The Unity Hoops Project is an initiative of The Center Pole community organization to create healing in the lives of Apsáalooke (Crow) Native youth from traumas of the past and present, and to empower them to be leaders in a movement toward a just and sustainable future for their people and for the world.
We work on the Crow Reservation in Montana, an area with a great love for basketball that has long been the target of racism and economic exploitation. Our programs integrate basketball training with an educational curriculum of academic enrichment and leadership development that directly addresses and seeks solutions for much of the injustice present in our students' lives. We encourage our students to take pride in their culture, their history, and their extraordinary resilience, while constantly illustrating how the pursuit of team success in basketball relates heavily to any collective effort to transform oppressive conditions for one's people. It is in this way that we seek to channel passion for the game into a movement for change.