When you think of an Indian reservation, what do you envision.
For Connie Greig and Alicia Pettyjohn, who joined 14 other volunteers with United Methodist Church of Estherville, the impressions of Indian country came alive when they visited the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Greig and Pettyjohn told Rotarians about their trip Thursday.
Greig, who said the group was headquartered in Mission, found people friendly and appreciative. "We weren't missionaries. We didn't go there as missionaries," Greig emphasized. Instead, they volunteered to help people with projects around the reservation.
Other help came too, including a number of groups of people they met from Indiana and big donations from Wal-Mart which gave the people of Rosebud outdated canned food and clothing items.
While she expected to see more animosity from the people, said Greig, "I didn't sense any of that." She said they felt safe wherever they went.
The volunteers had their choice of attending two programs each evening. Greig fondly recalled one program by a woman named Kills in Water in her eighties, the tribal historial. Greig said the woman told how tribal men and women continue to assume the same roles they have traditionally.
Pettyjohn said every night someone would come and teach them something about Indian culture.
"They were happy. They took wonderful care of their families. The children were absolutely beautiful," Greig said. "They live a nice life and they are lovely people and I'd love to go back."