About us

The Promise

hawkwing began with a promise Rochelle Ripley made to her Lakota grandmother to “go home and help the People.”  “Home” is the Cheyenne River Lakota/Sioux Reservation, South Dakota, a land of beauty, wilderness, inspiration and heart wrenching poverty. The Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation is the poorest county in the United States with limited healthcare, a life expectancy of only age 48, 85% unemployment and an average annual income per person of only $2,926. 


hawkwing brings basic need items: food, clothing, medical supplies, personal care items, books and toys to some 2,600 children and 500 Elders on the Reservation. hawkwing brings doctors, nurses and dentists to the Reservation for health services, and construction volunteers to repair dilapidated homes, community buildings and special projects. hawkwing brings hope, respects culture, supports families, promotes life and keeps promises.


Our Mission

  • We work to facilitate understanding among all cultures by promoting diversity and spiritual* understanding and building bridges.

  • We outreach to all cultures and age groups through educational programs, diversity trainings and creative experiences.

  • We assist young people and adults with personal development and growth by experiencing Lakota storytelling and history.

  • We offer meaningful community service volunteer opportunities for youth and adults both on the Reservation and in New England to assist the children and Elders of Reservations in South Dakota meet their basic human needs arising out of extreme poverty.

  • We build bridges of understanding between Native and Non-Native people.

  • We help foster economic self-sufficiency among the Lakota people.

    *We define spirituality as "a quest for who you are and for seeking your mission in life", and not by religious practices.


Our Vision

hawkwing promotes a world vision of Mitakuye Oyasin — We Are All Related.  In the Native American manner, we acknowledge the importance of all living things on the Earth. hawkwing seeks to create a reality where we understand, honor, appreciate and respect one another across ethnicity, genders, sexual orientation, ages, species, boundaries and beliefs. hawkwing strives to engage children and adults in honoring and healing Mother Earth who provides us with our very existence. hawkwing promotes a world vision of Mitakuye Oyasin — We Are All Related.