2015 Tax Season Wraps Up

Chief Dull Knife College Extension Service in partnership with St. Labre Youth & Family Services and People’s Partner for Community Development just wrapped up the 11th year of providing Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to community members at our tax sites. CDKC campus in Lame Deer has hosted a VITA site for all 11 years, the last four in the Extension Service building next to the John Woodenlegs Memorial Library. CDKC site hours were Monday thru Thursday from 9am-4pm and until 5pm on Monday and Wednesday of each week, from January 25th until April 18th. St. Labre campus in Ashland has hosted a VITA site for 10 years at the Youth & Family Services department next to the cafeteria. St. Labre site hours were every Wednesday from 9am-3pm from January 27th until April 6th.

For the 2015 tax season we completed 614 tax returns, an increase of 113 returns from last year. The amount of Federal Refund money brought back to the community for FREE this season was $1,592,796.50, which is also an increase. Through our VITA sites, tax payers eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) received $747,009. Not only can we file Federal Returns for free, we also can complete State returns which accumulated to $97,942 in Montana State Refund dollars returned this season.

In the 11 years of providing VITA, we have helped tax payers receive over $7.8 million in Federal Refund money for FREE as we have completed 3,514 tax returns. We look forward to continue VITA services in the future in hopes of increasing our numbers and bringing back over $2 million in Federal Refund money in a tax season. Our IRS certified volunteers for this season were: Henry Thompson, Tommy Robinson, Bitty Wick, Carrie Small, Tanya Thompson and JC Lawrence (CDKC); Vicki Anderson, Luella Brien, Tisha Limpy, Jade Walksalong, and Tamara Hawkins (St. Labre).

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Four of the CDKC volunteers pose at the Open House.
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Tanya poses with one of our tax payers, Johnita Talawyma, who utilized our VITA site.

2015 Winter Carnival

PPCD partnered with Chief Dull Knife College Extension Service and various CDKC programs for the Winter Carnival for area children that was held on Monday, December 28, 2015 at the campus of CDKC in Lame Deer. The carnival was scheduled for December 23rd but due to some unforeseen circumstances, it was rescheduled for after the Christmas Holiday.

The carnival consisted of various games for the youth to participate in, including; ring toss, fish pond, cake walk, face painting and basketball toss and the main event, kid’s bingo. The event was made possible by generous donations from the following: Northern Cheyenne Behavioral Health (bingo), The Flower Grinder (candy bags), First Interstate Bank Branch of Lame Deer (cakewalk), Cheyenne Depot (volunteer appreciation), Leroy Whiteman and Vanna Schwann (hay wagon ride), Mary Allery and Diane Knudson (bingo gifts), Rosebud Foods (oranges), Talen Energy Corporation (pictures with Santa and prizes for games), Kermit Spang (donated tractor use), Tori Jensen (gifts for bingo), and various Chief Dull Knife College programs.

There were several volunteers that ran the show and we must give them big thanks. Volunteers: Rowdy Alexander, Rosalia Bad Horse, Janelle Beartusk, Ronelle Beartusk, Aryn Fisher, Brayden Gutierrez Paz (Santa’s Elf), Joan Hantz, Jody Jensen, Aaron Keplin, Tommy Robinson, Debby Russell, LeFaye Russell, Michelle Spang, Henry Thompson, Tanya Thompson, Akira WhiteCrane, Anthony Whitedirt and generous support from Chief Dull Knife College Administration and PPCD Board of Directors.

We were unable to have some of the activities that were listed on the flyer due to circumstances that were beyond our control.

