Reclaim land for buffalo and Lakota lifeways

by Village Earth
Vetted

Summary

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation, a grassroots project on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, works to reclaim 1800 acres of ancestral lands for restoring buffalo, and Lakota culture and lifeways.
$30,000
total goal
$10,839
remaining
192
donors
2
monthly donors
4
years active

Challenge

Home to 26,000 members of the Lakota Tribe, the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, is the 2nd poorest US county. Currently a majority of reservation land is leased by the US government to non-tribal members, with tribal landowners only receiving 50 cents to $3 an acre/year. Reclaiming large acreage and restoring buffalo connects the Lakota with our ancestral lands and reintroduces our youth to cultural traditions and the buffalo while increasing our food and economic self-sufficiency.

Solution

Protecting 1800 acres for buffalo restoration involves building 7 miles of fence & installing 2 windmills for pumping water. This increases our herd by 45 buffalo and employs 12 tribal members during construction, and 3 permanently. A larger herd means distributing 2800 lbs of meat to our elders and for use at our community programs, and generating an additional $21,000/year. Hosting Cultural Camps reconnects dozens of youth each year to cultural and lifeways programs led by our Lakota elders.

Long-Term Impact

Buffalo reproduce each year (90% success rate). More buffalo means more income and more youth connected to our traditional lifeways. With the needed capital, we can reclaim more of our ancestral lands from non-tribal leasees. Restoring the vital dynamic between our land and culture can, over time, build a viable, sustainable economy based on our remaining natural resources, which in turn, creates more self-determination and resiliency.

Resources

http:/​/​www.VillageEarth.org
Lakota Lands Recovery Project
Lakota Buffalo Caretakers Association
Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

Organization Information

Village Earth

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado - USA
Website: http:/​/​villageearth.org/​
Project Leader:
David Bartecchi
Fort Collins, Colorado United States
$19,161 raised of $30,000 goal
 
 
333 donations
$10,839 to go
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