The Lakota Dollar Store is on track for its grand opening in September. The new retail outlet will offer Pine Ridge, SD residents convenience, lower prices and an opportunity to spend their Lakota currency. That means that not only will the proceeds from the Dollar Store’s sales stay in Pine Ridge, but so will its purchasing power.
It all started when the Ogdala Sioux Tribe distributed funds from a settlement to its various districts. Most districts used the funds for grants to individuals who had petitioned for aid. Pine Ridge Village wanted to invest in something more lasting that would benefit the whole village. They partnered with Pine Ridge Community Development Corporation and decided to take a risk on launching a new venture. That’s how the Lakota Dollar Store was born.
AOCS was a natural partner for the project, as growing commerce in the village means wider use of the Lakota currency. Both Pine Ridge CDC and AOCS think it’s only the beginning. In addition to a second retail space within the Dollar Store building, CDC has also opened an internet library with a tower that the corporation plans to use to offer discount Wi-Fi in the future. They also hope to expand their Ogdala Ridge building into a supermarket with fresh fruits and vegetables.
All of these projects require capital accumulation. That’s where the Lakota currency really adds value. While U.S. dollar savings lose value over time due to inflation, the Lakota currency will actually gain value if long term precious metals trends continue. Mulligan Mint currently produces the currency for the tribe in one ounce and one half ounce gold, silver and copper coins.
In addition to the settlement funds, Pine Ridge CDC also obtained financing from AOCS and other sources. In addition to repaying the loans needed to underwrite the venture, 5% of the proceeds from the new Dollar Store will go right back into the community. Pine Ridge CDC is a non-profit corporation.
It all adds up to a brighter future built upon entrepreneurship, hard work and a reliable, hard money currency. That means more opportunity for Pine Ridge and a higher standard of living for its residents. It’s one more way in which AOCS is partnering with local communities to promote local enterprise and rebuild community wealth.