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.
Dec 2, 2014

Fall Report from Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

This report covers July – September, 2014.  Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) continues to provide a home/pasture 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.

July 2014

June 30 – July 7 – We hosted three instructors and twelve students from the Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization in their second visit to Porcupine.   “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) 

The students, ages 14 – 17 years, received teachings on how to set up the tipis (lodges) where they would stay during the camp.  Other education and teachings included:  Lakota beliefs and ceremonies, a hands-on lesson in how to put up a fence in the exterior boundaries of the buffalo pasture, presentations made by local people.   The students went on a field trip through the Black Hills and attended a pow-wow in the district of Wakpamni which is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation. 

July 01 – 05 –  Wakanyeja Woapiye Wicoti (Children’s Healing Camp)  was held in Porcupine for nineteen young boys and girls.  All mentors, counselors, therapists, and the traditional healer volunteered to assist.  In addition, other volunteers included cooks and those who brought supplies and food to the camp.   One requirement is that each child must be accompanied by a parent/guardian  throughout the camp period. 

 Too many of our children have experienced trauma and we offer traditional healing ceremonies and  western types of therapy during this camp.   A number of children received Lakota spirit names and all the children participated in a  Wopakinte  ceremony.  This traditional ceremony symbolizes the wiping off of the body, mind and spirit to help strengthen them after participating in the purification lodge ceremony. 

This camp was co-sponsored by the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) and are very grateful for their assistance. 

August

  • Wikoskalaka  Wicayuwita Pi (Young Women’s ) Camp – July 31 – August 07  .  Co-sponsored this camp with Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society)  for young girls and young women.  They received teachings on how to set up a tipi and other cultural and spiritual teachings.  Traditional healing ceremonies and western healing therapies were offered to participants.  A number competed the Womanhood Ceremony marking their  journey into womanhood. 

September

  • Sacred site visit was made to Mato Tipila (Bear Butte) was made.  This site is located in the Black Hills near Sturgis, SD.  Spiritual offerings were made and taken to the top of Bear Butte. 
  • Hosted a Camp Volunteer Brunch for those volunteers/families who participated in the three camps this year – Young Boys/Men’s Camp, Young Women’s Camp and the Children’s Healing Camp.

Future Events and Plans

  1. Fencing Project -  This project is on-going.  Again, the early and late winter storms and the severity of the cold weather continue to be challenges to the work.  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. .  We have purchased 400 steel posts and will continue fencing when weather permits
  2. Wiping of Tears Ceremony - will organize and host this ceremony in October for our relatives who have experienced  a loss of some type. 
  3. “Spiritual Rights of Children”  - A one-day planning session involving children will be held in December.  The  activity is a result of discussions regarding the high number of neglect and abuse cases within our community,  and the need to protect our children and to provide teachings  on how children can protect themselves.  
  4. A presentation on “Teachings From the Buffalo” will be made to students at Porcupine School (K-8 grade) in December.
  5. A meal will be provided to the Big Foot Memorial Riders in December as they make their annual ride on horses from eastern South Dakota to the Wounded Knee Massacre site in Wounded Knee, SD, eight miles from Porcupine.  Over 150 riders, including children, make this journey in memory of Chief Big Foot and  those 300+ men, women and children who were massacred in December1890 by the U.S. 7th Calvary and placed in a mass grave.  Providing a meal is one way to support  the riders in what they do.  The Ride is now called the Future Generations Ride. 
  6. A celebration will be held in December in recognition of the Winter Solstice.  Prayers will be offered and a meal will be provided to the people. 
  7. Will co-sponsor the “Wakanyeja Ta Nagi Asniye Pi (Healing the Spirit of the Child, Youth and Family)”Conference  in December, Rapid City, SD

Conclusion

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 is placed in our path.  Lila wopila tanka! (We thank you all very much).

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:

Email:  knifechiefbuffalonation@gmail.com

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

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

or www.villageearth.org look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliates

Links:

Sep 22, 2014

Fall Project Report from Knife Chief Buffalo Natio

MILA YATAN PIKA PTE OYATE OKOLAKICIYE (KNIFE CHIEF BUFFALO NATION ORGANIZATION)

Project Report

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.

