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$2,000 Grant Awarded to CRCC Native Regalia Program

January 15, 2016

By Rachel Friederich

DOC Communications


Native American Regalia program members proudly display their creative works. (Tim Kelly , DOC Communications)

CONNELL – Officials with the Big Bend Electric Cooperative’s Caring Neighbors program recently awarded a $2,000 grant to the Native American regalia program at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC). Caring Neighbors is a charitable giving program run through the Big Bend Electric Cooperative that helps fund projects at non-profit and municipal entities benefitting youth and needy individuals, community improvement activities and emergency service organizations.

Native American inmates at CRCC, who are part of the Native American Regalia program, regularly create items that are donated to various charitable projects. Examples of items inmates have created and donated include: boxes of dress-up dolls to the children of victims of domestic violence, lap blankets for patients at local health care facilities and elaborate dance regalia outfits for needy Native American youths in the community.

Lori Wonders, a spokeswoman for Coyote Ridge, says the grant will allow the inmates to continue sharing Native American culture with the community.

“The inmates are thrilled with being able to share the Native American regalia with other tribes and individuals in the tribes that otherwise would have no opportunity learn about the differences in regalia, beadwork, powwows, and Native American dance,” Wonders said. “The funding received will provide others with costumes and the chance to learn grass dances, war dances and stay in touch with tribal traditions.”

The Big Bend Electric Cooperative provides electricity to rural residents in Adams and Franklin counties. Its members are made up of its customers. Funding for Caring Neighbors grants comes from its members. Members who choose to participate in the Caring Neighbors program have their electric bills rounded up to the nearest dollar. According to the Cooperative, “for an individual account, this averages six dollars per year.” The additional amount on the electric bills goes toward the 501(c)(3) Caring Neighbors grant program.