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Youth Ag Operations Workshop

PPCD partnered with CDKC Extension Service to host the first Youth Ag Operations Workshop in August. The workshop was held August 10-12th at Chief Dull Knife College with 8 youth participating. We provided a variety of activities and presentations over the three days, including two field trips. The participants were given vital information on how to produce a successful Ag operation, including tips and suggestions from our area rancher/entrepreneur, Rowdy Alexander. Rusty Irion, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist from the Miles City office, provided information on NRCS programs that are offered to ranchers and farmers. Whisper Kelly, Ag Westfeeds, Inc. Specialist, provided information on feeds, grains and supplements for cattle, as well as artificial insemination guidelines. PPCD and CDKC staff provided business and personal finance information in regards to a cattle operation, as well. We took the participants on a Tribal & Government Offices/Resources field trip so that they would know the programs and people they would be dealing with in the future in the Ag Operation. It was a great three days with our youth and we look forward to their futures as Ag Operators.

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2015 Northern Cheyenne Youth Rodeo Series Under Way

The fourth edition of the Northern Cheyenne Youth Rodeo Series got underway on Wednesday, June 17th at the Northern Cheyenne Rodeo Grounds in Lame Deer. There were over 50 contestants, aging from 1 to 17 years old. Contestants competed amongst each other in 11 different events: Stick Horse Race, Boot Race, Goat Tail Untying, Dummy Roping, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Flag Race, Breakaway Roping, Goat Tying, Steer Riding, and Team Roping. All of the entry money is disbursed to the top four contestants of each event, but the committee is working hard at fundraising for all of the year end prizes which will be given out at the September rodeo.

New to the series are Educational Presentations for the youth before each rodeo. PPCD Executive Director, Sharon Small, had the contestants write their total amount of entry fees paid for the June rodeo with the thought of adding up the amount of money they won from their performance(s) and seeing if there was a surplus or shortage. We were unable to finish this due to the inclement weather that halted the finish of the rodeo but we look to continue it at each rodeo thereafter.

2015 Rodeo Dates:

July 15th; August 26th; FINALS: September 10th. Entries open at 4:00pm and Rodeo starts at 5:00pm.

NCYRS made possible by local volunteers, PPCD and CDKC Extension Staff. For more information, call Leslie Spang, Sharon Small, or Michelle Spang 477-6215 ext. 135 or 111.

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Bronxton Whiteman shows us proper form.
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Ari, Maddie & Vangie pose with their fast horses.
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The crowd is enjoying watching the 0-5 age group compete in the Stick Horse Race.
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Logan is happy to be at the rodeo.
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Sadie makes her way towards her last barrel in the Stick Horse Race.

PPCD partners to offer Native Artist Training

PPCD is partnering with NACDC Financial Services, Inc and First Peoples Fund to provide Native Artist Professional Development Training. An orientation meeting on the training was held at Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer on June 17th with four participants in attendance. The meeting consisted of some insights on the training along with some background information on First Peoples Fund. The actual training will be a two day workshop that will be held in Lame Deer sometime during the Fall of 2015.

The Native Artist Professional Development Training is a curriculum developed by First Peoples Fund that equips entrepreneurs with knowledge, tools and confidence to navigate their professional careers and lead fulfilling personal lives. The value-based education that First Peoples Fund provides sees the business of art and expression as cultural leadership–and positions artists to actualize a vision of success that fits within their cultural principles.

The training takes Native artists on a journey developing and enhancing practical skills in order to:

  • Express their personal vision and values that will ultimately become the principal foundation of their business.
  • Determine their art marketing, business and financial management abilities using a series of self-assessment tools.
  • Plan and set goals leading to weekly and monthly and annual business calendars.
  • Budget and establish a successful pricing structure.
  • Market their business using a variety of approaches and tools.
  • Complete a marketing plan.
  • Stand up and make a difference in their tribal communities, passing on cultural values and ancestral knowledge to the next generation.

The program is intended for artists of any stage in their careers.

Please contact Tom or Sharon for more information on the Training. 406-477-6215 ext. 190 or info@peoplespartners.org.

Native Artist Training Orientation Meeting
A few of our participants along with staff members from PPCD, NACDC Financial Services, Inc. and First Peoples Fund were in attendance.
Flyer for the Native Artist Training in Lame Deer
Flyer for the Native Artist Training in Lame Deer