THIS MONTH: Inipi update, UWBH grant award, & much more! 
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OneHeart crew constructs inipi on campus

Under the guidance and supervision of Lakota elder Wayne Weston, members of OneHeart’s staff recently helped to construct an inipi, or sweat lodge, on the south side of the OneHeart campus.

The purpose of an inipi ceremony is to cleanse one’s body, mind, and spirit through the use of steam and prayer, according to OneHeart staffers Arlen Janis, Morris Brewer, Jr., and Tre Tuttle – all enrolled tribal members who provided additional assistance with the inipi’s construction.

The structure is made up of willow branches held together with cloth ties and covered with canvas. (Traditionally, the branches are tied together with willow bark; however, due to drought conditions, the bark was unusable, so cloth ties were substituted instead.)

Lava rocks used in ceremonies are heated in a nearby firepit.

Both the firepit and inipi at OneHeart are protected behind a secured privacy fence.

Since OneHeart opened its doors in January 2021, more than 60 percent of enrollees have identified as Native American. Guests who are interested in incorporating cultural and/or spiritual components into their transformation journeys are welcome, but not required, to do so.

Brewer and Janis explained that anyone is allowed to participate in a sweat except women who are “on their moon” (menstruating).

They say a designated person who understands the Lakota inipi process – the prayers, the songs, and the significance of each round – would lead the ceremony.

Brewer encourages participants not to be afraid and to embrace the experience, sharing the words of a Lakota elder who once told him, “This is the closest you will ever get to being in your mother’s womb.”

“The inipi is an extension of the healing journey our guests are a part of at OneHeart,” Brewer said. “In addition, our guests will have the ability to tap into a spiritual experience to be shared with other guests and staff.”

Below: Wayne Weston instructs Transformation Director Chad Ratigan on inipi construction techniques.

Realtors bring RED Day to OneHeart

Local agents from Keller Williams Realty Black Hills volunteered at OneHeart during KW’s RED Day, an annual day of service, on May 12.

The group put a second coat of paint on the interior of OneHeart’s Cultural Building, and they offered to return this summer to stain the fencing around the cultural site as well. Thank you, KW!

OneHeart's ride service receives United Way grant

OneHeart is thrilled be the recipient of a second Community Impact Grant from the United Way of the Black Hills!

The $12,400 award will support the expansion of OneHeart’s Transportation Program, which assists guests in getting to and from work, school, and off-campus appointments when necessary.
A guest who utilizes the ride service regularly said, "It ensures that I am able to work so that I'm able to provide for myself now and save for the future."

OneHeart recently added a second van to its fleet, and we hope to add a second driver to the program by fall.

A heartfelt thanks goes out to UWBH for helping to keep OneHeart’s wheels rolling and making a positive impact in our community.
Want to support OneHeart programs? Click HERE!
Koko comes to campus!

OneHeart kids (and staff members who are kids at heart) got to say "hello" to Koko when the giant monkey mascot from Watiki Waterpark came to campus in April.

Koko and his coworker Marina also left behind some free waterpark passes so OneHeart families can visit the venue after Watiki’s remodel is complete. Thank you, Koko and Watiki!
HomeBrew’s patio is open!

Soak in the sunshine while enjoying an iced coffee and a treat at OneHeart's HomeBrew Coffee Shop!

The outdoor tables are ready to seat customers on the patio at HomeBrew, located at 201 Kansas City St., in the heart of the OneHeart campus. HomeBrew is currently open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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