12 months
Porcupine, SD—In recognition of winning a 2017 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, this grant will advance the organization's charitable mission


Thunder Valley Community Development staff
Photographer: Wes Eisenhauer


New construction with solar panels
Photographer: Wes Eisenhauer


Stop sign with road names
Photographer: Wes Eisenhauer


Chickens and a coop
Photographer: Wes Eisenhauer


Cold frame and empty beds
Photographer: Wes Eisenhauer


Side of a brightly painted barn
Photographer: Wes Eisenhauer

The Big Idea

Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) believes that the genius from within its community can find solutions to the issues facing Pine Ridge Reservation—and that the solutions must be as big as the historical challenges they face. These guiding principles fuel a comprehensive, grassroots approach that empowers youth and families to improve the health, culture and environment for the 30,000 Oglala Lakota who make Pine Ridge their home. 

TVCDC works side by side with the community to build hope and confidence through creating an ecosystem of opportunity. Over the past 10 years, the organization has engaged more than 20 local partners and hundreds of community members to develop a groundbreaking, sustainable plan that articulates systemic solutions and deliberate action on key regional issues. Through these ongoing collaborations, TVCDC created a homeownership program to stimulate asset building, economic development and community wealth. The organization is currently constructing a 34-acre community with energy efficient and affordable homes, business incubator spaces, sustainable food production, and a healthy and supportive environment for youth, families and the elderly. 

TVCDC grounds its work in Lakota values. Its bold efforts to preserve the Lakota language and instill traditional cultural and spiritual practices in youth are building the next generation of capable leaders for this visionary, cutting-edge organization.