John Yellow Hawk

John Yellow Hawk used a loan and grant from Lakota Funds' Su Owojupi (They're Planting) Project to plant a garden that will infuse the Pine Ridge Reservation with a variety of fresh vegetables and help mitigate health issues caused from living in a food desert. Read more.

Our Clients’ Success is Our Success

At Lakota Funds, our greatest success can be seen through our clients’ achievements. Whether it is someone who builds positive credit through our Credit Builder Loan or someone who opens up a business with a Small Loan, we celebrate these accomplishments.

Micro Loans

Louis Young
Upon entering retirement, Louis Young, an Oglala Sioux tribal member that resides in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, decided to let his entrepreneurial spirit fill his time by creating Arrow Barber Shop. Read the full story.

Guss Yellow Hair
Warren “Guss” Yellow Hair is a Lakota grassroots artist, from Allen, South Dakota, and owner of his own business, Teton Painted Lodges. Guss has been creating Lakota artwork since he was a young man and he “enjoys creating a piece of art that people can treasure for years”. Read the full story.

Rosalie Red Elk – Rosalie’s Quilting
Rosalie’s Quilting is a quilting business offering quality hand sewn star quilts specializing in the traditional and non-traditional style that can be custom made. Rosalie’s Quilting is located at 23509 Hwy 44 in the Corn Creek/Wanblee area owned and operated by Rosalie Red Elk and Ron Little Thunder. Rosalie and her husband, Ron, initially obtained financing with the Lakota Funds to purchase sewing machine equipment to open her own business. With her new equipment Rosalie can produce an average of 160 star quilts monthly. Rosalie’s Quilting has done so well the first year, Rosalie and Ron obtained additional financing from the Lakota Funds to expand their business and pay down some debt. Rosalie currently employs just herself along with Ron but she has hopes of expanding business, purchasing additional equipment and employing more Tribal members. Read the full story. Watch the video interview.

Nadine Red Cloud – Soaring Eagle Tipis
Soaring Eagle Tipis is a small tipi production business opened recently by Nadine Morrison-Red Cloud. Nadine specializes in selling tipis and poles along with producing hand-made star quilts. Nadine’s business is based in Pine Ridge and first found about the Lakota Funds from a poster in a Pine Ridge business. Nadine began her journey with Lakota Funds by completing Empowerment Through Business Ownership and Credit When Credit is Due classes. Empowered with confidence by the classes to take the next step, Nadine completed all loan application criteria and received a small micro loan to purchase materials and supplies needed to produce and sell her top quality tipis and star quilts. Watch the video interview.

Andre Mills
Andre Mills started with a chainsaw and is building a business to provide a service to his community and to assist the elderly in the winter time. With the aid of Lakota Funds he's been able to forge his business from the ground up. Watch the video interview.

Small Loans

Derek Weston - Six Stars Pest Control Services
In 2014, Weston utilized a business loan from Lakota Funds to purchase a service truck to expand his pest control business. Initially, the business provided small pest and weed control to homeowners, but has since expanded to include a full spectrum of pest control, noxious weed control, landscaping, and snow removal. In addition, his company specializes in hazardous material removal, including methamphetamine lab and black mold clean up. Weston holds eight different licenses to safely provide these services to individuals and businesses on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Read the full story.

Darrell Hunter - D&A Custom Wood-Working
Over twenty years ago Darrell Hunter was one of three students in the first-ever woodshop class at Little Wound High School in Kyle, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. His teacher, who Darrell indicates was also a supportive mentor, created the class so he could develop his talents and prepare to go onto a vocational program at a nearby technical school.

Today, Darrell teaches the same woodshop class that he graduated from and is helping students discover and capitalize on their own unique talents. Even more recently, Darrell took his passion for woodworking one step further and launched his own business that sells his custom wood creations, such as chests, cabinets, display cases, and log furniture.
Read the full story.

Jennifer Big Crow - Timber Ghost
The Big Crow family utilizes a business loan from Lakota Funds to expand operations and fill gap in much needed local services for outdoor events on Pine Ridge Reservation. Read the full story.

Marlen Featherman - Wiyaka Wicasa
Marlen Featherman, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, grew up in the town of Kyle on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Since graduating high school, he has accumulated 16 years of experience in maintenance and custodial field, as well as informally running a lawn care business outside of his normal working hours. Through Lakota Funds’ matched savings program, he has been able to turn his part-time passion into a full–fledged business by using his total savings and a small loan to purchase a mower, chainsaw, and trailer. Read the full story.

