Rocky Boy community center group moving forward
Native American Classic ticket raffle underway
Last updated 11/27/2019 at 1:10pm
A group working to build a community center on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation is holding fundraisers while it is working to finalize its organization and non-profit status.
Chippewa Cree Tribe Eagle Core Community Organization is raffling off two tickets to the Native American Classic Basketball game in Great Falls next month.
The raffle is open to anyone who is interested and tickets are $5, Eagle Core Secretary Rebekah Jarvey said.
The Native American Classic is an annual event at the beginning of the basketball season, with a number of Native American Schools in the area coming together to play each other in the tournament. Jarvey said that the events have no winners or losers, “it’s just for fun.”
People who are interested in purchasing a ticket for the raffle can contact Jarvey through Facebook or her email, [email protected], or contact her at her office number, 395-5705, ext. 2013.
Eagle Core is in the process of finalizing its bylaws and 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
“I understand it’s a big project, so it has taken a lot of work to get it done,” Jarvey said. “ … Every day, in my line of work and being part of the community, I just really see how vital it is to have the community center.”
Eagle Core started in January, shortly after the former Stone Child College building at Rocky Boy Agency was condemned, and the group officially recognized by the tribal council in March.
The building that housed Stone Child College before its new campus was built was widely used by community members after the college moved. It housed events such as powwows, feasts, ceremonies, basketball and many events for children. After it was closed, the reservation no longer had any place to hold community gatherings unless they wanted to rent space in the churches or the college. Out of this concern, Eagle Core was created, with the desire to get something positive for the youth.
Eagle Core’s goal is to build a community center, expand the skatepark and make a place for children, families and youth to spend their time drug and alcohol free, Eagle Core President Ken Morsette said.
The organization has held a number of fundraising events since it was created, including a washer and dryer raffle during the annual Rocky Boy celebration in August and an Honor Our Legacy Fashion Show in September.
“It’s been slow moving,” Jarvey said.
She added that the organization has been in a standstill, organizing and completing the legal requirements it needs in order to be established as a 501(c)(3) organization.
She said the organization intends to complete its bylaws and present them to the tribal council next month. After the bylaws are approved, the organization will finalize its paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) organization.
Once the organization receives its official non-profit status, it can start making larger strides in completing its goals, Jarvey added.
“We are still at the early stages,” she said, adding that everything the organization has been working on has been paid for by its members.
Jarvey said that once the paperwork is finalized the organization can start looking for investors. Eagle Core does have a few members looking into different funding sources and one of the Business Committee members is looking for investors for the organization. She added that investors can be anybody who is interested.
Morsette said that, although progress has been slow, the organization is still working hard to get things going. He has been working with a few companies and other organizations to make improvements to the Rocky Boy skatepark. He said that he is working to get solar lighting and some concrete work done at the park, which will hopefully be completed before the end of next year. He has also been working to get sod put around the skatepark, so dirt or loose rocks aren’t pushed into the park, which could pose some health risks, he added.
The skatepark was built by Pearl Jam bassist and Big Sandy-native Jeff Ament’s foundation and Evergreen skateparks last year.
Morsette said that the park is highly used by the community’s youth and is one of the few places children have in the area.
He said that Eagle Core is working with a representative of a Native American engineering firm in Canada to plan the community center, but the representative is working on a number of other projects on Rocky Boy’s Reservation and he has not been able to make time to work with them for several month.
Jarvey said Eagle Core meets once a month on a Wednesday at 1 p.m. People can find dates and places of meetings on the group’s Facebook page.
She said that the group’s meetings are open to the public and people who are interested should contact her.
People can also visit and find more information on Eagle Core’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CCTECCO .