Clarence Wolf Guts is not the sort of hero who capitalizes on his exploits; he hasn't written any books or run for office, and you can count his speaking appearances on one hand. He lives almost as simply today as when he was a boy on the Rosebud Reservation in the 1920s.
He accumulated very little property in 83 complicated years. Most of his friends and his family are dead. He quit drinking at age 81, and found that sobriety improves his ability to remember the good and the bad of a sometimes-messy life.
"Bridges of Hope" are coming from schools, churches, businesses, and city leaders in Winona and across southern Minnesota. The story of the Dakota people has inspired all who hear it to help reconcile and make things right.
Winona's Hiawatha Broadband Communications and the Diversity Foundation, Inc. have recently documented some of the conditions, as well as the outreach efforts currently taking place, at the Crow Creek Community in a production called “Crow Creek: The Forgotten People.” Crow Creek is a reservation in central South Dakota where many of the Dakotas, who lived Minnesota before European settlers arrived, were exciled to in 1863.
Prairie Island Indian Community Pledges $125,000 to Diversity Foundation
Tribe will donate $25,000 each year until 2010 (05/30/06)
Welch, Minn.– The Prairie Island Indian Community recently presented the Diversity Foundation of Winona, Minn. with a $25,000 donation. This amount serves as the first of five donations to the Diversity Foundation to help preserve the cultural heritage of the Dakota Nations. In total, Prairie Island will donate $125,000 to the organization.
The donated funds are earmarked for the promotion, recognition, and salvation of the cultural heritage of Dakota Indian Nations. Prairie Island Tribal Council Treasurer Alan Childs II said that Prairie Island is excited to be a part of the positive things the Diversity Foundation does. Childs stated, “This donation serves as a way for us to help other Dakota Nations – preserving the future for all Dakota Communities”
The Diversity Foundation is committed to bridging the gap between people caused by cultural and ethnic differences. The foundation does this by producing educational films and hosting events that raise awareness, promote multicultural education and teach intercultural communication. “This partnership is an important beginning of many great things to come,” Lyle Rustad, executive director for the Diversity Foundation said. “Our prayers have been answered – this donation is an opportunity we have been dreaming about.”
Donations like the one made to the Diversity Foundation are important to the Prairie Island Indian Community because for many years their culture was suppressed and tribal members were forced to assimilate. Many tribal members who remember this time particularly recognize the importance of teaching and protecting the Dakota culture.
Sharing our native culture with our youth and the local community is very important to our tribe,” said Prairie Island Tribal Council President Audrey Bennett. “We’re happy to be able to support the Diversity Foundation’s efforts to promote cultural awareness and understanding.”
Since 1994, the Prairie Island Indian Community has donated more than $12 million to many Indian and non-Indian causes. The Prairie Island Indian Community is a federally recognized Indian Nation, located 35 minutes southeast of the Twin Cities along the Mississippi River. The Prairie Island Indian Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort & Casino.
Rushford, Minn. – Lyle Rustad, once of Rushford, has worked with Native American causes and needs most of his life. His Diversity Foundation, Inc., and a conversation with Jim Hoiness has led to a local campaign to improve life for residents of the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota.
Starting next week contributed items and cash will be loaded until a semi-trailer truck delivers the gifts to South Dakota later in the month.
Everyone is invited to help, and local churches are leading the effort. “It’s a rural Rushford and Peterson (and Lanesboro) church project to put some needed items out there.” Hoiness, who visited the reservation with Rustad, said,
“What struck me visiting with two public health nurses – there are lots of needs for children. Sometimes more than one family lives in a home, sometimes children are sleeping on the floor. We talked to the tribal chief and his wife. She gave us a tour; a very intelligent lady who knows what’s needed.”