Kim Trujillio - Bow-K’s
After 10 years of working in business administration, Kim Trujillo, an Oglala Sioux Tribal member, cashed in her retirement, and pursued her dream of owning a business. Through a small business loan from Lakota Funds, Kim opened BOW-K’s, a flower and sweet shop, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in late October of 2010. Read the full story.

Boot Jack Contracting
Boot Jack Contracting, LLC. is a contracting company specializing in installation of main and service water lines. The company also hauls such goods as gravel and livestock. Read more…

Thunderbird Media
Lakota Funds recently provided Connie and Manuel Blanco with financing to purchase the remaining shares of Thunderbird Media, Inc., dba Lakota Country Times, from majority shareholder Loren “Bat” Pourier. Read the full story.

Marquitee Heathershaw - Heathershaw Designs
Marquitee Heathershaw offers decorative embroidered services on the Pine Ridge reservation of South Dakota. In her own words, Heathershaw Designs is a dream come true as an enterprise and service for the Lakota people. Watch the video interview.

Frank Murdock - Murdock Electric
Murdock Electric was able to expand its existing building and grow with assistance from Lakota Funds. Now they provide employment to individuals on the reservation as well as grow in the scope of their professional activity. Watch the video interview.

Jesse Reyes
Jesse Reyes provides delicious Mexican food from his native land in his restaurant and at events such as Pow Wows. In addition, Jesse employs two full time and two part time positions. Watch the video interview.

Line of Credit

Murdock Electric
Murdock Electric, electrical contractor based in Pine Ridge, South Dakota was one of only six local Native contractors selected for the new $28.5 million justice center project that broke ground April 20, 2012. While over 20 bids were submitted from reservation-based contractors, many struggled with securing the required levels of bonding and found that the trust status of their land was a barrier. However, Joe Murdock sites his competitive edge on the project as the recently increased line of credit to $200,000 from Lakota Funds which enabled them to obtain the required $2 million bond. Read the story in our newsletter.

Donald Steele – SOO Construction
SOO Construction is a small construction company owned and operated by Donald Steele of Manderson. Don has been a general contractor on the Reservation for years and recently approached Lakota Funds for working capital to continue operations while awaiting payments from Contractors and other entities for work completed. Lakota Funds had the perfect loan product for Donald---a line of credit to draw down when needed. Donald completed the loan application and provided all other documentation needed for the lending department to pass on credit request to the Executive Director for perusal and approval. Donald has two full-time employees including himself and hires contract labor as needed for projects.

Credit Builder Loan

Percetta Red Willow
Percetta Red Willow obtained a Credit Builder Loan designed to repair credit damage by paying off delinquent or charged off credit such as loans, garnishments or other collection items. The Credit Builder Loan is a consumer loan product for up to $2,500.00. Percetta heard about the loan product on the weekly Lakota Funds hour of broadcast at KILI radio. Percetta worked with loan staff in gathering all needed documentation, completing a credit builder action plan and attending Financial Literacy along with Credit When Credit is due classes. The Credit Builder Loan is designed to improve credit score and show a positive payment history with a lender such as the Lakota Funds.

Matched Savings (IDA) Program

Kolton Wisecarver
Kolton Wisecarver, 16-year-old resident of Wounded Knee, South Dakota and Oglala Sioux Tribal member, is the first participant to enroll in Lakota Funds’ Youth Matched Savings Program and learn through first-hand experience the value and benefits of saving money. Through this program Kolton is attending classes to build his personal financial skills and also receiving three dollars for every dollar he deposits into his Individual Development Account (IDA), a special matched savings account. By the end of the program period Kolton will use up to $2,880 in savings to enhance his bucking stock business that he started last summer. This infusion of capital will enable him to purchase more stock and equipment, getting one step closer to his dream of becoming a quality rodeo stock supplier and bull rider. Read the full story.

Joseph Rosales
Joseph began with the idea of finishing his home and as he needed materials locally he conceived the idea of starting his own sawmill. He continues to work diligently towards all his goals and to promote growth in his own community. Watch the video interview.

Child Development Account (CDA) Program

Abigail Haas
Abigail Haas, a Kindergartener at Red Cloud School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, is the most recent participant to open a savings account through Lakota Funds' Child Development Account Program, a unique matched savings program that focuses on building the family core. In November, she and the rest of her family will attend their first quarterly meeting of the program and participate in financial literacy and family building activities. Abigail will also receive monthly lessons that teach her about saving and how to be responsible for her account. Read the full story.