Archives for December 2017

January 2018 Courses in the Village Earth/CSU Online Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Development

Acquire the skills needed to transform your community and advance your career. This online certificate program is designed for people who currently work in community development and desire to advance their careers as well as those who plan to work or volunteer in this field. You will be equipped with practical tools to meet today’s challenges as project directors, community leaders, grassroots activists, funders, and field workers in community-based organizations and governmental and nongovernmental organizations. With a wide variety of electives, you can tailor the program to meet your needs and interests.To earn the certificate, you must complete the required courses of your chosen track and any elective courses of your choosing.  Each course runs five weeks and requires a minimum of 20 hours of student participation.  You may take courses in any order.  Each course costs $390.

Students can enroll in just one course or complete all four courses at Colorado State University to receive a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development.  We also offer specialized tracks for those who would like their certificate program to focus in on a particular subject area within the field of sustainable community development. Ask us about group discounts for NGO’s, Governments and Organizations – contact [email protected]

Courses Starting January 12th, 2018.


Course Tuition:  $390
Continuing Education Units: 2
Duration: 5 weeks

Next OfferedDeadline to RegisterRegistration StatusOffered By 
January 12 - February 16, 2018January 12, 2018Open
April 20th - May 5, 2018April 2, 2018Open

Course Description

Discover participatory methods in monitoring and evaluation for community development, where multiple stakeholders are involved in the process of planning, collecting, interpreting, communicating, and using information. Gain skills in using regular monitoring and evaluation processes, which will lead to continuous improvements.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Plan a monitoring and evaluation project
  • Develop evaluation questions that address stakeholders needs
  • Select the most appropriate data collection method for a given situation
  • Effectively communicate monitoring and evaluation data
  • Use the monitoring information for effective feedback and improvement


Course Tuition:  $390
Continuing Education Units (CEU’s): 2
Duration: 5 Weeks

Next OfferedDeadline to RegisterRegistration StatusOffered By 
January 12 - February 16, 2018January 12, 2018Open

Course Description

Access to health care and other resources, such as nutritious foods, employment, clean water, safe housing, education, etc. are crucial to maintaining health and well-being.  In an ideal world, everyone would have access to these essential means for survival, however, it is all too apparent that this is not the case for many communities and populations around the world.  It is desirable, therefore, for those groups who are not supported by a formal health care system to seek alternative solutions for the resources they lack.  Using case studies and other readings, along with group discussion, this course will explore the global, social, political, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to poor health.  It will also look at methods for empowering communities who lack access to health care to create practical solutions that are relevant to their unique situations.  Community-Based Participatory Research will be one of the key strategies dealt with in this course due to its focus on promoting change at the grass roots level.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify micro and macro level factors that affect health and well-being.
  • Collaborate with communities to evaluate their needs in regard to health and cultivate ideas for appropriate actions to address those needs.
  • Provide support for community-based solutions to health issues by establishing connections to information and resources.


Course Tuition:  $390
Continuing Education Units (CEU’s): 2
Duration: 5 weeks

Next OfferedDeadline to RegisterRegistration StatusOffered By 
January 12th – February 16th, 2018January 12, 2018Open

Course Description

“…development is a process of empowerment.”
–Edwards, The Irrelevance of Development Studies

Over the last few decades, many scholars have begun to challenge traditional conceptions of development. Their work has generated an intense debate between those that attribute “underdevelopment” to cultural factors, and those that dismiss such ideas as racially motivated and instead recognize poverty and marginalization as primarily structural and systemic issues. Indeed, the concept of poverty itself has been challenged. Employing this critical lens, the course will examine the assertion that development should not only be seen as an economic process of wealth accumulation, but rather as a socio-political process of empowerment. This realization has major implications for how NGOs approach development, as it brings to light the fact that this work has a substantial political component. In order to overcome the disadvantages of poverty, structural barriers to success must be addressed. Through a careful investigation of the historical applications of development, we will explore the idea that development is an inherently political process and challenge the claim that any development NGO is apolitical. Additionally, we will strive to identify successful methods of community empowerment through political organization.

