Culture, Commerce, Community & Commitment
Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
Photo by Indianz.com
Native Americans are a very diverse group, consisting of members of over 550 tribes in divergent areas across the United States. Some important similarities still exist, such as high poverty rates and inadequate housing conditions, that are epidemic to largely rural Native American reservations. Native Americans are historically one of the least economically funded groups in the country. Persistent poverty and inadequate housing continue to be key issues. Added to these problems are education, environmental and social issues as well as a lack of access to quality healthcare.
The Native American Chamber of Commerce created the Hope and Harmony for Humanity Program to assist in developing opportunities and continuing education workshops for Native American communities. The primary initiative of the Hope and Harmony for Humanity program is to partner with major corporations to sponsor Native Indian Achievement Centers (technology centers) on disadvantaged Native American reservations.
The Achievement Centers’ focus is to improve access to digital information and technology on low-income remote Native American reservations. These technology centers are being sponsored to help to improve educational and employment opportunities, address imbalances in resources and skills and promote self-sufficiency.
An Achievement Center provides free access to all ages. It can be a centerpiece for job skills development, a source for life long learning, a path to opportunity through education, and a vehicle for economic improvement. Equipment, curriculum and training are provided by corporate partners in conjunction with the Native American Chamber of Commerce. A week of staff training is included to assure familiarity with the curriculum being used to open the Achievement Center. Equipment includes 10 computers, an all-in-one printer, digital projector and other accessories required for networking and completing an up to date technology lab.
Standard curriculum provided includes beginner to intermediate computer courses as well as courses in reading, math, health, financial responsibility, job readiness, college preparation, and environmental issues. Achievement Centers may be tailored to the individual needs of the reservation and combined with other grants to update and improve technology resources on the reservation.
Financial sponsors are recognized by a Grand Opening event, a national press release, and acknowledgement on the NACC websites. A banner including all corporate partnerships involved is prominently displayed in the Achievement Center.
IBM was instrumental in providing computer products, services and training workshops.
Microsoft Corp. provided a grant for MS Office 2003 Software and curriculum for three of these Achievement Centers.
Blackfeet Achievement Center
Browning, MT - Septemeber 2006
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Cass Lake, MN - April 2007
Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo – Tigua
El Paso, TX - August 2007
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
Houlton, ME - April 2008
Catawba Indian Tribe Achievement Center
Cheyenne River Reservation - September 2008
Pine Ridge Achievement Center
Pine Ridge, SD (Lakota Sioux)
Wounspe Tech Center - Pine Ridge Reservation - September 2008
Achievement Center in partnership with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) BNSF contributed to the success of several of our technical centers.
** Only 1% of college students are Native Americans. You can help change that with your donation. Inspire a new generation, help those in need build a future, for themselves, their family and their communities.