2016 Holiday Fundraising Campaign to Support Village Earth’s Global Affiliates

2016holidaycampaign

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 Global Affiliate NameGeographic FocusAbout 
Facebook-Vert-LogoVillage Earth Area of Most NeedGlobalLet Village Earth decide how best to allocate your donation.
AmahoroAmahoro ProjectBurundiAmahoro project is a collaboration betweeen Colorado State University and Ngozi University in Burundi (UNG) to establish UNG as a ongoing site and dissemination center for research in sustainable peace and development.
CRDTCambodia Rural Development Team Northeast CambodiaWorks to sustainably improve food security, incomes, and living standards of subsistence rural communities in support of environmental conservation throughout Cambodia.
Earth TipiEarth TipiPine Ridge Reservation, SDWorks to sustainably improve food security, incomes, and living standards of subsistence rural communities in support of environmental conservation throughout Cambodia.
Eco_VEco-Friendly VolunteersSri LankaECO-V is a voluntary organization engaged in environmental conservation in Sri Lanka. ECO-V has a network of 400 volunteers throughout Sri Lanka who contribute to research and community work to support conservation of the environment.
EYCEmpowering Youth CambodiaPnom Penh, CambodiaEYC is a organization working to improve the lives of young people and their families. Our vision is to see youth empowered with skills & confidence to be leaders who actively develop themselves, their families and community.
FOFCODForum for Community Change and DevelopmentSouth SudanFOFCOD envisions a new generation of productive and self-reliant south Sudanese who can ably participate in community development programs to meet their needs and those of other disadvantaged groups.
GOLDGrowing Liberia Democracy (GOLD)LiberiaGOLD promotes poverty reduction as well as democratic & high quality governance by empowering local communities to effectively engage their law makers as to make policy decisions favorable for Liberians and to be fully transparent.
ICA_NEPAlInstitute of Cultural Affairs (Nepal)NepalICA’s mission is to promote social innovation through participation and community building. We do this throughout the country through training, facilitation & development activities.  
Human-and-Hope-Association-500x500Human and Hope AssociationSiem Reap, CambodiaHuman and Hope Association works to empower Cambodians to create sustainable futures for themselves through projects focused on education, vocational training and community support.
JalambaJalamba Nursery School ProjectThe GambiaThe goal of the of the Association is to empower youths, children and vulnerable families through education. The project has government support as a new school  which will serve ages of one through six. 
JenzeraJenzeraColombiaSupports community processes so that people can freely decide on their social, political and economic lives by defending their territories, empowering their own governments and developing a self-managed economies.
KnifeChiefKnife Chief Buffalo NationPine Ridge Reservation, SDThe 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.
LBCCLakota Buffalo Caretakers CooperativePine Ridge Reservation, SDThe Lakota Buffalo Caretakers Cooperative (LBCC) is a 100% Native American owned and operated cooperative association on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Its membership is made up of small family buffalo caretakers who respect the buffalo and the land. Members of the LBCC are committed to the restoration of the northern plains ecology, self-sufficiency and strengthening the sovereignty and self-determination of the Oglala Lakota Nation and all indigenous peoples.
LLRPLakota Lands Recovery ProjectSouth Dakota ReservationsThe LLRP works to reclaim and consolidate tribal lands and access the resources needed for the Lakota people to live on, protect, and utilize it — promoting self-determination and sovereignty.
MalocaMalocaAmazon BasinWorks with Indigenous Peoples living in the Amazon Basin. It works directly with Indigenous leaders to raise awareness about the needs of their communities and find means to establish self-sustaining strategies to address their needs.
TasunkeWakanTasunke WakanPine Ridge Reservation, SDOur primary goal is to develop and implement Lakol Wicohan (Lakota life ways and laws, which includes language, values, beliefs, ceremonies and laws of the Lakota people) within the Oyate (Community).
TRCDATitukuke RCDAPetuake, ZambiaTRCDA is devoted to to uplifting livelihoods, reducing illiteracy, poverty and HIV/AIDS Health problems among the communities in Petauke, Zambia

Annual Report from Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization)

 

1a

This report is for the period of July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.    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 its of spiritual and physical nourishment from them.

2a

Our relatives standing with a little one.  8/01/15

 

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.

 

3a

Journey to Mato Paha (Bear Butte) Sturgis,

 

4a

Young women  resting on way to top of Bear Butte

 

 

5a

Communicating with relative, the horse, and preparing to ride

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  Volunteers and some of young women participants

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

 

September 2015

The caretaker continued to make weekly checks on the buffalo to ensure their well-being.

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.

 

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.

The conference 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 of two 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.

9a

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 Lifeways 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.

Will co-facilitate cultural learning sessions for the community on the sacred ceremony of the Wi Wanyang 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  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.
The caretaker continues to check on our relatives, the buffalo, two times per week depending on the weather and road accessibility.

 

January 2016

The Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center partnering societies met on January 24 and January 31 to collaborate on planning and scheduling upcoming activities.  A description of the societies within the Tiospaye was given in the October 2015 report.

The Knife Chief Tiospaye began the one-year mourning period following the loss of a beloved family member.   Sister Ardis Iron Cloud began her journey to the spirit world on January 11, 2016.  She was a co-founder of the Knife Chief Buffalo Project which began the development process in collaboration with the American Friends Service Committee to return buffalo to the land.  The first buffalo were placed in the pasture in 2001.

The Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center support the establishment of a Girls Preparatory School in Porcupine, SD.  Plans are underway to open the school in August, 2016 and to begin with sixth and seventh grades.

