Work has been steadily progressing on the Oyate Teca Project’s Oyate Ta Kola Ku (Friend of All Nations) Community Center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for several months and we are pleased to report that even during the challenges posed by the frigid winter weather on the Great Plains of South Dakota our contractors were busy out erecting the building framing.
This spring, our contractor reported that almost all the foundation work has been completed. The metal building is being erected and metal insulation and metal panels are being installed and the contractor expects to have all the building erected by the end of March.
Among the highlights of the community center will be its teaching and community kitchens which will both be equipped to classes in Indigenous food preparation and preservation, while also providing easy access to healthy meals for residents living on the reservation.
The 362-square-foot teaching kitchen will have four cooking stations and a center island to accommodate lessons. Combined with the 1,400 square foot commercial kitchen, with walk in freezers and coolers, double ovens, double sinks, and more, healthful cooking will be a cornerstone of the center.
The produce used at the kitchen, and directly supporting the families and community at large, will come directly from the gardens at Oyate Teca. The Oyate Teca greenhouse, hoop house, and gardens will provide the basis to changing the nutritional lifestyle of youth, families, and the community.
The center will also include space for a large multi-purpose gymnasium with a concession stand; classrooms for lessons such as sewing, music, and gardening; community showers; outdoor space for a farmers’ market; a loading dock with a small warehouse and delivery truck access – more than triple the amount of programming space offered currently by The Oyate Teca Project.
At this point, the overall project construction is roughly one-third completed and is on track to be completed by September. To follow the construction project, please visit Oyate Ta Kola Ku Community Center – Indian Youth