Cheyenne River's clean water sources have been damaged by poor water management practices. Most significantly, the damming of the Missouri River at the Oahe Dam destroyed a large section of the Missouri River's watershed. . In addition, the Cheyenne River Reservation's water shortage has prevented any construction of additional housing, resulting in a housing shortage and cramped living conditions for residents.
By building water retention structures, such as dams, swales, and trenches, water will enter the ground and replenish the aquifer, healing some of the damage caused by the overuse of the groundwater. These structures will also promote plant growth, allowing the soil and the native ecology to heal over time. By training people on how to perform these tasks, we will be enabling others to become practitioners in small scale ecological restoration throughout and beyond the Reservation.
Participants will be able to teach what they learn at the Mni camp to others, allowing for a wider implementation of water restoration practices. The dams and swales built will retain water, helping restore native ecology and the aquifer over time. Plants sown will help reduce erosion, and improve the soil quality. This improved soil quality and water retention will facilitate the rehabilitation of the local ecology, allowing old-growth trees to grow on the hillsides along with native bushes.
Mni's Page on the Village Earth website.
Mni's Page on Facebook