Build, Teach, Empower Lakota People of Pine Ridge

by Chris Glidden in South Dakota, United States

We did it
On 10th January 2020 we successfully raised £2,060 with 63 supporters in 38 days

To help preserve the culture of the Lakota people. Empowering youth, supply tools, materials and teach skills to build warm and dry homes.

by Chris Glidden in South Dakota, United States

Welcome along to my crowd funder for the people of Lakota, where I will be joining the charity  

Current statistics from The Tipi Raisers website:


  • Lakota men have a life expectancy of 48 years, and women's life expectancy is 52.
  • The Lakota infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. Average.
  • One out of every four Lakota children born are fostered or adopted out to non-Indian homes.
  • Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average


  • Elderly die each winter from hypothermia (freezing).
  • 1/3 of the homes lack basic clean water and sewage while 40% lack electricity.
  • 60% of Reservation families have no telephone.
  • 60% of housing is infected with potentially fatal black mold.
  • There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (may only have two to three rooms). Some homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them.


  • Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S national average.
  • The rate of diabetes is 800% higher than the U.S national average.
  • Federal Commodity Food Program provides high sugar, high fat, processed foods that increase our rates of diabetes and heart disease.


  • The median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year.
  • 44% of  Lakota people live below the poverty line.
  • Many families cannot afford heating oil, wood or propane and many residents use ovens to heat their homes.


  • Unemployment rates on reservations are 70% or higher.  This is 17 times higher than the 2017 national average.
  • There is very little industry to provide jobs 


  • Two thirds of the reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease.
  • Alcoholism affects 9 in 10 families.


  • Only 14% of the Lakota population can speak the Lakota language.  The language is not systematically shared inter-generationally. 
  • Today, the average age of a fluent Lakota speaker is 65 years.
  • The Lakota language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction and is not allowed to be taught in the U.S. Government schools.

A snippet about me

From a young age I was very aware of Native Americans, thanks to my mother and father. I've always felt a strong connection, which must be the nature of their spirt in understanding balance with the land. All my skills have been learnt from being out in the thick of it from landscaping, construction to carpentry, off-grid builds, building and living in a motorhome, naturally nomadic. 

On the flip, the wild magic of building stages at festivals then DJing on them by night. I would like to bring the creative side of build to show how this can be combined with music and performance. 

I will be making my way to Pine Ridge at the start of January 2020.

The Vision: the meaning of life is a life of meaning

  • To help teach and empower young and mature people with basic skills in carpentry and construction. Enabling improvements to their family homes, which in some cases are mobile homes. This could lead to a career in carpentry or construction. 
  • When skills are starting to take shape and confidence is flowing, then I would like to use part of the money to supply power tools and hand tools. This will allow for growth to becoming a multi skilled creative. 
  • Insulating and make homes dry and warm. When I arrive the temperature will be somewhere between -10 and -20 degrees.
  • I would like to record small videos on tutorials of basic skills, so that when I leave they can refer back to theses videos for details. 
  • Music is the doorway to deeply rooted spiritual connections. Creating space to play and record, bringing around more awareness of the Lakota people and sound. Sharing ideas on a musical level, a cultural exchange of sound.    

Breakdown of where your money will be going

  • Materials for building and renovation
  • Hand tools
  • Power tools
  • Musical instruments and recording equipment 
  • Food 
  • Bedding

Please note: Donations will not be used for any travel and expenses, this will all be covered by myself.

Thank you for taking time to read over this crowd funder, it means a lot to me. It's been a long time coming to make the move towards setting this up. All your support, sharing and donating will be received with huge gratitude. Big love and big up x

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