Evaluating a Sustainable Community Development Initiative Among the Lakota People on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Description: This thesis details my applied thesis project and experience in the evaluation of a workforce development through sustainable construction program. It describes the need of my client, Sweet Grass Consulting and their contractual partner, the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, in the evaluation of Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program. My role involved the development of an extensive evaluation package for this program and data analysis of evaluation materials to support Thunder Valley CDC's grant-funded Workforce Development Program. I place the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC in the context of their community, the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota People, and within an historical and contemporary context to highlight the implications of the efforts of Thunder Valley CDC. Using the theoretical frameworks of cultural revitalization and community economic development, I attempt to highlight two important components of Thunder Valley CDC's community development efforts - cultural revitalization for social healing, and development that emphasizes social, community and individual well-being. Thunder Valley CDC's Workforce Development through Sustainable Construction Program is still in its early stages, and so this first year of implementation very much represented a pilot phase. However, while specific successes are difficult to measure at this point, general successes are viewable in the daily operations of Thunder Valley CDC that exemplify their stated mision and goals. These successes include initiatives that holistically address community needs; relevancy in the eyes of the community they serve; support for the community and for Program participants' unique challenges; and a cultural restoration and revitalization emphasis that underlies and strengthens all of this. The program thus has the potential to provide a model for community development by challenging dominant "development" paradigms and utilizing community resources and assets for community development that reflects the community's values and worldviews.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Mosman, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries