Northern Plains Reservation Aid (formerly American Indian Relief Council)
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Success Stories

AIRC Weatherization

A Visit to Bull Creek

Ellis in front of house

The houses of Bull Creek are in poor condition and provide scant protection from harsh weather.

Ellis, a Sioux Elder, has lived on the eastern edge of the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota his entire life.  He and his three neighbors are the only residents of remote Bull Creek.

The winters here start early and run well into April.  It can snow for days on end, with drifts piling as high as the clotheslines.  The houses were primitive even when new, and in the decades since then, they have fallen into severe disrepair.

Through the AIRC Weatherization service, contractors visited Bull Creek to weatherproof the homes.  They covered the drafty windows with clear plastic and caulked the gaps in walls and doors.

Ellis's house with coverings over window

Until AIRC weatherized his house, Ellis hung heavy quilts over the drafty windows.

Warmer and Safer
Ellis lives in one remaining room of a small house that has slowly fallen down around him.  The only heat comes from a small electric unit.  Before AIRC Weatherization arrived, he kept heavy, quilted padding over both windows to keep out the cold and wind.

His long-time neighbor, Darlene, endures similar conditions.  She has lived alone since her husband passed away more than 25 years ago and is now mostly bedridden.  Thanks to the new weatherproofing, warm blankets, and gloves provided by National Relief Charities, she is warmer and safer now.


Darlene's heartfelt message to donors: "I appreciate what they have done for me and what they brought me."

Tears of Gratitude
When asked if she had a message for AIRC donors, Darlene's eyes filled with tears.  "I appreciate what they have done for me and what they brought me," she said.

There are many other Elders on the Rosebud Reservation who need help just as much as Ellis and Darlene once did.  Donor gifts will make it possible for AIRC Weatherization to reach them before another long, hard winter arrives.

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