Village Earth

Village Earth helps reconnect communities to the resources that promote human well-being by enhancing social and political empowerment, community self-reliance and self-determination. We do this by strengthening intermediate and grassroots organizations through fiscal sponsorship, networking, training, research and advocacy.
Jun 6, 2014

Our Global Affiliate Program - June Update

Mosaic of Village Earth
Mosaic of Village Earth's Affiliate Activities

Dear Supporters of Village Earth,

We at Village Earth believe the most effective and efficient way to support the empowerment of marginalized peoples around the globe is to support and strengthen their own local and indigenous-run organizations. This approach not only helps enhance local self-reliance but also ensures greater cultural and political self-determination. Our project on titled "Training and Support for Grassroots Organizations" is focused on growing this program within Village Earth (a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization). Currently, the Global Affiliate Program provides fiscal sponsorship, networking, technical support and training to 17 different grassroots organizations in 11 different countries. Since our last report in March of 2014, a lot has happend for Village Earth's Global Affiliate Program, most significantly we approved a new organization to join our Global Affiliate Program "The Human and Hope Association". ( 

The Human and Hope Association is a registered NGO in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Initially set up as a grassroots association by a group of motivated Khmers to teach English to the community, they now provide English, Morality and Preschool class, library time and weekend Movie Club and Art Class. Their Vocational Sewing program targets the poorest members of the community with a sustainable skill, their Microfinance and Family Farm program aims to provide finances and support to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive it, and their Community Support focuses on promoting the benefits of education through community visits and scholarships. 

Also, since our last report in March, we have helped our Affiliates raise nearly $10,000 to support programs that were 100% designed and carried-out by local grassroots organizations working on issues such as cultural self-determination on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, global climate change on the Cheyenne River Reservation, youth empowerment in Cambodia, and ending violence against women and girls in South Sudan. 

By supporting this project on you are helping us to grow our Global Affiliate Program to achieve the critical mass necessary to become self-sufficient - serving as a permanent support structure for innovative and impactful grassroots organizations around the globe. 

Thank you for your support!


David Bartecchi
Executive Director, Village Earth


May 23, 2014

Spring Update from Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

Knife Chief Buffalo Herd
Knife Chief Buffalo Herd



Project Report

This report covers January – March, 2014.  Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) continues to provide a pasture/home for members of the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) and the community continues to reap the benefits in terms of spiritual and physical nourishment from them.  Below is a summary of our activities for this period.

January 19 – The organization organized and provided support to five families and community members in a Welcoming the Baby ceremony.  The Welcoming signifies acceptance by the parents and tiospaye (extended family) of the gift of life from the Creator and the sacred vow to honor, protect and love the child.  

January 24 - 26 -  TaCanunpa Sapa coordinated this very successful, alcohol/drug free event with the help of many male and female relatives. There were 18 basketball teams participating with team Shadow Wolf winning the championship game.  It was one of the biggest independent basketball tournaments held on the Pine Ridge Reservation and one of the few that had certified referees.  This event was held to raise funds for the upcoming Koskalaka Wicoti - Young Men's Camp - where Lakota traditional teachings are provided by the older men.  It will be held on June 5-8, 2014.

February 02 - This cultural teaching was on the origin of the sacred tobacco plant - CanSaSa, pronounced chunh-shah-shah, with the literal translation being "red willow bark".  The story was shared by Hmuya Mani with emphasis on the fact that there is an origin or root behind every sacred song and ceremony and that the origins or roots should never be forgotten.  The preparing of the CanSaSa was demonstrated by Wakinyan He Gleska, a young man who grew up learning the Lakota ways. He talked about how his mother often shared in the task of preparing the CanSaSa and that she observed respect for her sacred womanhood in the manner she prepared it.  This storytelling and demonstration was attended by 15 people.  It was told in the Lakota language with English translation by Sina Ikikcu Win.

February 9 - Hmuya Mani provided an Ohunkankan, story from the ancestors. He shared how it is taught that these stories are told only at night and only during the winter.  This story focused on how the Lakota people came to have the bow and arrow.  He told it in Lakota and Sina Ikikcu Win translated (to the best of her ability) into English.  He also shared a story of Iktomi (the legendary trickster spider) and how we have to watch out for those that would fool us. There were approximately 20 men, women, youth and children at this event. 

March 01 – In December donations of clothing, winter gear/boots, quilts and stuffed animals from organizers in Alabama and Minnesota were sent to Porcupine, SD for children and families.   In January, winter gear and quilts were given to children placed with foster care families and to pre-school children and families enrolled in a home-based early childhood education program.  They were all very appreciative of these much needed gifts.  This winter was especially difficult for everyone.