April  -  Work on the fencing of the buffalo pasture was minimal due to the snow and rainy weather during this month.  The caretaker continued to do weekly checks on the buffalo weather and roads permitting.  The road to the pasture is approximately five (5) miles off the paved highway which is a challenge at times, especially in the spring and winter months.

May 17 - Spiritual offerings were made and placed at the sacred site we call Pe Sla (Peh Shla), which we consider the center of the world.  This site is located within the Black Hills near Rapid City, SD.  Offerings and prayers were made to the bird nation and to the animal nation in thanksgiving. 

June 5 –8– We (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society and the Medicine Horse Society) co-sponsored a Koskalaka Wicayuwita pi (Young Men’s Camp) in Porcupine.  This camp included fifteen (15) young men with a number being in foster care and some who lived with single mothers/guardians/grandmother. 

This was an “opportunity for the young men to learn traditional teachings and to experience healing and gain knowledge to strengthen the path toward manhood.”  Activities included the teachings of how to set up and take down a tipi where they lived  during the four days;  how to hunt;  how to work together as a team; how to set up the sacred fire for the purification lodge; and the spiritual and cultural ways to be a strong Lakota male.  These activities were a part of the healing experience for the young men and also for the mentors who provided guidance and leadership during this time. 

While the mentors organized and worked with the young men, others supported by providing resources, helping with the meals, etc.  on a volunteer basis.   The mentors did fundraising to help offset the expenses but more resources were needed.  We give thanks that all went well and humbly say wopila (a big thank you) to the spiritual entities for their help and protection.  For more information and photos, please check out Lakota Young Men’s Gathering on Facebook. 

June 30 – July 7 – We hosted three instructors and twelve students from the Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization in their second visit to Porcupine.   “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)

The group participated in a number of activities during their visit.  More information and photos will be provided in the next quarterly report due in October, 2014.

Photo – 2. Hunka ceremony -  

Future Events and Plans 

  1. Fencing Project -  This project is on-going and, hopefully, will be completed in the fall of 2014.  The early and late winter storms and the severity of the cold weather continue to be challenges to the work.  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 have been set up 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.

b. Wiping of Tears Ceremony - will organize and host this ceremony in September  for our relatives who have experienced  a loss of some type. 

  1.  Wikoskalaka  Wicayuwita pi (Young Women’s ) Camp – July 31 – August 07 –will co-sponsor this activity as in previous years.
  2. “Spiritual Rights of Children”  - A one-day session involving children and community members will be held in September.  The planned activity is a result of discussions regarding the high number of neglect and abuse cases within our community,  and the need to protect our children and to provide teachings  on how children can protect themselves.   
  3.  Sacred site visit to Mato Tipila (Bear Butte) will be made in September.  This site is located near in the Black Hills near Sturgis, SD. 

Conclusion

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 is placed in our path.  Lila wopila tanka! (We thank you all very much).

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:

Email:  knifechiefbuffalonation@gmail.com

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

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

or www.villageearth.org look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliates

Links:

Sep 11, 2014

Fall Project Report from Village Earth

Our newest grassroots affiliate.
Our newest grassroots affiliate.

Dear supporters of Village Earth's campaign to provide training and support to grassroots organizations. For new supporers of this project, 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. Yet, despite the widespread acknowledgement of  the effectiveness of local organizations in identifying and addressing issues, their work often goes unnoticed.

Since our last report and with your generous support, we have accomplished a great deal towards our mission. Most significantly, we forged a new partnership with an organization based in Siem Reap, Cambodia that provides a wide range of support services to nearby communities including education, vocational training, micro-savings and micro-lending, and other technical support. While they have developed a vast support network in Australia, Village Earth will help them develop a network of support throughout the United States. 

Also during this quarter, Village Earth is has been ramping up our advocacy work for Native American Farmers and Ranchers by developing and info-graphic that will be used to present agricultural census data for Native American Reservations recently published by the USDA. Specificly, we seek to build on our longstanding advocacy for Native Americans who seek to utilize their own lands withing the existing boundaries of their Reservation lands. Currently, the great majority of these lands are under the control of non-native farmers and ranchers - an injustice created by over 120 years of racist and exclusionary policies developed and enforced by the Federal Government. We hope to launch this infographic on our website and social media channels at the endo of this month. 

Again, I want to personally thank you for your support - we couldn't do this work without you!

Check our website for our Native Ag Infographic
Check our website for our Native Ag Infographic

Links:

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