 

February 2016

Caretaker continued to make checks on the buffalo, pasture, and food and water supply twice during the week with weather permitting.

12a

 

March  2016

During this month two activities were held.  A Lakota traditional teaching was held on March 14 by Hmuya Mani, Interpreter for the Sacred.

A sacred site visit was made to Hinhan Kaga Paha (Imitates Owl Mountain) aka Harney Peak in the Blacks Hills of South Dakota.  A successful initiative was undertaken and led by two Lakota men to change the name from Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak.  Harney Peak was named after Army General William S. Harney.  Black Elk is a famous “holy man” as referred to by historians.  It is known that he climbed and stood on top of the Peak to do a vision quest, one of the seven sacred Lakota ceremonies.  (Note:  the Rapid City Journal reported on August 12, 2016, that the Federal Board of Geographic Names voted 12 to 0 in favor of the name change.)

Every year Native Americans from across South Dakota climb to the top of the mountain in March to take offerings of prayers and food to the grandmother and grandfather spirits.

 

April 2016

Knife Chief Board members attended the Oglala Sioux Parks & Recreation Authority (OSPRA) Board meeting on April 12 to negotiate an amendment to the pasture lease which was approved.

 

May 2016

On May 14 an annual visit was made to Pe Sla, one of seven sacred sites located in the Black Hills.  Offerings of food and prayers were taken to the site.

On May 18, a young man completed the manhood ceremony by making offerings of prayer and killing a buffalo.  The meat is used for sacred ceremonies and shared with people who receive blessings from this.

11a

Grandfather, father and brother support their relative (center) in the manhood ceremony.

In collaboration with other societies within Tiospaye Sakowin Education & Healing Center, Knife Chief Buffalo Nation supported the “Koskalaka WicaYuwita Pi” (Gathering of Young Women) on May 26 -29, 2016.

 

June 2016

On June 4 a trip was made with girls and young women to dig and gather timpsila (wild turnip) used in preparing sacred foods for ceremonies.

A sacred site visit was made to Pte He Hota (aka Devil’s Tower) on June 18.  Offerings of food and prayers were made.

 

Plans for Future Events

Final plans were made and work was done in preparation for the arrival of the Students Shoulder -to -Shoulder (SSS) group on July 04.  The SSS, the international school of global citizenship partners with the following NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations): Bolivia, Cambodia, Detroit, Kenya, Nepal, New Orleans, Nicaragua, Tibet and Pine Ridge  Knife Chief Buffalo Nation).   The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation collaborated with SSS staff during the year to provide a variety of experiences for high school age students from across the U.S.  One experience will be for the group to assist with the Children’s Healing Camp scheduled from July 6 – 10, 2016.

Preparations were made for the Young Women’s Camp which is scheduled for July 28 – 31, 2016.  The Young Men’s Camp will be held in October or November, 2016.

 

Conclusion 

This has been a year of challenges.  The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization has experienced the loss of family members – two brother/cousins in October and November, and a sister in January. On the Pine Ridge Reservation, many families, extended relatives and friends have been impacted by the many suicide attempts, and by the completed suicides.

As of this writing, the Pine Ridge Reservation has also seen five deaths of young people since August 2016 due to violence, two were shot and killed by non-Indians; another two shot and allegedly killed by tribal member(s); and another person died as a result of being beaten.   The loss of a life due to violence is so sad but also so heartbreaking when young ones are the victims.  In July, 2016 a two-year old child was beaten and died as a result of injuries. The tribal council terminated three judges due to the situation which led to his death.  In a more recent case, two young children ages 4 and 5 years old were found in extreme conditions – described as “nearly starved to death.”  They were airlifted out and remain in a hospital off the Reservation.  Tribal official and various program personnel have met and are attempting to address these situations.

With all this in mind, it is evident that so much more must be done now to help with healing the people so that we will not continue to carry the burden of trauma and place this trauma on the tawacin (mind), tacan (body) and nagi (spirit) of the young and on the generations to come.

The sacred teachings received from our relatives, the buffalo nation, can help us to live in harmony and in a healthy lifestyle if we follow the teachings.  The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization (KCBNO) will continue to participate in the reciprocal relationship with the buffalo nation, and will continue to work in partnership with other societies and organizations to host the children’s camp, the young men’s camp and the young women’s camp.  The relationships made with them continue thorough out the year and not just during the camp days,

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:  [email protected]

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.

 

 

Summer 2015 Wrap-up Report from Village Earth Affiliate Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

Our relatives standing with a little one. 8/01/15

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.

b

Journey to Mato Paha (Bear Butte) Sturgis,

 

Young women  resting on way to top of Bear Butte

Young women resting on way to top of Bear Butte

 

Communicating with relative, the horse, and preparing to ride

Communicating with relative, the horse, and preparing to ride

 

Volunteers and some of young women

Volunteers and some of young women

 

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.

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

g

Buffalo caretaker Ed Iron Cloud III visiting downtown Boulder, CO

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: [email protected]

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.

30% Match on Donations to VE Affiliates in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Pine Ridge, Burundi, and The Gambia

On Wednesday September 16th, starting at 9am EDT (7:00am MST), GlobalGiving.org will be matching online donations at 30% until the $70,000 in matching funds runs out. Don’t miss this opportunity to supersize your donations to eligible Village Earth Global Affiliates.

Eligible projects are listed below with links to their donation pages on Globalgiving.org.

