Renewing Hope…Empowering Youth Since 2001

In 2001, Fort Thompson community members formed and incorporated Diamond Willow Ministries (DWM) as a Christian 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a vision of empowering and strengthening the youth and families of the Hunkpati Oyate - the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.

Renewal Stifled by Space Limitations

In 2014, DWM developed and began operating the Tokata Youth Center at the request of community leaders and families after the Boys and Girls Club ceased operation on the reservation. During the first eight months of operation, a Community Center was utilized for programming. Beginning in November 2015, Tokata Youth Center programming took place daily at the Tribe's Suicide Prevention Building. This building was small, without a kitchen and other essential equipment, but the youth's needs are great and this building at least provided a temporary base for serving some youth.  The maximum capacity of youth able to utilize this space at one time was 25.

Overcoming Photo

In 2016, through a strategic planning process, it became clear that the most effective manner in which DWM could best positively serve and impact the communities of the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation was through the Tokata Youth Center. Consequently, an organizational decision was made to pursue a long-term means of providing this programming through a new Tokata Youth Center facility. Operating out of the current tribal building was just not a sustainable option.

New Youth Center Opens in 2022-Increasing Impact

In 2017, DWM finalized the purchase of an 11-acre parcel of land in Fort Thompson and began designing the new TYC building.  Construction began in 2021 and was completed in September 2022.  The TYC building project has been a lengthy journey, however the new Tokata Youth Center facility opened its doors for the first day of operation on September 27, 2022.  More youth than ever before are daily being empowered to imagine their future, reach for it, and possess it.  The Tokata Youth Center staff has become an extension of their family; the Tokata Youth Center continues to be a safe place to learn, grow, and dream.

Three times the number of youth are now being served

The TYC building project timeline follows:

  • January 1, 2015:  TYC forms and begins daily programing.
  • January 19, 2017:  DWM purchases land for new TYC facility.
  • July 31, 2017:  Tribal resolution passes to support the TYC project.
  • May 24, 2018: TYC building design process begins.
  • June 19, 2020:  TYC planning process halted due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • January 13, 2021:  TYC "re-launch" begins.
  • September 1, 2021:  TYC Ground-breaking and blessing ceremony.
  • August 25, 2021:  TYC building construction loan secured.
  • September 29, 2021:  TYC building construction begins.
  • September 2022:  TYC building completed.

"Thousands of people think their job is important, but mine is a necessity."
Hailee Harmon, TYC Youth Mentor