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Thunder Valley awarded foundation grant


PORCUPINE – Thunder Valley Community—Oglala Lakota Nation (Oceti Sakowin Territory) is one of ten winners of the 2020-2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Prize honors and elevates communities for working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity.

Thunder Valley is being nationally recognized for pursuing innovative ideas and bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of health. Thunder Valley’s award-winning efforts include constructing a regenerative and sustainable 34-acre community, increasing homeownership by building affordable homes and offering financial literacy classes, nurturing leadership through the WWHY Girls Society and other youth initiatives, and creating a sustainable food system—all in pursuit of its vision of a liberated Lakota nation.

“We are continually humbled in this work as we know the transformational change we seek comes from wówašʼake, the collective strength of our community,” says Tatewin Means, Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. “The first step in our work is healing. As we heal, we face our oppression, step more deeply into our traditions, and create the foundation for all our work and hope for the future.”

“The 2020-2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners are striving to make good health and well-being achievable for all their residents,” said Richard Besser, MD, president and CEO of RWJF. “They understand the clear connection between the opportunity for health and education, jobs, and housing. They are leaning into community-led solutions that break down barriers caused by structural racism and other forms of discrimination.”

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