GG1GG2GG3GG4GG5GG6GG7

World Food Day: Food Insecurity on South Dakota’s American Indian Reservations

Food_Insecurity_Village_Earth

 

Today, October 16th, 2014 is World Food Day. The World Food Day theme for 2014 is Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”. While most Americans recognize the problem of hunger in so-called “developing countries.” Very few people comprehend the high levels of food insecurity that exists across the United States. This problem is especially acute on American Indian Reservations where a 120 years of exclusionary federal policies have pushed Tribal members off their own lands to make them available to non-tribal farmers and ranchers. This combined with high rates of poverty has created food desserts across indian country.

“Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. The lack of access contributes to a poor diet and can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.”

The map above, developed by Village Earth’s Lakota Lands Recovery Project, draws on 2012 data collected by the US Census Bureau and compiled by www.feedingamerica.org to display the county-level data along with the boundaries of South Dakota’s American Indian Reservations. The data shows that on these Reservations, food insecurity (not having enough food within the past year) is has high as 26% percent, some of the highest rates in the country.

Village Earth is trying to transform this situation by supporting local, grassroots efforts to develop more sustainable, more healthy local food systems. For example, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Village Earth is supporting efforts of the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation organization who seeks to acquire more land to expand their buffalo herds which provide both spiritual and nutritional sustenance for the Lakota people. Earth Tipi, another one of our Global Affiliates, is seeking funds to develop a demonstration “food forest” near the community of Manderson on the Pine Ridge Reservations. Food forests are a form of sustainable regenerative food systems that bring together assemblages of food bearing parennial plants that thrive in local soils and climate and require very little maintenance once established. On the Cheyenne River Reservation, another one of our Global Affiliates “Mni” is working to restore their lands and aquifers by promoting simple watershed restoration and holistic grazing managemnet practices.  The goal of which is to restore their lands and wild plants after 120 years of extractive grazing practices managed by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

All three of these Village Earth Global Affiliates are currently accepting donations through Globalgiving.org. Please consider making a donation on this World Food Day.

MnidEarthTipiKnifeChief

 

 

Latest News and Happenings from Knife Chief Buffalo Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation

MILA YATAN PIKA PTE OYATE OKOLAKICIYE

(KNIFE CHIEF BUFFALO NATION ORGANIZATION)

Project Report

This report covers October 2013  through December 2013.  Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) 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 and physical nourishment from them.  Below is a summary of our activities for this period.

KCBN1

October 2013 –  In observance of the spiritual calendar, spiritual offerings were made and taken to the Purification Lodge on October 15 for the sacred site of Pte Ta Tiopa (Doorway of the Buffalo) near Buffalo Gap, SD in the sacred Black Hills. This is the time when the buffalo return to the sacred Black Hills and when we (humans) know to make spiritual offerings.  The spiritual calendar was taught to us (Lakota people) by the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) and to whom we continue to honor and care for.

We sponsored a benefit conference for the pte oyate (buffalo nation) on October 11 & 12 in Rapid City, SD.  Twenty-five (25) participants attended the conference on “Historical Trauma:  Impact and Healing.”  This two day workshop addressed how historical trauma has impacted Lakota and indigenous peoples and how we can integrate healing from historical trauma into our families, schools, programs and communities.  Presenters were Richard Two Dogs, Richard Moves Camp, Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart and Josie Chase.

We were honored to have three well-respected Wakan Iyeska in the group for both days.  A basic explanation of the term “Wakan Iyeska” is that these persons are interpreters between the physical and the spirit world.  Their roles and responsibilities are based on their individual dreams.  The three men are Ohitiya Mani (Roy Dennis Stone), Hmuya Mani (Richard Two Dogs) and Wicahpi Koyag Mani (Richard Moves Camp).

KCBN2

 Conference participants visiting during a break

KCBN3

(L to R Presenter Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, Participant Marcella LeBeau, Presenter Josie Chase

 

November 2013  –  On November 01 we received a loan of $18,275.00 from the First National Bank of Gordon, Nebraska to pay for two annual pasture leases, home to the pte oyate (buffalo nation).  Payment was made to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.   We began our sixth year of this relationship with the First National Bank of Gordon.

We assisted with a Koskalaka Wicayuwita Pi (Young Men’s Gathering) camp on November 01 – 03 in which eighteen (18) boys and young men, ages 9 –17.  Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Okiciyapi (Lakota People Caring for Children), the Pine Ridge Reservation’s tribal welfare agency, were given the opportunity to send young men who were currently in the foster care system. The agency sent nine (9) young men and one parent brought his son from a neighboring reservation in South Dakota, the remaining participants were residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The group came together to learn Lakota traditional teachings about becoming or being a man from their older male relatives and mentors, blessing the food, raising the tipi; bow making, singing and drum, preparing a spiritual kit, and Horse Nation teachings.  Other activities and teachings included honoring relationships, purification lodge preparation, spiritual cleansing, greeting the Morning Star and sun prayer and song, and gun safety and hunting, Lakota traditional healing. Twelve (12) participants received a Lakota spirit name at a ceremony.

The volunteer mentors included seven (7) men and a Wakan Iyeska (interpreter of the sacred) or “medicine man” as he is sometimes referred to.

The participants and mentors slept in five tipis which were raised by the young men as part of the teachings. Three mentors guided the participants in an early morning hunt and two deer were taken.  Talking Circles were held on the first and final day.

