Rural America Initiatives (RAI) serves Rapid City, South Dakota, the major Indian population center in the region. We are the city's longest operating Native, private, non-profit 501(c)3 community organization. It was founded in 1986 to partner with at-risk and low-income Native American families to strengthen the development of healthy, sober, self-sufficient lifestyles.
Our mission is to partner with the whole family to help American Indian children and youth acquire tools to thrive in the contemporary environment and to support cultural values.
Our goal is to develop a new society of Lakota men and women, "Ikce wicasa na winyan" (Common Man and Woman) who work within and with the community to strengthen families by practicing the values of respect, honesty, language, generosity and courage.
We work with some of the most challenged and at-risk families in Rapid City. Our focus is to provide life skills to break the crippling cycle of poverty that many families endure.
We accomplish this through educational programs: Early Head Start and Head Start programs, and the Ateyapi role-modeling mentorship program in elementary, middle and high schools in Rapid City. Additionally, an elementary school Ateyapi Lakota language program was also begun this year. We also operate Early Head Start and Head Start programs on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
RAI employs over 100 people, more than 90% of whom are Native American, making us the second largest employer of Native people in the area.
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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) Email: .
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.