Rural American Initiatives celebrates 1 year in new facility

Rural America Initiatives new state-of-the-art facility. Prior to this building they operated various locations around Rapid City.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Rural America Initiatives (RAI) was founded in 1986 with the goal to partner with at-risk and low-income Native American families.

It is the longest operating Native founded organization in Rapid City and recently, they reached another milestone.

This Valentine's Day is the one year anniversary since they moving into their new facility in west Rapid City. They celebrated with cookies and other refreshments and offered tours of the state-of-the-art facility as well as what kind of services they provide.

Prior to the new facility which they started planning for in 2011, RAI had several other locations that they operated out of...now their future is brighter than ever.

"It really is nice to come here and to see it, you know we employ 120 Native people and we help their families and that's what it means to come here, is that the security of this place," said Bruce Long Fox, RAI's executive director. "It means that we'll have a future, we will exist long into the future. It's at least a 40 year building and we will be here that long and hopefully whoever takes over will take it farther than that."

RAI offers early head start programs, the Ateyapi Role Modeling mentorship programs in most Rapid City Area Schools as well as an Ateyapi Lakota language program.

They also operate early head start and head start programs on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in Central South Dakota.