Donations helping the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The season of giving is here, and people living on the Lake Traverse Reservation near Sisseton, South Dakota have felt the kindness of others recently.

Yesterday, Carol Gokee of Wisconsin drove eight hours to bring winter clothes and food to Sisseton, South Dakota.

“It’s a pleasure, it is, just to know that I can do anything to help these people, you know, because we all suffer in life one way or another. But because of COVID, we’re all facing a lot of new challenges here,” Gokee said.

Julia Fike of Sisseton helped organize Gokee’s donation as well as other donations, which she says come from all over the country.

“We get help not only from the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, but we have Partners for Native Nations, it will be here next weekend. They’ve got two trailer fulls, two trailers full, two trucks full. They’re bringing food, jackets, blankets, Christmas toys for the children. The response is just wonderful,” Fike said.

Allison Renville works with the Tribe’s COVID Response Team. She says donations like these are important for people in need.

“Our houseless relatives are kind of in a need of basic clothing, jackets,” Renville said.

But it’s not just food and clothes being donated to the Tribe.

“We have recieved over 14 thousand donations of cloth masks as well as procedural masks, probably, you know, it’s hard to say. We’ve probably gotten like a hundred thousand of them so far, it’s hard to really keep track they’ve come in so well,” Allison Renville, public information officer for the SWO COVID Dare Response Team, said.

Renville says they can see the difference those donations make within the community.

“You see people out, driving around in a car with a mask on, you know, that comfortable and we really appreciate it. We have to do everything that we can to protect ourselves and our community,” Renville said.

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