Reclaim land for buffalo and Lakota lifeways

by Village Earth
Vetted

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

PROJECT REPORT

This report covers  the period of  October, November and December, 2015.    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.

October 2015

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation co- sponsored a conference “Ending Trans-generational Grief in Native Families” on October 8,9, 10 in Rapid City, SD with approximately 35 participants. 

 This was in partnership with the Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center.  This Center is comprised of four groups – Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) promotes Lakota lifeways with emphasis on Lakota language revitalization and healing; Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society promotes re-establishing and strengthening relationship with the buffalo nation; Oaye Luta Okolakiciye (Healing Journey Society) promotes healing from substance abuse/chemical dependency; and Sung Nagi Okolakiciye (Horse Spirit promotes strengthening relationship with the horse nation.  These four organizations work together for the healing of the Lakota people.

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November 2015

We co-sponsored the Koskalaka Wica Yuwita Pi Wicoti (Young Boys/Men) Gathering Camp on November 6, 8, 9, held in Porcupine, SD.  Details of the event can be found on the website (same name).  This Camp is the second one held in 2015 due to the great need of healing for our young males.  The first Camp was held in June.   We are so thankful and appreciative of all who volunteer their time, energy and resources so that the young people have this great opportunity. 

We worked on securing an agreement and partnership with the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority for the lease of pasture  for the buffalo

 

December 2015

Knief Chief Buffalo Nation received a gift of 17 buffalo from the Devyn Strong Estate in California.  The buffalo were transported back and transitioned into the pasture. 

We Co-sponsored a conference on December 16, 17, 18 entitled “Utilization of Culture, Language and Life ways to Impact our Children’s Education” as part of the Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center.  Conference was held in Rapid City, SD with approximately 30 participants.

The Conference was intended for service providers and those in the helping field, education, school staff, mental health, counseling, social services, social workers, youth program staff, and juvenile detention staff.   

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation hosted a planning meeting after the Conference to plan for events and strategies to continue the work. 

Future Events and Plans 

  • The caretaker continues to check on our relatives, the buffalo, two times per week depending on the weather and road accessibility.
  •  Will co-facilitate  cultural learning sessions for the community on the sacred ceremony of the Wi Wayang Wacipi (Sundance) and the Inipi (purification/renewal ceremony) .
  • Will begin the planning and preparation for the Manhood Ceremony to be held in the Spring. 
  • Planning and preparation is in the process for the following camps:

Young Men’s Camp – May 28 – 30

Children’s Camp – July 6 – 10

Young Women’s Camp – July 28 - 31

  • We are in the process of developing a partnership to help establish a Girls Preparatory School in Porcupine, SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

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

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 Affiliate.

Links:

This report is for  the period of July, August and September, 2015.    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 ts of spiritual and physical nourishment from them.

July 2015

The Wakanyeja Woapiye Wicoti  (Children’s Healing Camp) was held in Porcupine, SD on July 1 – 5.   Enrollment was set for twenty-five (25) children between the ages of 0 – 11 years but this number was quickly surpassed after an overwhelming response by parents, grandparents and guardians.  A total of fifty-one (51) children participated in the camp activities with thirty-eight (38) camping in the tipis during the camp period.  Children received a Wopakinte (spiritual purification) with some receiving a Lakota spiritual name.  Other activities included horseback riding, trips to Evans Plunge, a large, in-door swimming pool in Hot Springs, SD and to Mato Paha (Bear Butte), Sturgis, SD to walk to the top of the sacred butte to offer prayers. 

We offer our deep appreciation and gratitude to all those who volunteered and offered their services, including the Students Shoulder to Shoulder participants whose organization is based in Denver, CO, and the Wisconsin based group Gunderson-Lutheran Medical Center.  We also acknowledge the tunkasila (grandfather) and unci (grandmother) spirits and the two wakan iyeska (interpreters of the sacred) for their teachings and for the healings received by the participants and the volunteers.

August 2015

 The Lakota Wikoskalaka Yuwitapi  (Lakota Gathering of Young Women) was held in Porcupine, SD on August 10 - 15.  The camp offered traditional teachings related to becoming a young woman.  A number of them received their Lakota spiritual name and participated in the womanhood ceremony with the help of the Wakan Iyeska (Interpreter of the Sacred) Hmuya Mani and other women volunteers.  Other activities included horseback riding, talking circles,  setting up tipis, and a walk to the top of Mato Paha (Bear Butte), Sturgis, SD to take spiritual offerings.

Awards at National Indian Health Board Conference, September, 2015, Washington, DC in various categories for their work in making the Young Women’s Gathering a success.

September 2015

Future Events and Plans 

  • Our relatives, the pte oyate (buffalo) were moved to another pasture in June.  An agreement was made with the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Parks & Recreation Authority to lease land until November 01, 2015.  We continue our effort to find a more permanent home for our relatives.
  • Details on the fencing of the land will be finalized by November as this is dependent upon the land lease/pasture for this coming year. 
  • We will again co-sponsor the Koskalaka Wica Yuwitapi (Gathering of Young Men) in Porcupine, SD on November 6 – 9.  This healing and cultural camp will be the second camp  to be held in 2015.

