January 25th, 2010: News Of Haiti Inspires Children of Crow Creek to Help! (See Below)
"Local club was upset by pictures of Haiti so they have put jars throughout the community to raise money for the folks there"..."They barely have enough to keep the lights on and they still want to give to Haiti ... "
Dustin J. Miller - Director of Development & Marketing
The Harvest Initiative, Inc.
November 3-6 2009: White House National Conference 09 - Crow Creek Voice Is Heard [View Video]
October 22nd, 2009: Huffington Post - CAN-DO introduces Project Crow Creek - [View]
October 16th, 2009: - VirtualVolunteer.tv launches Project Crow Creek Page - CALL TO ACTION - [View]
October 15th, 2009: Happy Halloween from Crow Creek!
September 28th, 2009: CAN-DO went live via VirtualVolunteer.tv as we implemented "Phase Three" of the Crow Creek Revitalization Plan - (watch video) Veterans Lodge and Memorial Video "Call to Action"
On September 26th, 2009: Opening Cancelled - We planed on doing the opening of the Community Greenhouse, Garden and Thrift Store. Unfortunately, we are sorry to report that opening will be cancelled. Due to a critical family emergency, Peter and his family will not be present. Out of respect for Peter and due to the sensitive nature of the situation we have chosen to postpone the event.
September 23rd, 2009: Crow Creek Grand Opening Announcement - VirtualVolunteer.tv - Changing the Face of Philanthropy - [View]
Greenhouse today -
August 14th-16th, 2009: Live from Ft Thompson Pow Wow.
June 20th-21st, 2009: Live from Childrens Pow Wow.
On June 8th, the greenhouse arrived at Crow Creek and Phase Two of the Crow Creek Revitalization Plan was under way. Thanks to the Tree of Life, Liberty United Methodist Church and enthusiastic members of the community we were able to complete the exterior of the greenhouse in just 10 days. During the building process CAN-DO, via VirtualVolunteer.tv, successfully broadcast live, allowing our donors and supporters the chance to not only witness their donations at work but the opportunity to chat live with eager community members. This revolutionary new technology has gained the attention of Members of the US Senate, the media, and even school children across the nation as they watched live how their contributions have directly impacted the lives of the Crow Creek community.
During several live exchanges, community members chatted live with viewers from all over the world expressing not only their appreciation but the current situation they face living on the reservation.
CAN-DO, via VirtualVolunteer.tv, also held our first live "cultural exchange" between 1st and 4th graders from the Angelo L. Tomaso Elementary School in New Jersey with the kids from the Crow Creek Reservation - This was a huge hit with the teachers and kids! It was truly an amazing experience for both parties and a huge step in cross-cultural exchanges for our youth in today’s society. We were also joined by members of The US Senate that got opportunity to test out this new technology as well as chat live with the CAN-DO team and the community.
During this "virtual exchange" CAN-DO asked the Senators for more support from Washington- and also a louder voice at the state and local level. We want to thank the Senators present that took the time out of their busy schedules to support us in this incredible event.
On July 28th CAN-DO will be back at Crow Creek putting the final touches on the greenhouse. The gardens and the corn are flourishing. As soon as we get the greenhouse prepped we will begin setting up the nursery and medicinal herb garden. The greenhouse, designed and built to grow produce year-round, will be an incredible benefit to the Crow Creek Community. I am also happy to report that the thrift store/community center will also be operational by the end of the month.
June 8th, 2009: CNN I Report - (CROW CREEK, SD) CAN-DO TALKS LIVE WITH CAPITAL HILL VIA VIRTUALVOLUNTEER.TV [View Release]
June 6th, 2009: Need Magazine- "Vigilante For Social Justice" [View Article]
March 26th, 2009: "Third World Conditions at the Hands of the Power Company" [View Press Release]
March 18th 2009: "CAN-DO Confronts Power Company in Nation's Poorest County" [View Press Release]
March 4th, 2009: "CAN-DO's Call for Obama Administration to Stop Human Rights Abuses" [View Press Release]
March 3rd, 2009: CAN-DO & CBS call on Pres. Obama's Administration to step in.
February 6th, 2009: "Yes we CAN-DO" - "Restoring a Culture and Revitalizing Our Country" [View Press Release]
March 5th, 2009
Update: We traveled back to Crow Creek to address the energy crisis on the reservation and to do the secondary phase of our project assessments for our project partners. We will be posting the assessment video and updates soon. After receiving a letter from the Manager of the Central Electric Cooperative requesting us to take down the incriminating video of their staff pulling meters on the reservation, we spoke with Central Electric and they have agreed to to come to an agreement and will work together with the community to find a solution to this ongoing crisis. We(CAN-DO) have agreed to take down the video once a reasonable solution is reached between the residents of Crow Creek and the electric company.
On March 11th the Central Electric sent out their disconnect notices but made some adjustments. Below is a copy of an actual notice received by a resident on March 11th, 2009
March 4th, 2009
Despite CAN-DO’s documented evidence of these practices, a company representative of Central Electric Cooperative stated this week in writing that:
“The video that you recently watched is not a true description of what actually takes place to collect delinquent accounts on the Crow Creek reservation. Central Electric follows the South Dakota Public Utility laws for disconnecting electric services for non-payment which means we will disconnect a service for non-payment at the appropriate time.
