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e-Tanka Cafe serves up lessons on work, health, life

By the Tanka Team

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The Thunder Valley E-Tanka Cafe is a partnership between the Thunder Valley Community Development Corp. and Native American Natural Foods, the creator of the Tanka Bar. In this project, youth have the opportunity to work for two organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of Lakota people through increasing skills for young people.

The Thunder Valley e-Tanka Cafe project is designed as a hands-on youth entrepreneurship program that gives youth "real life" skills that they will be able to carry with them to higher education or in starting their professional careers.

Youth from the Pine Ridge Reservation are helping to create the cafe, which serves healthy food and drinks, including the brand new Tanka Dog, a 100% Natural Buffalo Hot Dog. In the project, the youth workers get hands-on experience in customer service, Internet marketing and the selling of goods and services.

The youth employees are also trained in financial literacy. They open bank accounts and participate in an individual development account (IDA) savings program.

The heart of the Thunder Valley-Native American Natural Foods partnership is aimed at giving reservation youth the opportunity to learn entrepreneurship skills, get financial education, receive on-the-job experience and to contribute to creating positive change in the local community. It is also focused on helping youth become healthier physically, mentally and emotionally.

The Thunder Valley e-Tanka Cafe project is funded by the Administration for Native Americans, Native American Natural Foods and the Thunder Valley Community Development Corp.

For more information, contact Thunder Valley CDC at 605-455-2700 or Native American Natural Foods at 605-455-2187.

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