Volunteer Projects on Indian Reservations in the U.S.

by Lee Carroll

Both rich culture and hardship can be found on Native American reservations. Although typical Americans may not feel they have much to offer, time and skills are often priceless gifts. Some volunteer work is run by grand-scale organizations, and others are simple and personally connected to the people they help. Typing, medical assistance, carpentry and resource preservation are but a few of the ways you can make a difference.

The Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois & United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc.

The ECSIUT, based in South Carolina, works hard to teach their young people traditional values in an urban world. As of July 2010, the ECSIUT needs support in the form of donations and volunteers. Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes will benefit from your help. It's possible to do some of the volunteer assistance from your home. There is a need for many different types of assistance, including grant writing, volunteer coordinating, newsletter editing and legal assisting, as well as lawyers as volunteers. Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois & United Tribes of South Carolina P.O. Box 7062 Columbia, SC 29202-0446 803-699-0446 cherokeesofsouthcarolina.com

Red Feather Development Group

Red Feather Development Group is dedicated to providing safe housing and sustainable communities for Native Americans. To help encourage project participation from the residents, individuals and small groups of volunteers are considered, and they must apply for acceptance. As of July 2010, projects are on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Eastern Montana and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. The group asks you to send in your application three months in advance of securing volunteer work. Their website includes applications and information about volunteer work. Red Feather Development Group P.O. Box 907 Bozeman, MT 59771 406-585-7188 redfeather.org

Adopt a Native Elder Program

A meaningful and fulfilling way to volunteer with Native Americans is to connect person-to-person with a Native American Elder who lives in traditional ways by delivering essential medicines, food, clothing and other items. Elderly Native Americans can have difficulty providing for themselves, and volunteering can help bridge the gap between these elders and outside cultures in a most personal and touching way. This organization depends on numerous selfless volunteers who collect items, assist in the warehouse and make deliveries. Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program P.O. Box 3401 Park City, UT 84060 801-474-0535 anelder.org

About the Author

Carole Oldroyd, a writer based in East Tennessee, has authored numerous DIY home improvement, Human Resources, HR and Law articles. In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property.

Photo Credits

  • native american pow-wow image by Joy Fera from Fotolia.com
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