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:
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