Reclaim land for buffalo and Lakota lifeways

by Village Earth Vetted since 2011 Site Visit Verified


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.

total goal
monthly donors


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.


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.


Lakota Lands Recovery Project
Lakota Buffalo Caretakers Association
Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

Organization Information

Village Earth

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
David Bartecchi
Fort Collins, Colorado United States
$25,828 raised of $30,000 goal
441 donations
$4,172 to go
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