Tonight was the beginning of our Whiteclay Summit. The Summit has brought together a diverse group of state legislators, attorneys, budding Lakota entrepreneurs and seasoned business people, a grant writer, media, artists, a pastor, and directors of non-profits and community members. This diverse group has one thing in common: a heart to see Whiteclay transformed to provide jobs, housing, education, much needed services, treatment, and ultimately for Whiteclay to be a place of healing and hope.
We attendees were welcomed by Bruce, and senators Tom Brewer and Patty Pansing Brooks. The results of a survey asking about residents of the Reservation’s hopes for Whiteclay’s were shared and entrepreneurs and community members shared their visions and hopes for Whiteclay in a panel discussion.
Dave Rooks of Oyate Parks shared the essential role of parks in developing pleasant communities and good economies. He encouraged the development of parks reminding attendees that we are in a war (against suicide, crime violence and division), and that parks “shape the battlefield” Chris Cuny a Lakota entrepreneur shared a video presentation and talked about his vision for a modern tipi village and an aviary.
The best part was the networking. I was awesome to see people get excited and connect on their shared dreams and passions. Overall that first meeting was a big success. And we are looking forward to even greater things tomorrow!