VERMILLION, S.D. -- From Saturday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 27, students participating in the University of South Dakota’s AWOL program traveled to the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in Fort Thompson, S.D. and the Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation in Wagner, S.D. and Marty, S.D. to perform service work in the communities. The students made this journey as participants of AWOL’s Alternative Weekend program, which is dedicated toward providing students with short-term, service-learning opportunities that focus on important local and regional issues.
The group that worked with the Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation split their time between Marty and Wagner learning about the jurisdiction issues that the Yankton Sioux Tribe faces as well as the poverty issues that are prevalent on the reservation. Participants dug potatoes from a community garden and performed maintenance at the local Boys and Girls Club gymnasium. Kendra Mulder of Canton, S.D., the group’s student site-leader, thought that the tribe was “very inviting” and told the students so much about their culture and everything they were doing within the communities of Wagner and Marty to create good relationships with non-tribe members
The group that traveled to Fort Thompson worked with the Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. Most of their time was spent on construction of the new Habitat for Humanity volunteer center, which, when finished, will allow Dacotah Tipis to increase their volunteer capacity and expand the number of services they provide for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe population.