Earlier this summer, Inspiration Corporation was fortunate enough to take part in an initiative that gathered youth from Illinois, with Indigenous youth from the Wicoti Tiwahe Camp of Rosebud South Dakota, for a day of service and education. The event took place at the Field Museum, Inspiration Cafe, and Inspiration Kitchens.

The day began with a meet and greet by Field Museum by curator Alaka Wali, as well as Kanza artist Chris Pappan, whose work is currently is currently on display there. Following was a speech from Steve Tamayo from the Wicoti Tiwahe Camp.  From there, the youth headed out with our Volunteer Coordinator, Dakota, for a day of service. Half of the youth tended to our garden at Inspiration Kitchens in Garfield Park, while the other half assembled and donated 100 bagged lunches in our cafe, and learned about Inspiration Corporation’s history and services.

Indigenous artists and Indigenous organizations worked together to create an experience that would bring the two groups of young people together, while participating in the Wicoti Tiwahe Camp’s goal of Introducing the Indigenous youth to the different urban Indigenous professionals across various cities, including Chicago. Through her involvement with the Christ Church Youth Ministries in Winnetka, and an introduction to a group of Water Protectors at Standing Rock, our dedicated volunteer, Leah Romanelli helped make this collaboration possible. “Top to bottom, these are just some of the most creative and thoughtful people I’ve ever met,” says Leah. “My Winnetka youth learn a lot from them.”

Thank you so much to everyone who participated to help make the day a success!