Many Lakota families from the Pine Ridge Reservation face extreme winters on the South Dakota plains with little or no heat.

Ty Olson stands in front of a frozen waterfall in Voyageurs National Park. Copyright Ty Olson.

In a herculean effort to make a difference, Ty Olson embarked on a solo expedition, skiing the length of the Minnesota-Ontario border, a 250 mile journey across the frozen wilderness, to support One Spirit, a US based NGO, with a program to provide wood to Lakota families. Funds were being raised towards firewood, propane, better wood stoves – preventing fire and death – and suitable sheds able to store wood that can be harvested off-season.

But firewood won’t fix the real problem.

Justice will only come through Indigenous-led efforts to reclaim power over their own lives and their own lands.

Ty Olson

Ty experienced some of the harshest winter landscapes in the United States with temperatures ranging from to -40 to +40 degrees in a single day. And on March 9th 2021, Ty Olson completed his journey raising in excess of US$50000.

The Onaway Trust recognise Ty’s efforts and wider aims and were pleased to provide a grant of US$4300 to One Spirit specifically for this noble cause and in solidarity with the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation and the wider issues faced by indigenous peoples.

Make a donation, enjoy an interview or read more about Ty Olson’s story on the website

We must stand with initiatives like NDN Collective and Honor the Earth, honor the treaties and demand tribal sovereignty.

Photographs and interview courtesy of One Spirit.

project updates
28 February 2021
Ski for Fire

project partners

One Spirit

One Spirit works in partnership with the Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to help them achieve happier, healthier lives within the context of their remarkable and unique history and culture.