Native Village Youth and Education News
October, 2009


Northern Cheyenne Teens Renovate Homes

"Red Feather is a small, grass roots organization making a big difference to a few people."     Robert Redford

Montana: Red Feather Development Group partners with American Indian communities to address the severe housing crisis within their nations. Red Feather's mission is to:

  • Teach home construction and facilitate home ownership
  • Encourage volunteerism
  • Build homes
  • Foster environmentally relevant practices
  • Enable cooperation and understanding among cultures

Last June, five Northern Cheyenne teens and their vocational teacher worked with Red Feather staff on home repairs for Cheyenne elders. It was part of a 3-week home rejuvenation class for students from Lame Deer High School.  The students earned minimum wage, and Red Feather provided instructors, tools and equipment.

Also collaborating in the project were Lame Deer High School, the Housing Improvement Program, and the Workforce Investment Act office. Other groups and organizations donated food, time, and materials to help.

Improvements were completed in the homes of elders Irma Bear Chum and Huberta Killsnight. Each family’s kitchen was redone. Huberta’s home has a new bathroom vanity, sink and tub surround and all new energy efficient windows. Both homes have new gutters and downspouts to channel water away from the foundation.

This fall, all parties involved plan to explore the idea of expanding the program to include an “off-season” construction course at LDHS. Students would learn to build components of a straw bale home and be on site in June to install them and assist with the home construction project.

Click map to learn about Red Feather Projects

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