There were clothing and other items that were still available so on March 01, a free clothing give-away was held.  Many families from various districts on the Pine Ridge Reservation participated in the free clothing giveaway.  The buffalo project also sponsored a chili, frybread and baked goods fundraiser during this time.  Again, we say wopila (a big thank you) to the donors, the families who attended and those who volunteered their resources and time to help with the event.  

March 21 – Spiritual offerings were made and placed at the top of the sacred site, Hinhan Kaga Paha (Imitates Owl Mountain) aka Harney Peak, in the Black Hills.  This annual spiritual event requires a seven (7) mile round-trip climb to the top of the mountain and back down. This is a sacred ceremony to Welcome Back the Thunder Beings on the first day of the spring season.

 March 22 - Eleven young men and other men shared the task of cutting the wood in the sacred Black Hills, loading the wood and unloading the wood in Porcupine, SD.  In use were one big trailer, a small trailer and about three trucks. This event is very important in that the wood is used for the sacred Inipi (purification lodge ceremony) in which countless Lakota people seek and receive help.

Future Events and Plans 


  • Community buffalo soup feed at the end of May, date to be confirmed.
  • Sacred site visit where offerings will be made to the animal nation and to the bird nation at Pe Sla (Old Baldy) in the sacred Black Hills – May 17th.
  • Horse Healing Event - Bamm Brewer will bring his horses out on May 18th.
  •  Three instructors accompanying twelve students from the Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization will participate in a second visit from June 30 – July 07th.   “Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an international organization founded on the premise of service learning and engaging students in responsible and global citizenship. Over the years, more than 20 ESD students have traveled to New Orleans and South Dakota, as well as Bolivia, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, and Tibet.”  (Source:  Students Shoulder to Shoulder website)
  •  Fencing Project -  This project is projected to be completed in the fall of 2014.  The early and late winter storms and the severity of the cold weather were challenges to the project. As planned, we are working to establish work camps beginning May 2014 for native and non-native youth and adults to assist with the fencing project. The project leases two pastures of which one (1,200 acres is fenced).  We plan to complete the fencing of 1,500 acres which is approximately seven (7) miles.  One mile of steel posts are set up now and holes are dug for wood posts to be put in the ground.  We have purchased 400 steel posts and will continue fencing when weather permits.

Other Sponsorship or Co-sponsorship of Future Events:

  •  Young Men's Healing Camp - June 5 – 8, 2014
  • Children's Healing Camp - July 1 –5, 2014
  • Young Women's Healing Camp - August 7 – 10, 2014


Again, we extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people who support our efforts whether it be financially, physically or spiritually.  Your support is truly appreciated and we especially appreciate the Tunkasila (spiritual entities) for their continued support and guidance.  We also acknowledge the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) for what they inspire in us and for their teachings, i.e., protection of the young, conservation of the land and the strength and fortitude to endure whatever comes  Lila wopila tanka! (We thank you all very much).


For more information, contact us at:


Telephone:  605-441-2914, 605-407-0091


or look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliates

Buffalo Hides
Buffalo Hides


Mar 6, 2014

Your Role in Empowering Grassroots Organizations!

Titukuke Rural Community Development Association
Titukuke Rural Community Development Association

Dear Supporter,

I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your support of our project on titled “Training and Support for Grassroots Organizations.” Your donations allow us to partner with innovative and impactful organizations around the world and provide them with technical support and training they need to more effectively carry-out their programs and get the resources they need to do their work on the ground. Since our last report in December and with your help, Village Earth was able to extend our support to two new grassroots organizations; “Mni” (which means “water” in the Lakota language) based on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota and Titukuke Rural Community Development Association based in Petuake Zambia.

Your donations help us to deliver support services like direct one-to-one project consultations and referral services. For example for Mni, Village Earth helped Mni develop a map used for education and planning purposes for their project site on the Cheyenne River Reservation n South Dakota USA. We also helped them communicate with current and future donors by helping them get their website online and promoting their project in print and radio. For Titukuke, we have helped them refine their messaging to better communicate their work to donors in the United States. Of course, for both organizations, Village Earth serves as  bridge to resources, connecting them with donors throughout the United States.

As a supporter of Village Earth I encourage you to share with us your questions and ideas for how we can improve both our work with communities and with our outreach to donors like yourself. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at

Once again, thank you for your support and solidarity!


David Bartecchi
Executive Director

Mni - Lakota for "water"
Mni - Lakota for "water"


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