KCBN4

 Camp participants learning to raise the tipi

 KCBN5

 Raising the tipi: home for 2 nights and 3 days

 KCBN6

 Learning to skin a deer after the early morning hunt

KCBN7

Developing a relationship with our relatives, the horse nation

KCBN8

Receiving teachings about the drum and songs

On November 04, the buffalo caretaker gave a tour of the buffalo pasture to staff of Gunderson Lutheran Hospital from Minnesota.  Staff provide medical services on a monthly basis in Porcupine.  They are provided with information about the Lakota culture and the Pine Ridge Reservation.

December 2013  – We participated in a debriefing session on December 13 with the Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Okiciyapi (LOWO) staff at their office building in Pine Ridge, SD.  The session centered on the Children’s Camp held in September and the Young Boys/Men Camp held in November.  A number of children and youth in the foster care system participated in both camps.

We sponsored a conference entitled “Woakipa Etan Woasniye” (Healing From Trauma) on December 17 & 18 in Rapid City, SD with thirty (30) participants.  Topic and presenters included: Lakol Wicohan Un Woakipa Api Iciya Pi (Healing from Trauma Using Lakota Culture), Richard Two Dogs; Addressing High Rates of Traumatic Stress Among American Indian/Alaska Nation Children, Marilyn Brugier Zimmerman; Discovering Healing Pathways:  Arts Informed Counseling for American Indian Youth, Elizabeth Warson; Trauma in the Womb, Barbara Vancil; Tewicahila Pi Ogna Unspewicakiyapi (Teaching/Educating with Love, Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs.

KCBN9

Presenter Barbara Vancil sharing information about trauma in the womb

KCBN10

Group working session at the December conference

In observance of the spiritual calendar, spiritual offerings were taken to the Purification Lodge (Inipi) on December 21, the Winter Solstice.

Donations – We collaborated with Ken Lundsford, Barbara Keel and Rick Hagens of Fairburn, AL and with Terri Yellow Hammer, Minneapolis, MN on a winter gear drive for children (infants to 10 years).  Other items received  included  toys, blankets, shoes and coats for adults.  Due to the frigid weather and the lack of heat and the lack of water in the building we planned  to use, distribution  has been  set for the week of January 20.  We greatly appreciate the organizing efforts of Ken, Barbara, Rick, Terri and her husband, and we are  also very thankful to the donors.

Future Events and Plans

  • January 24 – 26, 2014 – We will help to sponsor a Men’s Basketball Tourney to raise funds for a Boys/Young Men Camp in May, 2014.
  • February 02, 2014 – We will sponsor a workshop on “Preparation of Can Sasa (red willow bark), a cultural and spiritual teaching.
  • March 2014 – Will assist with the planning of a proposed conference for alcohol and drug prevention counselors.  One person volunteered  to do a presentation at this conference.
  • May 2014 –  (a)  will have work camps to continue fencing project; (b)  will help sponsor the Boys/Young Men Camp on May 24 – 26
  • June 2014 – Will sponsor the Students Shoulder to Shoulder Camp on June 02 – 08
  • August 2014 – Will sponsor a Children’s Healing Camp from August 05 – 08

Fencing Project – Our fencing project will continue as the weather permits.   One pasture of 1200 acres is fenced.  We plan to complete the fencing of 1500 acres which is approximately seven (7) miles.  One mile of steel posts are set up now and  holes are dug for wood posts to be put in the ground.  We are working to purchase 400 steel posts and will continue fencing when weather permits.  We are working on a plan to establish work camps in May 2014 for native and non-native youth and adults to assist with the fencing project.

KCBN11

Our relatives, the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) within the fenced pasture

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 comes  Lila wopila tanka! (We thank you all very much).

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:
Email:  [email protected]
Telephone:  605-407-0091
Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org
or www.villageearth.org look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliates

 

 

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Update from Knife Chief Buffalo Nation

MILA YATAN PIKA PTE OYATE OKOLAKICIYE

 (KNIFE CHIEF BUFFALO NATION ORGANIZATION)

Project Report

October 2013

This report covers June 2013 through September 2013.  Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) 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 and physical nourishment from them.  Below is a summary of our activities for this period.

TwoWakanyeja

Two Wakanyeja (sacred beings – children) at the Children’s Camp 2013

            June 2013 – we implemented a partnership with the Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization which is described as an “international school of global citizenship”, 13 students and 2 chaperones came and assisted Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization with scraping tipi poles that are used for the ceremonies including the Sundance ceremony and the children/youth camps.  Did you know the Lakota word for “tipi pole” is “tushu”?  Did you know that each pole represents a Lakota value, e.g., the first pole at the door of the tipi represents “Waunsila”, the Lakota term for “compassion”.  This value is a reminder to have compassion for all who enter your home, feed them, clothe them if needed and be kind to them.

tipiPoles

Students Shoulder to Shoulder participants in Tipi Pole Scraping Project

 

Tony and Lew showed the students how to scrape the Tipi Poles

The students also assisted with the fencing project for the buffalo pasture.  They were exposed to cultural speakers and activities throughout the week.  This international organization sends teams of youth to various communities around the globe to assist with community development and as a cultural exchange.  Their assistance to the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation community was greatly appreciated and their respectfulness was also appreciated.

 tipis

Mila Yatan Pika Ti Okiju Wakan Ceremonial Grounds Sunset First Day

June 2013 – Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization helped with sponsoring the annual Mila Yatan Pika Tiokiju Wakan Wi Wayang Wacipi, a very important ceremony where people make offerings and sacrifice for the future generations.  Above is photo of the tipis at the ceremony (the youth from the Students Shoulder to Shoulder camp contributed to us being able to use the poles for the tipis you see in the photo).

