My name is Francine Red Willow Richards and welcome to my 2nd year Internship at Ogallala Commons.
Ogallala Commons is a nonprofit program that has given me the opportunity to host community development through skills and training of how to assess and utilize the greatest commonwealth of my community. So, I got to set up and host Farmer’s Markets and Youth activities to advocate what I deem are valuable resources in my community: the youth and gardening.
My stewardship will be commenced at my home base of Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.; this where my tribe known as the Oglala Lakota “Sioux” tribe is set as my community. I call this rez my home as in whole, including various districts that compel the reservation or ‘rez’, of where I originate from and where I’m stationary at.
My first summer interning with Ogallala Commons has been spent hosting Farmer’s Market throughout districts of the rez at local events such as powwows; it was a wonderful experience to get to know community members and tourists alike. Also got to collaborate with other local programs for youth events and community outreach.
Now, I have enjoyed as much as learned a lot from the Ogallala Commons’ orientation at talon point retreat at Channing, TX; the overall 20-hour roundtrip was well worth the takeaway of experience and opportunity to establish my foundation with other interns. Over the time there I enhanced multicultural perception with each intern I met and shared ideas and background that gives me the sense of OC’s mission; to initiate connection of bioregions that sits on the surface of the Ogallala Aquifer. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest reserve of underground water (a true invaluable natural resource that is incomparable to the rest if I say so myself) that is undergoing an ultimate trial of survival from its biggest demand of supply; people.