Creating accessible, sustainable housing and food sovereignty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
To build a natural house and develop the property to a sustainable homestead for a family on Pine Ridge and in the process create a replicable model for how to create sustainable, affordable housing and food sovereignty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Just as the cold was subsiding and the warmth came we started the installation of a rocket mass heater. We were joined by community members and others to learn about the process! The bench is now complete and keeping the home office warm while being a great inspiration to others who would like to build an efficient wood heater for their homes.
Thanks to your support and through collaboration with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation we were able to plant five new fruit tree orchards throughout Pine Ridge Reservation and gave away 100 fruit trees to community members for a total of 300 apple, pear, plum, cherry, apricot and peach trees planted. Thank you also to Audubon, Fargo, North Dakota for collaborating to apply for and win the TogetherGreen Volunteers Day grant which supported associated costs.
The first orchard was planted at Red Cloud School. Red Cloud serves approximately 400 Kindergarten through High School students. There were 32 trees planted with the help of the 9th and 10th grade sciences classes. Next up was Lakota Hope in White Clay, NE located on the southern most border of the reservation. We are very excited about this location as there is a nursing home currently under construction right across the street. Lakota Hope has committed to serving the 82 elderly residents that will occupy the new space as well as serve the Pine Ridge community. At Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation located at Sharps Corner in the Porcupine District we planted 15 trees to add to the permaculture food forest they started there last year. There were also 20 trees planted at the Oglala Lakota College at Piya Wiconi . These trees will be part of a study to determine best planting practices for our area. Lastly, at Little Wound School in Kyle 82 trees were planted. Little Wound serves approximately 1000 pre-school – high school students as well as young parents working towards their G.E.D’s.
We welcomed the Ave Maria Church from Parker, CO. They were here to help welcome a new member to our family the same day she arrived. ChetanWin Sylvie was born in the light straw clay office on June 26! Here she is at four months to with a great view of the home office that we started last year!
It was great to partner with Re-Member this year on our garden! They sent wonderful volunteers each week on Mondays and Tuesdays through September and made sure the garden was a great success! Earth Tipi and Re-Member shared the produce. Re-Member gave their produce to the comment and we used our share to feed ourselves, volunteers and to put on canning workshops!
We welcomed two church groups. They brought supplies, materials and professional labor to assist the Zaitz family in Wounded Knee towards finishing a home project they started in 2011. Over $2500 in materials was donated and approximately 870 hours were donated to the family. Projects completed were wiring, plumbing, drywall, flooring and more!
Thanks to two Americorps NCCC teams who came in July and August we completed a number of projects around the homestead that really add to the site. The bench for the rocket mass heater we started in April was completed and a marked trail complete with detailed brochure describing local herbs and foods along the trail. Other projects we could not have completed without the help of Americorps was the organizing of our storage trailer, new fencing along the border (materials donated by Ave Maria Church), a chicken coup, plastering on the outside of the home office, grey water system improvements and garden gate replacement to name a few!
It was also great to see the folks from the William Penn House again! They came for a week with their youth group and helped alongside the first Americorps NCCC team.
We were happy to welcome the Wolf Creek School 8th grade class for a jam making and canning workshop. The class of 5 enjoyed making chokecherry jam and each took home a jar for their families.
Exciting things are being planned for next year including a collaboration with Will Allen of GrowingPower (http://www.growingpower.org). We are always looking for support both financial and volunteer. If you would like to support us with a donation please visit us on our website http://www.earthtipi.org or use the donation page through Village Earth http://villageearth.org/global-affiliates/earthtipi .
If you or your group would like to join us next summer please email us!
Thanks again for your interest and support!
With Kind Regards,
White Horse Creek Road
2.3 Miles South of Manderson
Manderson, SD 57756
PO Box 252
Wounded Knee, SD 57794
Visit Sustainable Homestead Designs’ Website at: http://earthtipi.org