August 31- September 2, 2013:  A children’s healing camp was held on these dates on the grounds of the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) in Porcupine, SD.  Approximately 30 children participated with their adult relatives and guardians.  Many of them received a Lakota spirit name, Lakota traditional healing, Lakota equine assisted activities, a swimming trip and a huge birthday party for all of them.  The children’s ages ranged from 2 years to 12 years of age.  When asked what they liked the most about the camp, they drew pictures or related that they liked sleeping in the tipis, the Inipi (purification lodge ceremony) and the swimming.  We were blessed with many volunteer relatives that assisted with setting up the tipis, chaperoning the children, providing activities, cooking/food preparation, taking down the tipis and assisting with the traditional healing ceremonies.  We say a special Wopila (a big thank you) to the Tunkasila (grandfathers) and Uncis (grandmothers) of the spirit world for blessing this camp and the children and to their Interpreters Ohitiya Najin (Stands Brave – Roy Dennis Stone), Hmuya Mani (Walks with a Roaring – Richard Two Dogs) and Wicahpi Koyag Mani (Wears the Star Walking – Richard Moves Camp) and to all the volunteers and donors to the camp.  Without all of your help, this camp would not have been possible.

children's healing camp

Wakanyeja Woapiye Wicoti (Children’s Healing Camp) 2013

 

Children and Mentors at Healing Camp with the sacred Horse Relatives, Porcupine, SD 2013

Future Events and Plans

We plan on assisting with a Koskalaka Wicayuwita Pi (Young Men’s Gathering) camp in which boys and young men, ages 11-18, will gather to learn Lakota traditional teachings about becoming or being a man from their older male relatives and mentors.  Some of the activities include Lakota values teachings, honoring relationships, greeting the Morning Star, Lakota traditional healing and receiving a Lakota spirit name if they don’t have one and would like one.  This camp will be held on October 31-November 2, 2013.

We continue to observe the spiritual calendar, the next sacred site visit is on October 15, 2013 to Pte Ta Tiopa (Doorway of the Buffalo) near Buffalo Gap, SD in the sacred Black Hills. This is the time when the buffalo return to the sacred Black Hills and when we (humans) know to make spiritual offerings.  The spiritual calendar was taught to us (Lakota people) by the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) and to whom we continue to honor and care for.

We also plan to sponsor a Historical Trauma and Healing conference on October 11-12, 2013 (see www.knifebuffalonation.org for conference information).  Our fencing project will continue as the weather permits.  We continue to work toward maintaining the pasture for our relatives the buffalo and honoring the relationship we have with them.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone:  605-441-2914 or 605-407-0091

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

or www.villageearth.org look for Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization under Global Affiliates

Closing/Question

We extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people 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). We ask you the general public, our friends and relatives, what you think we should do to expand our work so that others can learn from the teachings of the buffalo nation?  We are very interested in hearing from you!

tatanka

Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture, February 2013

 

Camp on the Majestic Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture

The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation is happy to announce the launch of a new opportunity to guest to visit and camp on our buffalo pasture near the community of quiet Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Guests can now book our campsite using AirBnB.com a global site that connects travelers with unique accommodations all around the globe. See our listing below or view it at AirBnB.

knifechieftipi

VE Affiliate, Knife Chief Buffalo Nation to host Historical Trauma Conference

Oyate Woakipa Ta Woospe

Historical Trauma: Impact and Healing

20121123_115949_402_Grid7

October 11-12, 2013
Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, Rapid City, SD

Benefit Conference for the Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation)

Presenters: Hmuya Mani (Richard Two Dogs,), Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart and others

 

Historical Trauma—”the collective emotional and psychological injury both over the life span and across generations, resulting from a cataclysmic history of genocide. The effects of historical trauma include: unsettled emotional trauma, depression, high mortality rates, high rates of alcohol abuse, significant problems of child abuse and domestic violence” (http://historicaltrauma.com/). This two day workshop will show how historical trauma has impacted Lakota and indigenous peoples and how we can integrate healing from historical trauma into our families, schools, programs and communities. Registration and Lodging information attached.

 

Conference Fee: $300.00

register-now

 

 Make Checks of Money Orders Payable to Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization and send to:

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization
PO Box 294
Porcupine, SD 57772
605-441-2914

 

Lodging Information

There is a block of rooms reserved at the conference hotel Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn at the rate of $131.00/night + tax. Mention the “Historical Trauma Healing Conference” when making the reservations, telephone number 605-348-4000. Reservation Deadline September 25th, 2013.

Agenda

[gview file=”http://knifechiefbuffalonation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Trauma-Healing-Conference-Agenda-Oct-2013.pdf”]

Update from Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization)

1

One of our Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) relatives) in the Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture

Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) 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 and physical nourishment from them.  Below is a summary of our activities for this period.

February 2013 – a partnership with Students Shoulder to Shoulder organization was formed.  This international organization send teams of youth to various communities around the globe to assist with community development and as a cultural exchange.  This organization will send youth to the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization in Porcupine to assist with preparation for the summer ceremonies and the fencing of the buffalo pasture.

2

Waiting for the Welcoming the Babies ceremony to begin March 2013

March 2013 – Welcoming new babies ceremony:  In this ceremony the babies born within the past year are blessed on a buffalo robe and a positive prediction and prayer is made for their lives.

3

Buffalo Robe Buffalo Skull Preparing for Welcoming New Babies KCBNO

March 2013 – Welcoming back the Thunder Nation ceremony was held at Hinhan Kaga Paha (Imitates Owl Mountain) in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota.

