Supporting Children, Students and Families of Oglala Sioux Lakota in South Dakota

It may be hard to believe that American children still live in such devastating conditions such as dirt floors, no electricity and often faulty plumbing. But in many places, these young lives are all around us. For these kids, it means the world to receive any amount of help that enriches their lives and their education.

Statistics show that the Oglala Lakota Tribe has a high infant mortality rate, low life expectancy, increased complications from diabetes, high rate of unemployment, poverty and suicide.

The beautiful smile of this young Oglala Lakota girl certainly gives us the inspiration to give her life a better and brighter future.

Celesia Marie

Celesia Marie Spirit Award

Thomas Gaiter Foundation started "The Celesia Marie Spirit Award" for the Pine Ridge High School students. This award was presented by Councilman Richard Greenwald of Oglala Sioux Lakota Tribe. 

The award is put forth as a token of inspiration for students who have faced hardships and struggled to overcome obstacles and have turned their life around in a positive way.

Councilman Richard Greenwald of Oglala Sioux Lakota of Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Female Recipient of the   Spirit Award

Male Recipient of the

Spirit Award

Thomas Gaiter Foundation established scholarships for Native American Indians to pursue their education.
Black Hills State University
Spear Fish, South Dakota

"I  would like to thank you for helping me pursue my education with a scholarship you have awarded me. I will use the funds to purchase my books and supplies which were needed and greatly appreciated."​

- B.G. Two Bulls    2015

"The Thomas Gaiter Foundation Scholarship has helped me get closer to my goal of becoming a teacher to help future generations in my community at the Reservation. Once again, thank you so much for your generous support.

​- E. Concha    2016

"I would like to thank Thomas Gaiter Foundation for the generous contribution to my education. I'm from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, so,  I'm a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, I feel a responsibility and an obligation to my ancestors and to my people to use my education to better the community. With your generous contribution, I'm able to do so. Once again, thank you very much."                            -C. Standing Bear   2017

" Thank you so much for your generous contribution. I was thrilled to find out I was the recipient of your scholarship. I appreciate the gift and I will use it to achieve my goal of graduating and becoming a Music Educator on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Once again, thank you for your support."

-D. One Feather   2018

Western Dakota Technical Institute
Rapid City, South Dakota

"From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you!!! I just called my daughter and informed her of the great news about the scholarship fund for WDT. She cried, we both cried together, good tears for once." 

- D. M.

“This scholarship has helped me buy supplies for my studies. Thank you for all your support and helping students."


“I appreciate receiving scholarships to attend college. Without them, I would not be able to afford it on my own, thank you."


" I am very thankful for the opportunity to win a scholarship because it means I will need to borrow less in student loans. It allows me to concentrate more on classwork and studying."

- Paul



TGF provides assistance and support to financially challenged students to acquire an education and improve the quality of health in communities.