A Bismarck nonprofit has created a way for the Native American community to get their cultural needs met. We spoke to the CEO of an organization that says it can be quite the culture shock for those who move from a reservation to a metropolitan area like the Capital city.
The culture shock is why Native, Inc. Community Development Corporation strives to make more connections between tribes in our state.
“So many times Native Americans are overlooked as far as getting their cultural needs met, and so
being a Native American led organization it’s pretty significant that we meet that need,” said Lorraine Davis, CEO of Native, Inc.
The nonprofit offers programs like Talking Circles, Peer Support and Service Referrals to help Native Americans succeed. And now Native Americans in North Dakota have access to a multitude of the right resources.
“We do a lot of homeless prevention services, workforce development services, transportation services. We have a tribal elder program. The most recent program is a native youth program,” said Davis.
One Native American man volunteers his time to help. He says time is one of the most important things you can give people.
“I vacuumed up. I cleaned up. It’s gotta be clean everywhere. I provided that. Just a clean environment. Good work environment. Comfortable environment” said Nigel Eagle Pipe, volunteer.
While people like Pipe, Davis and her staff work resiliently to help the traditions of Native American culture stay alive, they want people to know it’s all about family.
“That is a really strong value system amongst tribal peoples and that’s what we feel like when we come together is that we feel like we are all relatives,” said Davis.
Some other projects Davis mentioned are affordable housing for Native Americans as well as recovery meetings for those struggling with substance abuse.
For more information on all their services click here.