Diversity Foundation receives donation to help Crow Creek
Lyle Rustad of the Diversity Foundation receives a check from Robert Kocinski.
Diversity Foundation, Inc. received over $2,000.00 from the Dodge County Boots and Saddles Club. Lyle Rustad, Diverstiy Foundation Executive Director received the check from Robert Kocinski at the Frito Lay coporate office in Bloomington, Minnesota. Robert Kocinski is the Frito Lay Regional Manager for the Madison, Wisconsin area as well as a member of the Dodge County Boots and Saddle Club.
Many of these Reservation member's are descendents of ancestors who once lived and called southern Minnesota their "Homeland" prior to their forced exhile from Minnesota following the US-Dakota Conflict of 1862.
The Dodge County Boots and Saddle Club sponsored the parade.
The Beaver Dam Halloween All Horse Parade, sponsored by the Dodge County Boots and Saddle Club, is the largest horse parade in the state of Wisconsin. Maily Kocinski, coordinator of the parade and Dodge County Boots and Saddle club member, estimated that there were over 300 riders and other participants that were involved in the four mile parade which had thousands of costumed and other spectators.
The parade was titled “Horse People of the Present Honoring Horse People of the Past.” Kocinske expalined the parade was to honor "...those who protected horses for hundreds of years. Horses have a deep history in this country and Native Americans were the first to cherish them."
Crow Creek Reservation's Audrey Wolf and Larry Cortez, along with Diversity's Lyle Rustad and Beaver Dam's Mayor and family, were the honored guests leading the 250 horse parade. Below you will find a short video and a picture gallery of the event.
Diversity Foundation wishes to thank Frito Lay's Rob Kocinski and his wife Maily, along with the Dodge County Boots and Saddle Club, for selecting Diversity Foundation and its work with the Crow Creek Indian Reservation to be this year's parade fund-raising recipients. Much more financial support and volunteers are needed to help the Diverstiy Foundation in its Reconciliation Efforts to continue to improve the depressed conditions at Crow Creek (one of the poorest Reservations in the country) as well as other Dakota Nations.
Here is a letter Diversity Foundation recently received from Audry Wolf about the conditions at Crow Creek.
A real example of the water/housing crises in Crow Creek is one my sister and her family faces. She is the only one in the household with a job. Her daughter cannot find a job. They cannot use the water to drink. They don't like to use it for bathing and laundering. Her stairs to the basement have collapsed on one side. She can't afford to fix it. She has four grandchildren plus herself and her daughter using these stairs daily.
My sister desperately needs new or used appliances- washer, dryer, stove, and refrigerator. Next year, she plans to move into Chamberlain [South Dakota] and leave the family homestead. That is a real shame because that land has been there for our family for generations now. She has no choice, they need drinkable water and a house fit and safe to live in.
Life is tough on the Reservation, but it also serves as our homeland, our comfort and what it truly means when we say "I'm going home". There are truly ancestor memories and spiritual comfort in the land. If the living conditions do not improve more people will be forced to move away like my sister.
The reservation is our stronghold, our center and source of our culture and spirituality. I live off the rez but I rely on my relatives to be there to carry on and maintain our home. This is now in jeopardy for our family. We who live away help all we can, but lately the economy has affected our families and we now have little to help out at home. Thank you.
Audrey B. Wolff
Disbursements Data Compliance Associate
Mayo Clinic Supply Chain Management