Basic Information

Our Solution

Nets for Natives

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Our tagline:

Re-igniting the indigenous people's spirits through movement and the "swish."

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Our pitch:

Video pitch

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Our pitch (video):

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Our solution's stage of development:

Growth
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Where our project is located:

Rapid City, SD, USA
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About Your Solution

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Rapid City, SD, USA
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How we use technology in our project:

With growing support, we expand our vision from the backboard to the entire community. We have three steps for expansion that utilize state-of-the-art horticultural technology: Refurbish, Revitalize, and Regrow. Refurbish basketball courts, revitalize the surrounding recreational area, and regrow the medicine that once fueled our ancestors. Refurbish by cleaning, repainting, and repairing. Revitalize by preparing the surrounding land for growing. Soil will be prepared. Gardens and greenhouses will utilize aquaculture technology and will be tied-in closely with local schools as point of education. Finally, regrow by learning and maintaining new food sovereignty practices.

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What makes our project innovative:

What makes Nets for Natives so innovative is through the demonstration of how something as simple as a basketball net can lend way to becoming a master of oneself, for the whole. A basketball net gives opportunity for a path of mastery because with a net, moments of growth and clarity are reachable when the shooter finally hears an echoing “swish”. We are rooted in the idea of planting seeds of growth as an individual, a community, and a planet – by starting small and continuously improving into something vast to show the world how positive, meaningful change arises.

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How our project will be accessible and affordable to our community:

The brilliance of Nets for Natives is how accessible and affordable the mission is.  The first and most important phase is populating local indigenous communities with fresh four-dollar nets, then eventually expanding its reach to further help communities. The subsequent phases rely more on gaining attention to make breakthroughs with the funding of park renovations and eventually communal gardening systems. Resourcefulness is a superpower indigenous people have harnessed, and their ability to take what resources they have, work together, and manifest them into systems that benefit both their community and Mother Nature should be showcased throughout the world.

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Currently, Nets for Natives has populated the city park of Pine Ridge with fresh nets, along with churches and schools on Pine Ridge Reservation as well as in Rapid City. While most communities’ youth thrive off the sport of basketball and have access to courts, a vast majority of basketball hoops do not have a net and if they do, they are mostly likely torn and faded. Every net has the potential to embolden a young warrior with bravery, belief, breath, and heart. Therefore, we intend to serve a vast community by giving new opportunities to all.

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Our future project goals:

Once Nets for Natives establishes itself through a repopulation of fresh basketball nets, we want to extend our focuses on community development to revitalizing recreational parks and harnessing the power of communal gardening to impact entire families and communities. The future goals of Nets for Natives are creating a system that inspires health and vitality of the indigenous people and effectively working towards conquering the issues that constrain these communities from reaching the strongest version of themselves. Eventually, we will spread our reach to indigenous people everywhere who could benefit.

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Highlights from our project:

Nets for Natives was privileged enough to be showcased on the local NBC news station for a segment called Faces in the Crowd (video link). I was able to showcase the history of how Nets for Natives came to be and the overall mission.  Following that, my school, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, did a social media story on the organization (Facebook link). The biggest victory for me is bearing witness to my vision coming to life. 

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About Your Team

Seven

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Partnership Potential

Why we are applying to Solve:

Once Nets for Natives establishes itself through a repopulation of fresh basketball nets, we want to extend our focuses on community development to revitalizing recreational parks and harnessing the power of communal gardening to impact entire families and communities. The future goals of Nets for Natives are creating a system that inspires health and vitality of the indigenous people and effectively working towards conquering the issues that constrain these communities from reaching the strongest version of themselves. Eventually, we will spread our reach to indigenous people everywhere who could benefit.

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The organizations we are currently working with:

Nets for Natives is currently not with other organization.

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Organizations we would like to partner with:

In the net repopulation phase, we hope to work with Native Nation organizations like Oglala Lakota Sioux Housing Authority and Cheyenne River Sioux Housing Authority to ensure we locate every basketball court in the communities.

We must focus on youth organizations, such as the Cheyenne River Youth Project and Lakota Children’s Enrichment, to have an avenue of supplying them with basketball equipment and spreading the deeper message of empowering belief and bravery.

Although the initial focus of the mission extends to indigenous communities of western South Dakota, we aim to reach as many of the Native Nations as possible.

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Other types of connections and partnerships we would be interested in:

N/A

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Solution Team

  • Ellie Burczek Electrical Engineering Student, SDSMT/Nets for Natives
  • Zachary Darling Founder | Nets for Natives | Industrial Engineering Senior at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Nets for Natives
  • Conrad Farnsworth Website Development, Nets For Natives
  • Logan Gayton Civil/Environmental Engineer, Nets for Natives
  • Trista Kirchgesler Secondary Language Arts, Nets for Natives
  • Andrew Ley Cultural Relations Advisor, Nets for Natives
  • AJ Videckis Chemical Engineer, Nets for Natives
 
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