E-Tanka Cafe's Northwestern Area Foundation Program Committee Luncheon

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E-Tanka Cafe's Northwestern Area Foundation Program Committee Luncheon
By Jason Stover, story, and Eric Pourier, photos

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Native American Natural Foods CEO Karlene Hunter and President Mark Tilsen Sr. welcomed a large group of visitors last week when the Northwest Area Foundation program committee met with a number of leaders from Pine Ridge Reservation at Tanka Headquarters. The group gathered to discuss progress and goals in economic development on the reservation.

The meeting began with lunch at the Thunder Valley e-Tanka Cafe. Our friends enjoyed some of our 100% buffalo Tanka Dogs, grilled buffalo burgers and tasty salads, prepared by the e-Tanka Cafe staff.

After the luncheon, several people made presentations to the group:

-- Ivan Sorbel, executive director of the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce, discussed economic development on the reservation and the Chamber's buy local campaign.

-- Nick Tilsen, executive director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, talked about the progress the organization has made with youth development. He also discussed Thunder Valley’s community development work and future plans and goals for the organization.

-- Mark Tilsen Sr., president of Native American Natural Foods, explained the relationship the company has with the Northwest Area Foundation and how the group helped the company with its Tanka products.

-- Tawney Brunch, executive director of the Lakota Funds Community Development Financial Institution, talked about the organization's upcoming creation of a credit union on the reservation.
-- Thomas Short Bull, president of Oglala Lakota College, and Marilyn Pourier, development director, discussed how the college's new Multipurpose Building was created to provide a service for the youth and to support a strong sports program.

Other guests included Elsie Meeks, director of rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture; Rep. Kevin Killer of South Dakota; Kevin Walker, president and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation, Gary Cunningham, vice president of programs for the Northwest Area Foundation.

For more information:
Northwest Area Foundation
Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce
Thunder Valley CDC
Lakota Funds
Oglala Lakota College

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