 

Conclusion

The suicides on the Pine Ridge Reservation have increased since January.  We continue to make our spiritual offerings and will work to assist the young people and their families by continuing to offer the healing camps for the children, the young women and the young boys and young men. 

  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

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 Affiliate.

Awards at National Indian Health Board Conference,
Awards at National Indian Health Board Conference,

Links:

Dear Supporters,
Please accept this report on the activities of the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization based in the community of Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. You are receiving this report because you either donation to our campaign through globalgiving.org or signed up to receive updates. 
In April, KCBN partnered with community organizations on Pine Ridge implementing a Youth Healing Camp with 24 youth participants.  We helped provide access to our buffalo pasture for the youth to camp on as well as access to the buffalo to help educated our youth about our connection with this sacred animal. This camp was in response to the high rate of suicide completions from December 2014 through March 2015 among youth on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservations. You can read about the success of this camp at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/05/19/lakota-fight-suicide-spirit-crowdfunding-160405
 
In May, we planned for relocation of buffalo to different pasture. This still hasn't happened but we're anticipating the move in the next few months. 
We also partnered with Indigenous Healing Art s and high school students from fort Collins CO on a day camp for tree planting, therapeutic art and digital story telling for Pine Ridge reservation youth, there were 20 participants. May 26-27, 2015
 
In June, we partnered with community organizations on boys/young men healing camp, 14 participants, June 6-9, 2015. For these events we provide access to land as well as logistical support, setting up tipi camps, food, firewood, etc. 

We thank you for your ongoing support of our work! 
Young Lakota Man Completing his Right of Passage
Young Lakota Man Completing his Right of Passage

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

PROJECT REPORT

This report covers  the period of October – December, 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.

October 2014

  • October 14 – Young community member participated in the sacred Manhood Ceremony, a rite of passageinto manhood.  Preparation and teachings are held four nights prior to the day of the buffalo kill.  This is one of the seven sacred ceremonies held as a rite of passage into manhood. (See photo)
  • October 30 – November 02 -  Collaborated with Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) to organize and host the “Koskalaka Yuwita Pi (Gathering of Young Men) Camp.  Eleven (11) young boys and young men, ages 11 – 17 years, participated in this gathering.  Although the weather was cold, tipis (lodges) were set up for the mentors and young men to sleep  in.  This was an all-volunteer effort of the Wakan Iyeska (interpreter of the sacred), the mentors and food providers.  In addition to the various activities, cultural and Lakota traditional healing was offered to the participants.   For more information and photographs, go to www.Koskalaka Yuwita Pi. 

November 2014

A challenging month of rain, sleet, ice and  deep snow which melted and turned to mud.  Many people were “ snowed in” which means  their roads were closed due to the wet and heavy snowdrifts. 

December 2014

  • December 18 – 20 – Support given to the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society in conference held in Rapid City, SD entitled, “Wakanyeja Ta Nagi Asniya Pi (Healing the Spirit of the Child, Youth and Family
  • December 21 – At the time of the Winter Solstice, offerings of wocekiye (prayers) and food were made and taken into the purification lodge as one of the sacred ceremonies – the Wanicokan Ceremony.
  • December 28 – the riders and supporters of the Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride were provided a meal which included our donation of buffalo meat.  The event was held at Pahin Sinte Owayawa (Porcupine School).  The Big Foot Memorial Riders  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  our relatives - the 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. 

Future Events and Plans 

  1.  Fencing Project -  This project is on-going.  Again, the early  winter storms and the severity of the cold weather was a challenge to the work. 

2.“Spiritual Rights of Children”  - A one-day planning session involving children will be held in the Spring.  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.  

  1. Youth Healing Camp - A camp will be held on April 02 - 06, 2015 in Porcupine, SD for twenty-four (24) youth ages 11 - 18 years.  The camp's priority is for  12 females and 12 males who have experienced trauma.  The camp is a collaboration of three traditional Lakota societies.   

Conclusion

We are deeply saddened  due to the recent suicides on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  During a recent six-week period (January - February) four young people between the ages of 11 - 17 years completed suicide.  Following the suicides, many young people attempted suicide.  We continue to make our spiritual offerings and will work to assist the young people and their families by continuing to offer the healing camps for the children, the young women and the young boys and young men. 

  Oglala Sioux Tribal President John Yellow Bird-Steele has declared a state of emergency on the Pine Ridge Reservation due to the number of suicides.  Many federal agencies have been apprised of this and some agencies have detailed employees to the Reservation to assist. President Yellow Bird-Steele and the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council are committed to support the work of developing a strategic plan to help the people, especially the youth.  

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

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 Affiliate.

Future Generations Ride
Future Generations Ride

Links:

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:

 

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Organization Information

Village Earth

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado - USA
Website: http:/​/​villageearth.org/​
Project Leader:
David Bartecchi
Fort Collins, Colorado United States
$19,111 raised of $30,000 goal
 
 
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