necessary because a cursory search of the internet for Isabel, South Dakota turns up quite a bit about the anglo community -- the school closed in 2009, but the farm implement dealers, the grain elevator, the weekly newspaper, the grocery, the hardware store, the barber shop, the restaurant owned by the Republican state senator, the library, and the hunting lodge still remain open. The Lakota community? Nowhere in this article from South Dakota magazine. And yet, the article quotes an artist and writer on the town's redeeming qualities:
There isn't anybody in town who hasn't lived here a year or more who doesn't know everybody . . . That's how it works in a small town; there's a sharing of human resources.
Everybody. This isn't supposed to be the policy toward the indigenous people, but, somehow, it is.

And it has been so for decades, perhaps even centuries. An article in the American Indian Law Review 32:2 (2007-2008) by Joanna Wagner, "Improving Native American Access to Federal Funding for Economic Development through Partnerships with Rural Communities," details the difficulties the Lakota community has even now (no link possible as it was downloaded from a university library's restricted database). This will confirm what many of you already know. Native Americans are the poorest minority group in the country, and rural Indians, like the Isabel community, fare worst. She notes five states in which the poorest Indians are concentrated, and one is South Dakota.

Second,

Indian people have historically lacked political clout,
and this was exacerbated by the termination policy of the 1950s (yes, the Indian New Deal was repealed). Just like rural people, in fact, only their identity isn't threatened by political weakness. The termination policy was reversed early in the 1990s to be replaced by a policy of self-determination, which is helpful, and would be even more so if Indians didn't have special problems in acquring money by conventional means. Tribal governments are perceived as "unstable" because government policy has been unstable. Non-Indian neighbors also provide competition for investors. Not to mention the problems caused by "human capital" problems and remote locations. There are, for example, five centers in South Dakota for food distribution to Indians. There's even one for the Cheyenne River Lakotas, but it's 46 miles away from Isabel.

Third, there's this:

some Indian applicants have complained that the U.S. department of Agriculture  program requirements deny them full and equitable access to USDA programs. The BIA has also been accused by Indians of being inept, corrupt and uninterested in reservation development, and is criticized  for having allowed non-Indian outsiders to control or thwart tribal decision making on economic matters.
So when a smart, resourceful, brave woman like Georgia Little Shield starts a program like Okiciyap (We Help) we help her memory and her cause by auctioning off a quilt made with the love and care she showed to the community that her dream is helping.  Okiciyap!!

If you can't bid, remember you can still give too. I'm in that situation. Since I already have a beautiful quilt, one of the community quilts lovingly crafted by Sara R and Anne and filled with messages from the wonderful people who make this site what it is, and since the high bid is beyond my means, I have contributed the amount I spent on my Kindle Paperwhite when I got paid last month. If you don't have a credit card, or paypal, you can send a direct donation. Every donation counts!!!  

Address for direct donations to the: Okiciyap (we help) Food Pantry
                                                                   P.O. Box 172
                                                                   Isabel,  SD  57633
 photo Ociyapilogo_zpsa563f421.png
CURRENT HIGH BID:     $ 790.00
OKICIYAP QUILT AUCTION RULES 2013

1) Auction begins on Wednesday, March 27th. Bids will first be accepted in the diary published that day by GreyHawk.  The final day of the auction is Sunday, April 7, 2013, at approximately 7:00 p.m. CT. The last two+ hours of the auction will be held online from 5:00 p.m. central until 7 p.m. central in the DKQG diary.  If  no higher bids are posted by 7:10 p.m. the best bid before 7:00 p.m. central will be declared the winner.  

1.1)The auction will end as soon as no higher bids are posted within 10 minutes of the highest bid received. Final bids will be decided by the time posted on the message. The decision of the judges on winning bid is final.

1.2)After the final bid is decided and the successful bidder notified, the donation to the pantry will be made, and once confirmed,  BeadLady will send the quilt to the lucky winner!  The pantry is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization, this donation will be tax deductable.

2) Bids will be accepted by making comments in diaries, as well as by kosmailing weck and/or glorificus at any time to make arrangements for anonymous or absentee bidding.

2.1)  If you wish to remain anonymous, you may set that up with weck or glorificus in advance, and we will use a number when we post your bids in a diary.  (example = Anon-02)

2.2)  If you want to leave an absentee bid, you may do that with either weck or glorificus.  We will need to know the highest amount you are willing to bid and we will place those bids for you in 10 dollar increments as the bidding progresses throughout the auction.  If the bidding goes higher than you first authorized, you may contact the same person again with a new top limit, or bid in the diaries. Absentee bids should be
placed with weck or glorificus as far in advance as possible.

3) Bidding by groups, businesses or organizations is allowed, as long as only one contact name is used.  Please let us know the details of your group, business or organization and who is the official spokesperson for the group or organization.

4) Bidding is in minimum increments of $10.00. You may bid in higher increments that can be divided evenly by $10.00.

4.1) Bids must be in U.S. funds.

5) weck and glorificus will do their best to inform all bidders of the newest high bid.  To receive this information in you Kosmail box, please ask weck or glorificus to join Daily Kos Quilt Guild Auction Alliance group.  

5.1) We will send groupmail to everyone (Each member will be made an editor for the duration of the auction)  Reminder*A groupmail won't show up on your main page; you will have to check for messages manually.*

6) A PayPal link will be included for other donations to Okiciyap.  While we cherish the thought that you may choose to donate to Okiciyap during the auction, there is no advantage in the auction to doing that.  It is not necessary to donate through the PayPal to Okiciyap to participate in the auction. To use the paypal link, click on the link that goes to the Okiciyap Pantry's new website:  http://okiciyap.weebly.com/...

7)  The winning bidder can make payment arrangements that are not through PayPal with weck or glorificus.  We know that some folks don't use Paypal.

8)  The winning bidder will have 48 hours to confirm their success.  After 48 hours, the judges may, at their discretion, offer the second highest bidder the opportunity to redeem the quilt.  The decision of the judges is final.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Quilt Guild Auction Alliance on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Okiciyap (we help), Community Fundraisers, DK Quilt Guild, Hunger in America, Positive Intention and Lovingkindness, Native American Netroots, and Invisible People.

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