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Analyze the underlying political implications and perspectives of seemingly apolitical actions in development work
  • Apply and refine techniques of empowerment and advocacy
  • Explain the history of development thinking as it relates to politics
  • Articulate a broader understanding of key terms, such as empowerment, participation, politics, and power


Fall 2017 Project Report for MILA YATAN PIKA PTE OYATE OKOLAKICIYE (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation)

This report covers the Fall season of 2017. Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society) continues to provide a pasture/home for members of the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) and the community continues to reap the benefits in terms of spiritual nurturing through their teachings and physical nourishment from them. Here’s a summary of our activities for this period.

Koskalaka Wicayuwita Pi (Young Men’s Gathering) Cultural Camp
November 9-13, 2017

Tipis Young Men’s Camp Nov 2017 Porcupine SD

Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization partnered with the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye on a cultural camp for boys and young men on November 9-13, 2013.. Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society board member Richard Two Dogs and Gene Giago, Elder of the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse) led the planning and implementation of this effort, with the help of male relatives volunteers, the event was a huge success! The age group was age 12–17 and there were 12 boys that participated.

The focus on the camp was on the Lakota traditional teachings on becoming a man. The importance of Lakota kinship, protecting the people and providing for the people were major themes.

Figure 2 Boys and Young Men’s Camp, Porcupine, SD Nov 2017

The boys and young men were also taught how to hunt in a safe and respectful manner emphasizing that the deer and buffalo that were hunted also have a spirit and that an offering be made when taking their lives.

Wopila tanka (a big thank you in the Lakota Language) to all the volunteers for the camp including Richard Two Dogs, Gene Giago, Joe Giago, Richard Giago, Mac McFarland, Santee Baird, Matthew Shoulders, Eugene Giago Jr., Stan Holder Jr., Randi Boucher Giago, and Hail Baird. A big thank you to Mark Butterbrodt, Linda Two Bulls, Michelle Curry, Cindy Giago, Gene Tyon Jr., Jennifer Tomac, Colleen Ragan and Chris Eagle Hawk for their part in making this camp a success. Appreciation goes to Elton Yellow Boy for providing the first aid/cpr training for the volunteers. There may be someone we’ve not included, it was not intentional!

Spiritual Calendar Observance – Pte Ta Tiopa – (Doorway to the Black Hills for the Buffalo), October 21, 2017

The Lakota people follow a spiritual calendar in which offerings of natural tobacco and spiritual food are made when the sun passes through a particular constellation throughout the year. On October 21, 2017, offerings were made in observance of when the traditional time the buffalo returned to the sacred Black Hills. The next offerings will be made on December 21, 2017 for the Wanicokan (mid-Winter) ceremony which marks the beginning of the time to prepare for the Spring and Summer ceremonies, including gathering red willow branches to prepare to make the natural tobacco used in the ceremonies.

Star in Quilt Represents Relationship between Lakota people and Star Nation

Preparing a New Pasture for the Buffalo Relatives

Unloading posts for buffalo fence, Porcupine SD

In the Spring of 2017, we began preparing a new home for the buffalo relatives which involves fencing nearly 5 miles and installing a solar powered well for their water source. We had help from Jeremy Langdeaux, Jeremy Glasgow, Tekuani, Donavon Thunder Hawk, Jr., William Locke, Adrian Yellow Boy, James Bush, Richard Two Dogs, Ed Iron Cloud III (who heads up the project), Bob Iron Cloud, Jeff Iron Cloud, Lucille Contreras to name several. This is an ongoing project due to the financial expense. We thank our supporters for the ongoing quest to make the new home for the buffalo a reality.


We extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people and organizations, including Hopa Mountain, Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority, Natural Native Foods, Tanka Fund, Connie from Germany to name a few, who have supported our efforts whether 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 their teachings – protection of the young, conservation of the land and the strength and fortitude to endure whatever comes. Lila Wopila Tanka!! (We thank you all very much).

Let us know if you have any questions, we are very interested in hearing from you! We are an affiliate of Village Earth Inc. and thank Dave Bartecchi, Executive Director for all his assistance, //


For more information, contact us at:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 605-515-4667 or 605-899-9336