Central Electric does have a winter disconnect procedure whereby no meters are disconnected in cold or in climate weather. Also, Central Electric does not disconnect services when there is a medical necessity for electricity. Central Electric works very close with the tribal leadership groups and tribal members to minimize the need to disconnect services. In fact, there have not been any disconnects for the past three months.” - Central Electric Cooperative
Here is documented evidence of 8 disconnect notices received today by CAN DO from the local community members of the Crow Creek Reservation that these abuses are in fact happening today.
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February 4th, 2009
CAN-DO has recently completed an on-site assessment at the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota in order to gather evidence on the current living conditions being endured by the local community. The assessment team gathered information from conducting interviews, shooting video footage and raw photographic imagery straight from the source. The thorough documentation and analysis process is essential for CAN-DO to establish a direct approach that will result in lasting relief for the impoverished people in Crow Creek.
The evidence is insurmountable. Deep shame surfaces in the reality of abuse and blatant human rights violations that are happening here, in the United States. Socioeconomic disparity and fundamental lack of equal opportunity has harvested a community of American's on a burning decline. History has shown electrical power companies gauge prices and disconnect heat in the frigid winter months. Lack of plumbing, clean water and fresh, unprocessed foods has led to severe increases of illness, disease and mortality. With our nations head turned, poverty has simmered for decades in the region, generating a decrease in education and medical accessibility, in turn, increasing unemployment and the communities struggle to survive.
There are a vast amount of issues needing to be addressed on the Crow Creek Reservation. CAN-DO is focused on working with the local community to meet their immediate survival needs while improving the overall quality of life. We'll start by providing sustainable solutions, integrating long-term plans and by seeking and utilizing the skill and ability of the people in the region. In order to make this happen CAN-DO will partner with the locals on the development of their community, including training programs, projects to increase employment and independence. Coherent accountability will enable locals to enable themselves. With the aid and assistance of the nation, we can unify, pool our resources and revitalize this community and restore our Nations heritage.
1. Raise awareness of the critical nature of the issues at Crow Creek Reservation, simultaneously, addressing the immediate survival needs of the community.
2. Work with the community to introduce relevant, long-term solutions for sustainability, economic growth and cultural preservation.
Plan of Action:
With their proven approach to providing lasting solutions with full accountability, efficiency and results, CAN-DO will approach the operation at the Crow Creek Reservation on a local level. Dedicated to listening to the voice of the people, the plan starts by raising the nation's awareness of the urgent human right abuses taking place on the South Dakota region. It is crucial that while funds are being raised the immediate survival needs of the community are effectively being met. The project is a call to action - we need everyone's help to make it happen.
By performing the detailed assessment process within the local region we were able to determine key projects based on their vast impact and durability on the community. In addition, with the participation of the residents, including an enthusiastic youth contingent, the vital projects focus on making 'hopes' a reality. The intention is to assist in restoring dignity and securing a brighter future for generations. Together, we will shine a deserving national spotlight on the struggle of the people at Crow Creek.
The focus programs being initiated include:
(cost/budget to be posted soon)
1. Electricity & Alternative Energy
Despite the fact that both a hydroelectric dam and wind generators are in the vicinity, both built on tribal land, the Crow Creek residents are billed a third more than the regional average for their electricity. CAN-DO has been asked by the community to assist in negotiating a solution to the frequent electrical disconnections taking place in the frigid winter months. Also, we will be working with the community on instituting alternative energy sources that will propagate self-sufficiency and independence from exploitation.
We are also researching and looking into alternative wind energy. We are seeking ethical organizations or companies that would like to support this project.
2. Thrift Store Completion(FUNDED
Construction of a community managed thrift shop/food pantry/women's outreach & Veterans center is currently underway. Thanks to an anonymous donor, we were able to provide the building material to finish this project. Labor is being provided locally, by residents and the Tree of Life Organization and we hope to have it completed and functioning by March 2009.
3. Green House Initiative/Community Green House Program
By listening to the needs of locals in the Crow Creek region, CAN-DO is developing a comprehensive plan to maximize the interest in managing individual and community accessible green houses. This project will include:
Construction – Community labor and donated materials combined.
Community Training – Contributing partners and donors training locals in green house operations and management.
Local Management – Greenhouses will be regulated within the community.
Project Replication - CAN-DO's Green House Initiative extends to local families who express interest in building and learning how to operate their own greenhouses. Also, community members will initiate greenhouse projects in other communities.
4. Kids Center & Skate Park
The locals have expressed the deep necessity of a kid's center. CAN-DO has proposed to build the center as energy independent, youth orientated and community run.
Community-Built – Locals are eager and prepared to begin as supplies are donated.
Community-Run – The center will be community driven and focused.
Youth Empowerment – Classes, computers, activities, mentoring, etc.
Skate Parks are the 20th century playground. What better a way to bring hope into a community of youthful dreamers then to provide them with a physical and social catalyst. CAN-DO's search for sponsorship and materials is underway!
5. Educational Program
The Crow Creek education initiative begins with the universal understanding that all people deserve an equal education and opportunity. Crow Creek is currently functioning without a Kindergarten due to mold infestation. The project will include the restoration of facilities, development of adult education programs and an outreach program. With a little help, we can have all their schools functioning independently and productively.
6. Veterans Memorial
Is currently being organized with the help of:
The Courage Community Organization - Founder and CEO, Carlana Stone - www.couragecommunity.org
We need your help to deliver direct relief to the people of the Crow Creek Reservation. Your generosity can make this happen. Now is the time to be a part of positive change and to help bring the Crow Creek Reservation into a new day and a new beginning.
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