We would like to draw your attention to an urgent matter affecting people of the Lakota reservation in the state of South Dakota. Generations of Lakota people have suffered genocide, cultural destruction, and mistreatment, yet they continue to survive adverse winter conditions year after year. People suffer through sub-zero temperatures, lack of access to proper health care, and poorly covered trailers and houses that provide little protection from the cold.
People in the Ojai community in California expressed an interest in what could be done on a larger scale for the Lakota people of South Dakota. They are asking the community to help the Lakota people make it through the winter months. Among other efforts to help the Lakota people, the “Ojains” are holding a local fundraiser in which you can participate.
The fundraising effort has been a grassroots effort, for the most part, and started in Ojai, California. There are four Lakota communities that have been supported by people in the valley for a few years now by receiving clothing through the mail and with monetary assistance to purchase propane for the winter.
Several Ojains spend part of their summers in South Dakota, participating in and supporting traditional ceremonies, and have seen how much the average Lakota person struggles on a daily basis. With no access to their traditional diet and lack of infrastructure, most people rely on government assistance to sustain themselves.
The Ojains have made a commitment to help organize clothing and food drop off days and to have food donation boxes at various locations in town. In addition to these efforts, the Ojains have planned an additional drop off day and musical event, which will take place on December 4th in Ojai.
The event on December 4th will open with Julie Tumamiet saying a traditional Chumash prayer, a small speech about the fundraiser, where the Ojains will be traveling, as well as goals for the future. Various local musicians will follow, playing acoustic, folk, flute, dance, groove, and R&B. The line up will be as follows:
- Raymond Powers playing the flute
- Peter Sterling playing the harp
- Dani Lopez performing acoustics and vocals
- Johnny B and Soma
- Shylah Ray Sunshine
There will also be poetry readings by,
- Richard Palmer
- Akka Be
Four aerial circus acts will be woven into the evening. There is no need to purchase tickets; however, a $6.00 donation will be greatly appreciated. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. People attending the event can also drop off donations at the event.
People can contact Chris Jones, the fundraiser and event organizer, by phone at (707) 217-7869 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have donations to give.
People can arrange a meeting time for item drop offs or they can be brought to the music event on December 4th at Sacred Space Studio 410 Bryant Circle, Suite A, Ojai, California. Donations for food, propane, and fuel and truck rental cost are also appreciated. Volunteers for setup and cleanup at the event and for organizing and packing the truck can contact Chris Jones directly.
Donations will then be transported by truck to the Porcupine, Kyle, Lower Brule, and St. Francis communities on the Pine Ridge reservation of South Dakota during the first week of December.
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