/  Insights   /   Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Reservation: South Dakota

A group of Jaywalker clients and staff had the opportunity to travel to South Dakota and work a nonprofit, called Re-member, to assist the people of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Re-member coordinates volunteers to participate in various work projects across the Reservation, helping to rebuild relationships, homes and lives.  Work projects included building and delivering bunkbeds to the children, skirting trailers to combat the cold and wind, and building steps and decks to improve their living environment.  Re-member provides a cultural immersion to the Lakota community in hopes of creating solidarity among all people.


“ The past week, I was at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on a service trip.  While there I built skirting on a house, one day, and spent two days building bunkbeds.  It was a very humbling experience and game me a sense of selflessness that I have never felt before.  I have never thought of a bed as a privilege, I always expected one.  The most satisfying part of the trip was while I was building the skirting.   Although the family of the house we were working on was not there, I could see the joy of the people driving by us, that were in the community. I think that service is a necessity to recovery to understand gratitude and selflessness. “



“Last week, I was of service on the Pine Ridge reservation. I was immersed in what seemed to be a foreign country.  The reservation is one of the poorest places in the US.  My group and I traveled around the Rez, rebuilding houses and doing other esteemable acts.  We also built bunkbeds and installed them in people’s houses.  In my opinion the most rewarding part of the trip was seeing the smiles that were brought to the children that we were giving beds to.”



“This past week, I found myself in South Dakota on one of the poorest Indian reservations in the United States.  We were there to learn about their history and culture and immerse ourselves into the harsh reality they live with every day.  I was given the opportunity to interact with these people as well as the privilege to help build and deliver bunkbeds to those who have been sleeping on floors for most of their lives.  We built decks for those homes whose decks had been destroyed for years.  The smiles on the faces were unforgettable and the ultimate reward for a service we provided knowing they had no way to return the favor.”