Running Strong for American Indian Youth to fund 19,000 square feet expansion
WASHINGTON, DC – The Oyate Teca Project and Running Strong for American Indian Youth have announced the launch of their plans to construct the Oyate Ta Kolu Ku Community Center addition to their office in Kyle, SD, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The Oyate Teca Project, a local non-profit which serves more than 700 Oglala Lakota youth a year through children and family programs since 1991, plans to utilize the new community structure to expand their broad range of services and activities to accommodate more visitors, event planning, and storage space. Their current office covers 5,952 total square feet, and the proposed community center will cover 19,000 total square feet.
“I want to be able to provide services to our community,” said the Oyate Teca Project Executive Director Rose Fraser. “We average almost 300 people for each event we do every quarter. Our current office can only hold 65 or 70 people at the most at one time. Being able to hold two, three, even four programs at once would make a huge difference the range of services we can provide – right now there is only room for one at a time.”
The Oyate Ta Kola Ku (Friend of All Nations) Community Center is named for Gene Krizek, founder and president of Running Strong for American Indian Youth parent organization Christian Relief Services. The center will include space for a large multi-purpose gymnasium with a concession stand; a home economics teaching kitchen; classrooms for lessons such as sewing, music, and gardening; community showers which double as tornado and wind storm shelter; outdoor space for a farmers market; a loading dock with a small warehouse and delivery truck access; and more.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this process and we are excited to move forward,” said Lauren Haas Finkelstein, Executive Director of Running Strong. “Rose and her team at Oyate Teca are committed to their mission and I am thrilled Running Strong can help bring their vision to life.”
The Oyate Teca Project (Young Peoples Project) is a 501c3 non-profit organization to promote the wellbeing of children and their families through culture, education, recreation and health programs. Running Strong for American Indian Youth works with Native American communities to meet their immediate survival needs. In 2016, Running Strong for American Indian Youth formalized their partnership with Oyate Teca Project, making them a new official program site. Learn more at www.oyatetecaproject.org and www.indianyouth.org.