Tribal Crafts is a non-profit organization based out of the First Congregational Church (FCCOL) of Old Lyme, CT. We sell art, crafts and jewelry made by the Lakota of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. The FCCOL has just celebrated 34 years of partnership with the Green Grass community on the Cheyenne River.
Recognizing that the Green Grass community is not on a major tourist route and wanting to affirm and celebrate the beautiful traditional crafts for which the Lakota are known, we established Tribal Crafts, Inc. a non-profit organization that buys and sells crafts made by our Native American friends.
Our church’s first partnership began in 1985 with the Green Grass Church on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Henry Good Bear, their minister, came and shared with our congregation his vision for the Green Grass Church – a new church building that would be large enough for youth ministries, Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, and fellowship activities. In a spirit of partnership, we agreed to help finance that project.
Since 1985, well over 300 members and friends have traveled to Green Grass, with each visit helping to strengthen the bonds of friendship between our 2 communities. Likewise, many have traveled to CT, and in more recent times, several of their members have taken part in our mission journeys to South Africa, Israel and Palestine.
We have been privileged and honored to have taken part in a number of sacred rituals, including the Sweatlodge Ceremony, the Sun Dance, Vision Quest, and the making of relatives, and indeed, several of our members were honored with their own Lakota names.