4

Welcoming Back Thunder Ceremony, Hinhan Kaga Paha (known as Harney Peak on map), Black Hills, SD.

 

5

Welcome Back Thunder Ceremony, Harney Peak, Black Hills SD

March 2013 – a collaborative partnership was formed with the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) and Tatanka Hoksila Okolakiciye (Buffalo Boy Society), an organization whose goal is to provide affordable housing to the reservation community; the members of these organizations traveled to the sacred Black Hills on a wood cutting and wood hauling project so there will be wood for the sacred Inipi (purification) ceremony.

6

The fruits of labor- Wood Cutting Project for sacred ceremonies

 

7

Mahpiya Maza (Iron Cloud), Ed Iron Cloud III, KCBNO Board Member, Wood Cutting Project

April 2013 – the Istamni Wicakicipakintapi (wiping of tears) ceremony was held on April 27, 2013 for all of creation to acknowledge the losses experienced throughout the year by our relatives – the four legged, the winged and the plant/tree nations.  This was held at Pe Sla in the sacred Black Hills.

May 2013 – Wanasa (community travels for sacred buffalo hunt) ceremony was held on May 4th.  A young Lakota man prepared for the hunt four days in a row in the sacred manner and made a buffalo kill so that there would be meat for the people to be fed in preparation for and during the sacred MilaYatan Pika (Knife Chief) Sundance ceremony in June.

Future Events and Plans

We plan on sponsoring a rite of passage for a young boy who will prepare in the sacred manner for a buffalo hunt which will be used for the Tasunke Wakan Wi Wayang Wacipi (Medicine Horse Sundance Ceremony) in July.

We are also planning to make a journey to the sacred mountain, Inyan Kaga Paha (where stones are gathered mountain) located in the sacred Black Hills.  This journey is in observance of the spiritual calendar when offerings are made in preparation for the Summer ceremonies.  All of the spiritual offerings made at different times throughout the year according to the spiritual calendar were taught to us as Lakota people by the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation) and to whom we continue to honor and care for.

Our fencing project will continue this summer with the help of the international organization, Students Shoulder to Shoulder.

We are also planning for the Children’s Healing Camp on July 12-16, 2013 for children, ages 7-12, who have experienced trauma, grief and loss. This is a grass roots community based camp in response to the violence, abuse and trauma the children suffer.  This will be held in Porcupine, SD in partnership with Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society).  See attached brochure for more information.

CONTACT INFORMATION

For more information, contact us at:

Email:  [email protected]

Telephone:  605-209-8777 or 605-407-0091

Website:  www.knifechiefbuffalonation.org

Closing/Question

We extend a heartfelt appreciation to the people 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). We ask you the general public, our friends and relatives, what you think we should do to expand our work so that others can learn from the teachings of the buffalo nation?  We are very interested in hearing from you!

8

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization, Buffalo Pasture, February 2013

 

 

WIKOSKALAKA YUWITA PI (Gathering of Young Women)

During the transition from being a girl to becoming a young woman, sometimes this can be a challenging time for young girls and their families. We would like to offer an opportunity to you to gain some Lakota traditional teachings related to becoming a young woman. We are offering a Young Women’s Gathering for up to 10 girls, ages 11-13 and their adult female guardian/parent/relative from October 19-21, 2012 in Porcupine, SD at the Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye Center.

There will be teachings, activities and healing opportunities throughout the days and will end with a ceremony called Isna Ti Awicalowan Pi (They sing for her that lives alone – a reference to the time of isolation during a girl/woman’s monthly purification time) for those girls who are going through the ceremony after having their monthly purification time (Please note: do not plan on attending if you will be on your monthly purification time during the camp as spiritual ceremonies will be taking place during the camp).

As the future women leaders of families and of our great Lakota Nation, we humbly invite you to join us. Click here to download the complete info and registration packet.

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Hosts Children’s Camps on Pine Ridge

The most natural place for a young Lakota boy to be – on the back of the Sunka Wakan (horse)!

By Ethleen Iron Cloud

The summer has been extremely busy with two cultural spiritual camps that were held in June and July and a children’s cultural camp that was held in July also. Two young men went through the Wicasa Ihuni (Becoming a Man) ceremony at the first part of June. The purpose of the ceremony is for the young men to receive traditional teachings on becoming a man and more specifically, becoming a Lakota man. The young men go through four consecutive nights of Inipi (purification lodge ceremony) with other men who provide teachings, guidance and assist with the preparation for the buffalo hunt they do on the fifth day. During the preparation period, they are asked to make relatives with the spirit of the buffalo they are going to kill so that there will be a spiritual bond between them. The buffalo provides nourishment; sustenance and spiritual teachings for the young man to emulate and these teachings are intended to provide a path for the young man. For example, the Pte Oyate (buffalo nation0 protect their young by placing them in the middle of the herd when danger is imminent. Likewise, the young man is taught that when he has children, he must protect them at all costs. This is a very important teaching given contemporary times and situations where the father is absent is too common.

Covering the Arbor with pine boughs, a neighbor donated the pine boughs from his arbor, so we didn’t have to cut or kill any more trees! The arbor is where some activities took place and where the naming ceremony for the children took place.

