ROSEBUD RESERVATION – The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) presented the Rosebud Sioux Tribe with a $388,306 dividend payment at a special tribal council meeting held recently.
“REDCO has grown from 1 employee to 57 employees in 7 years,” stated Wizipan Little Elk, REDCO CEO. “We want to find ways to help our people improve their quality of life.”
REDCO’s top accomplishments during the past year include bringing in revenue totaling $16,042,066. This amount resulted in a profit of $1,944,031 and provided the $388,306 dividend payment to the tribe. REDCO has had several accomplishments during the past year.
For example, REDCO has completed (1) 2018-2022 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), (2) 2019 State of the Workforce Report, (3) 10+ government contracts and (4) construction of Indian Health Service staff apartments. REDCO has also implemented a Design-build to construction group, which will allow employees to oversee the entire construction project from initial design to final construction. Also, REDCO has implemented a healing informed workforce development strategy to help employees do the best job they can.
REDCO has several businesses, or subsidiaries, which they oversee. These include Rosebud Office Solutions (ROS), Rosebud Construction Inc. (RCI), Sicangu Propane, Arrow Financial Services (AFS), Sicangu Food Sovereignty Initiative, Sicangu Community Development Corporation and Tatanka Funds Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
Our ancestors worked hard to feed their families and knew certain strategies worked better than others. For instance, corn, beans and squash were planted in a mound for better growing results. These three staple vegetables were known as the Three Sisters. REDCO also believes in a Nation Building Approach using the Three Sisters technique because, as Lakota people, we believe we are all related and it is our duty to grow a better world for future generations.
REDCO, Sicangu CDC and Tatanka Funds are the Three Sisters of the corporation. REDCO will be charged with developing amazing leaders who will run great organizations to grow local economic development. Sicangu CDC will work to develop our overall community to empower all our people. Tatanka Funds CDFI will work on individual asset building through personal finance, business entrepreneurship and homeownership.
“It’s not important to tell you what I can do,” Little Elk told the tribal council. “What’s most important is for me to tell you what I can’t do. This is the reason why we build a team to carry out our plans.”
The 7Gen plan will work toward our people being healthy, helpful and safe. When we calculate 25 years for 1 generation, the plan must encompass the next 175 years. The 7Gen plan will develop strategies to work for improvement in 7 areas. These include Rosebud’s current (1) housing shortage, (2) low educational attainment, (3) poverty, (4) poor healthcare, (5) lack of jobs, (6) climate change and (7) food desert.
REDCO’s FY20 financial goals include increasing the corporation’s overall revenue to $21 million, which will increase profits to $2.7 million. Also, developments currently in motion for FY20 include (1) develop RST new tax strategy, (2) develop RST Hemp Code, (3) Amend Uniform Commercial Code, (4) Create the 7Gen Plan, (5) Support the Three Sister development: REDCO–Sicangu CDC–Tatanka Funds CDFI, (6) Start-up Rosebud Facilities Management and move into government contracting and (7) assess REDCO’s business cycle and scale-up plan to REDCO 3.0.
A six-member board is appointed by the tribal council to oversee REDCO. Board members are Wayne Boyd (Chairperson), Rodney M. Bordeaux (Vice-chairperson), Nora Antoine (at-large member), OJ Semans (at-large member) and Lisa White Pipe (RST Budget & Finance Committee Chair). The sixth board seat was held by the late Vernon Ike Schmidt and the tribal council is expected to appoint a replacement soon.
REDCO is preparing to roll-out an upgraded website in the coming weeks. You can visit them online at www.sicangucorp.com. Call 605-856-8400 for more information.
Vi Waln (Sicangu Lakota) can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org