The children’s camp was a great success! There were 22 children and their parent/guardians for a total of 45 people participating in the camp on July 17-20, 2012. The children’s camp focused on the ages of 7-10 and those who experienced grief, trauma and major loss. 19 of the children experienced the “wopakinte” (spiritual purification) by Elders, the intent of the ceremony is to provide an opportunity for the children‘s spirit to be wiped with sage which represents medicine for the spiritual wound they carry from the trauma, grief and loss they experienced. The Lakota belief is that only sage and eagle feathers can wipe away the spiritual residue left from the trauma; in this case sage was used. 9 children received a Lakota spirit name which is an important milestone in their lives as the Lakota people believe that the Lakota spiritual name anchors one more solidly to the earth and strengthens the cultural and personal identity. Another healing activity for them was the horseback riding provided by Bamm Brewer who did an excellent presentation and was very patient and kind while teaching the children who did not know how to ride. It was extremely hot during the camp, the temperature exceeded 100 degrees every day. Thankfully, there was a swimming pool for the children and one day Dr. Mark Butterbrodt treated them to the water slides in Rapid City. This camp would not have been possible without the prayers and hard work by all the volunteers as well as the people who donated to this camp. Lila Wopila Tanka (thank you very much)!! The children and their parent/guardian wrote such beautiful words about the camp and that they hope there will be another; one little girl said she had prayed for a camp where “ we sleep in tipis, where everyone loved each other, where we had good food , ride horses and where we went swimming and my prayers were answered”. She seemed amazed that her prayers were answered; her mother commented that the camp was a blessing for her family. It is hoped that we can offer another opportunity like this; we received a request from a neighboring Tribe to have a similar camp for their community. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to offer such a camp on a regular basis. The ideal situation would be to offer a camp like this on a quarterly basis so that the children can stay connected to an important resource. With the suicide attempts and completions among our young people (there were 2 completed suicides of young men, both age 22 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the first two weeks of August!); a regular and ongoing camp would be an important suicide prevention resource.

Setting up the tipis. Each tipi pole represents a Lakota value or virtue and the cover represents the womb of our mother.

One of the Tipis that the campers stayed in. Ti Ikciye is the proper Lakota term for tipi

The adults participating in the camp also benefited, they participated in Talking Circles, participated in the Inipi (purification lodge) ceremony with their children and had Dr. Larry Burke share his Emotional Freedom Tapping (EFT) approach with them as a response to depression, diabetes management and obesity prevention/intervention. Hmuya Mani (Richard Two Dogs), Lakota Traditional Healer, provided immeasurable help not only in conducting the spiritual ceremonies for the children but he and Tony Bush, a local Porcupine community member and Vietnam Veteran made sure the arbor was covered with pine boughs. Gene Kolaczkowski, Psychotherapist from Gunderson Lutheran in Wisconsin provided great therapeutic activities for the children and Dr. Elizabeth Warson from George Washington University brought some Art students and did art therapy with the children. The volunteers were exceptional – Gina Good Crow, Susan Hawk, Savannah Jensen, Tamara Red Owl, Johnnie Big Crow, Dawn Frank, Jolene Martin, Wilma Kills In Water, Bev Tuttle, Mary Iron Cloud, Santee Baird, Chris Valandra, Brice Valandra, Elder Isaac Last Horse, Stella Iron Cloud, Laura Wilcox, Cindy Giago, Forrest Calhoun, Eugene Giago Jr., Bamm Brewer, Mark Butterbrodt, Yamni Frank, Ed Iron Cloud, Eileen Iron Cloud, Ramona White Plume, Tilda Long Soldier , Elizabeth, the Art Students, Uma, Peter, Gene, Larry and the ladies and gentleman from Gunderson Lutheran who helped with the sewing of the Inipi dresses for the little girls – all truly amazing in their caring and hard work!. I hope I did not forget anyone! All in all, it was a great experience for many; this quote from one of the volunteers says it all:

I will never forget this experience. All of the children were/are so special and unique in their own little way. I saw them experience unconditional love from family, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and Community Members. I also saw that for the children whom did not have a sense of identity, they left with a stronger sense of self and who and where they come from.”  

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 Future Events

We hope to start the fencing of the additional pasture so that the buffalo will have more land to graze and roam; and so that the current pasture does not get overgrazed. We hope to be working with Wild Idea Buffalo and their affiliates on this project. 7-8 miles need to be fenced and it will take about a mile a week to complete so the entire project should take about 7-8 weeks. We are also planning an Ista mni Wicakici Pakinta Pi (Wiping of Tears) ceremony for the Porcupine community on Saturday, September 1, 2012. There have been many deaths in the community over the past year and this ceremony is a way to acknowledge the loss, provide comfort through prayer, song, words of encouragement and food. The Lakota belief is that this signifies a way to strengthen fellow community members as they adjust to the absence of their loved one but does not mean it is the end of the mourning period or grieving. Traditionally, Lakota people have a dinner and giveaway upon the one year anniversary of their loved one’s passing. The Wiping of Tears ceremony is the Lakota way of saying “we know you are hurting, here are some encouraging words, food and prayers to help you on your journey without your loved one here on earth”.

Closing

Wopila (thank you) to all the people who have contributed to Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization, your generosity is most appreciated and have made it possible to continue with our work!

Update from Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization)

Greetings from the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation organization in Pahin Sinte (Porcupine), SD! It is beautiful and green in the buffalo pasture and the sight of buffalo keeping a close eye on their new calves brings to mind the teaching to always look out for our young. As a volunteer organization, our goals include preserving and implementing the teachings from the buffalo nation so that our children and future generations will always have a connection to our relatives the buffalo. This is an update on our activities in the past couple of months and a forecast of our future activities.

On April 7, 2012, we co-sponsored an event, Sunkawakan Ta Woonspe (Teachings from the Horse Nation) which was held at the Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture on April 7, 2012. This was a healing event designed to connect and reconnect the community with the healing powers of the horse nation. We began the event with a Wocekiye (opening blessing) by our esteemed Spiritual Leader, Hmuya Mani (Walking with a Roaring – Richard Two Dogs) and a presentation on the sacredness of horses with an emphasis on our relationship with them as relatives. Historically, horses were and still are used for healing based on the belief that that they are a mirror ourselves as the humans or two-legged. Also, Lakota people believe that they can take physical and mental and emotional illness from us as humans.

After the presentation, a naming ceremony was held for one of the horses who carried the spirit of our great Warrior and Spiritual Leader, Tunkasila Tasunke Witko (Grandfather Crazy Horse) during the Crazy Horse Ride that happens every June in Pine Ridge, SD, to honor his leadership, and great feats in the battles and wars to protect his people and fight for their rights. The horse was covered with a beautiful star quilt as part of the naming ceremony.

Natan Hinapa (Comes Charging, Bamm Brewer), who is an organizer for the Crazy Horse Ride recounted how knowing that the spirit of Grandfather Crazy Horse rides with them every year has strengthened the riders and how it has impacted him spiritually. Natan Hinapa presented a beautiful horse mask to Hmuya Mani as a gift, the mask was worn by one of Natan Hinapa’s horses in the Crazy Horse Ride and also in the Sunkawakan Ta Woonspe event (see photo 1).

Oglala Hanska (Percy White Plume), of the Wacinhin Ska Tiospaye (White Plume Family) and Nata Hinapa brought their horses to bless the people. The people gathered in a circle and the horses were led in while the drum group sang songs in their honor. While the horses were led around the inside of the circle of people, everyone raised their hands to receive the blessings from them (see photo). There were about 75 people present and it was a beautiful day in the Knife Chief Buffalo pasture. The event ended with a great meal, buffalo soup that was cooked by one of our great outdoor chefs – Anthony Bush of Porcupine, SD, an Elder and Vietnam Veteran. Many other people donated food and supplies for the meal, great thanks to all of them. Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society) assisted with securing donations for the portable out houses, which were a necessity given the remoteness of the Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture (several miles out in the beautiful rolling hills east of Porcupine, SD).

Other News

Mahpiya Maza (Iron Cloud), one of our Buffalo caretakers, secured and hauled posts that will be used for the hay yard and sorting pen for the buffalo. He was assisted by relative and community member, William Locke. This project will continue as we move toward gathering resources to fence the additional acreage leased by Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization.

 

Upcoming Events/Activities

We are in the process of preparing two young men for a Wanasa Pi (buffalo hunt) which is the traditional Lakota way to mark the rite of passage into manhood. The young men go through four days of purification in the Inipi (purification lodge); commonly known as the Sweat lodge. As in all important ceremonies, a four day purification process is observed. Offerings are made to the spiritual entities for a successful hunt, to ask forgiveness for taking the buffalo’s life and to make a connection with the spirit of the buffalo so that the people will receive nourishment, both physically and spiritually. During the four day preparation period, the young men are given guidance by the older men and through spiritual guidance, the importance of the Wanasa Pi ceremony is stressed and teachings on the role of the Lakota man are also provided. The ceremony will be held at the Knife Chief Buffalo Pasture on May 18, 2012.

We are also preparing for our two annual Sundance ceremonies, one of which is held at the Knife Chief Buffalo pasture. Two years ago, at sunrise on the first day of the Sundance ceremony, the buffalo came to the top of the hill on the east side as the Sundancers were making their prayers to the east and gave them a blessing. We hope to be blessed by them again at this year’s Sundance ceremony.

Knife Chief Buffalo Nation organization is also co-sponsoring a Wakanyeja Wicoti (children’s camp) that will be held the week of July 16-20, 2012 in Porcupine, SD. This camp will focus on the needs of Lakota children who have experienced grief, loss and trauma. We are in the process of securing additional sponsorship and partnerships to assist with this much needed camp. There are people that have committed to volunteering their time at this camp and we have received word that a most generous person is assisting with securing camp supplies. The people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have a very high death rate from illness and accidents and many families are under severe stress from this as well as from living in poverty and/or living with violence and/or addiction. These stressors can cause children to have needs related to grief, loss and trauma and this camp is one small effort that Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization can help with to address some of the needs of our Wakanyeja – a Lakota term for “sacred beings”.

Thank you for your support of the Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization) and we look forward to sharing future updates with you all. For more information about anything in this article, contact Ethleen, [email protected]. Lila Pila Unyapi Ye (We thank you very much).


Knife Chief Delivers Bison Meat to Elders on Pine Ridge

On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, the Village Earth Affiliate, Knife Chief Buffalo Nation delivered 200 lbs of grassfed and field-harvested bison meat to Cohen Memorial Home, an Elderly program in Pine Ridge and 300 lbs of meat to Meals for Elderly, a Reservation-wide program that will distribute the meat to elders across the Reservation. The delivery was made through Tatanka Talo Fund, a donor advised fund of the Lakota Lands Recovery project. The goal of the project is to help distribute Lakota raised bison meat to elders on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This delivery was made possible by from a single donor who covered the cost of the animal, processing, packing and delivery. Grassfed bison meat is a great low-fat and high-protein alternative to beef, making it perfect for elderly and/or people with diabetes. Plus, this project helps to support local Native-run bison caretakers on the Pine Ridge Reservation. If you would like to donate to this program, please click on the “Help Fund This Project” button on the right.