TWM's NEWS Blog!
SIgn-upget updates & opportunities
For over 15 years, it has been the vision of Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to create sustainable housing on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Starting with the late, beloved Muriel Ashmore, founder of Tiyospaye Crisis Center and more recently, Christinia Eala, founder of Winyan Maka, two small agencies have merged to promote sustainable housing, renewable energy, as well as nutritional and educational sovereignty for Indigenous families.
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Standing Rock “Water Protectors” have all been forcibly removed from the camps. Many of us continue to decompress from the various traumas we personally suffered, or were witness to. I know that I will continue to process the three and a half months that I spent there. There are so many wonderful Spiritual Human Beings that I met while there…I will never forget the love, warmth and camaraderie that I saw all around me. More than a few times I found myself walking to the “camp pantry” for a small cup of coffee at 3 in the morning, and still, there were many people walking around and greeting one another with love and hugs…even though we had just met. This experience and so many more will linger in my memory for years to come, and I’m happy that I was able to bear witness to so much love and Spiritual Energy.
While many of us were happy to return to our homes…my mind can’t help but wander to those we left behind, who still struggle to “get by”. There are still many that we stood side-by-side with who go home to houses that are dilapidated with poor electrical wiring and plumbing with no extra money for repair. You can see this on just about any Indian Reservation that you visit…but in Lakota Territory every one of them live far below the poverty level.
I think about the beautiful Lakota youth who initiated the “Stand With Standing Rock” move. I’ve listened to them speak about how it’s difficult survive on the rez’ with outrageous utility bills, food and vegetables that look to be gleaned from the fields of states far away, and housing is scarce or very overcrowded, up to 17 or more in a single house. These youth are heroes. On the Pine Ridge Reservation, almost 65% of the population are 25 and under and of those, approx. 20% are homeless and couch surfing.
Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, (Lakota for Extended Family of Women of the Earth, and herein referred to as TWM), a small, grassroots non-profit in Colorado, has had a mission since it’s inception - “to promote energy, housing, education, and nutritional sovereignty for indigenous women and families”.
Every year fundraising has been a very difficult undertaking as we are a very small grassroots agency with no paid positions let alone a position for a professional fundraiser. We work with whatever can be raised through speaking engagements about the homestead projects themselves, how they came to be, etc. We have also held various small fundraisers with support from the Fort Collins art community, various restaurants, we were even awarded two grants from Microbreweries for the Environment..still we need to start upping our fundraising plan. About four years ago I had a fundraiser at Avogadro’s number here in Fort Collins. We asked a local group to play for us to attract folks to the patio, and we had a silent auction. We raised $500 and to my shock, the group wanted $500 for performing. It was at this point I decided to research and find out how to create an annual music fest to raise dollars for the project.
I met so many folks at Standing Rock that turned out to be musicians and are familiar with putting this kind of thing together and offered to help if and when they could. I pray they still have an interest and reach out to me.
I find myself wondering if there is enough time to put something together for this late spring/early summer, or should this wait until next year?? Or could we do it later this year and have funding for equipment and other things that TWM needs to replenish. Bryan would like to have the first one on the Pine Ridge Reservation…either at the Buffalo Ranch belonging to Bamm Brewer; he also has an event center at the same location. If these are not available…Bryan suggested the Pine Ridge Village pow-wow grounds. I can look into both of those venues, but want to see who out there has an interest before I do that. I would also like to know what kind of a budget I need to have in place, so please someone help me with this if you can.
Also, I have mentioned to a few of you that I want one here in Colorado, (Fort Collins, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Nederland, Carbondale) any of those places, or ALL of those places through the next few years. Also, I would like to see this music fest/concert to be performed in different states. Oregon, Washington, California, North/South Carolina, even New York state. I have heard many times on my Journey, if you are dreaming…dream BIG. So…I would love to be able to bring MILCK…”I Can’t Keep Quiet”,and of course I would love to see if the incredible Holly Near would be available to join us for one of these events in order to honor the grandmothers who stood against DAPL for months on end. She wrote and sang “1000 Grandmothers”. You can hear both of these incredible tunes on youtube.com
At a meeting on Thursday, March 2nd, Engineers Without Borders/CSU stated they would be going to the project site in Slim Buttes on the Pine Ridge Reservation in August. TWM will head up in late June or early July to set up a camp site for volunteers. I’m working on recruiting volunteers to help with the project. Also will work to restore some of the infrastructure, ie.
1. adding a tin roof to the outdoor kitchen; reinforcing where and as needed.
2. shoring up the outdoor commodes (will research to see if they are/or can be converted to composting.
3. checking on the integrity of the outdoor showers.
4. assist with setting up the kitchen appliances…stove, refrigerator, etc.
5. Get the campgrounds ready for campers…mow grass or whatever needs to be done.
Also from what I understand, there will be a Permaculture Convergence starting in July during this project…in the same location.
I’m checking on those dates now…so there will be an awful lot going on. If anyone out there is seriously interested in helping with the music fest/concert feel free to contact me here, or at my e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org or give a call at (970) 290-0353. Thank you for taking the time to read this to the very end…(You did…didn’t you? lol) Be well each and everyone of you, stay strong on the Journey we’re on and Wicosani to you and those you love.
October 6th, 2017
I am happy to say that we have had a few requests to see if we can video conference this. I will look into it and let you know. Thank you for the resounding interest in our latest endeavor.
In the wake of the current state of this country and in light of the current administrations divide and conquer mentality, Tiyospaye Winyan Maka is highly and sincerely invested in bringing the Fort Collins community together in a good way for a very good purpose. As we see it, the best possible way is through music and the arts as it has been said many times over that the dreamers, musicians, artists, poets, writers, and perma-culturists will be the ones to restore love, harmony, and balance to Turtle Island.
Tiyospaye Winyan Maka in the Lakota language means “Extended Family of Women of the Earth” and will herein be referred to as TWM) a small non-profit here in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Mission of Tiyospaye Winyan Maka is to promote alternative housing, energy, nutritional, and educational sovereignty for indigenous women and their families. If they have ancestral lands they would like to move their family to, we can assist them in building homesteads on that land.” To do this, we have aligned ourselves with an engineering consortium that includes EWB (Engineers Without Borders)/USA and EWB/CSU, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Water Works Association. We also love the collaborative work we have done in the past with Dan Fink of Buckville Energy here in Buckhorn Canyon, Colorado and an instructor of alternative energy at the Ecotech Institute in Aurora, Colorado.
In order to highlight the work that TWM does, we are reaching out to the various student cultural communities: Asian/Pacific, Black/Afro-American, El Centro, Native American Cultural Center, the Scotts/Irish organizations as well as members of the larger community to join us in our planning efforts to sponsor our first annual fundraising concert, to be here in Fort Collins around the first or second week in May, 2018. The concert has a three-fold purpose:
To support the work of TWM in our sponsorship of these wonderful projects.
Raise funds for the homestead ranch project in Slim Buttes, located in the southwest corner of the Pine Ridge reservation.
3. And finally, to celebrate the threads of love and true humanity that bind each of us together.
This Concert From the Four Winds will highlight and celebrate the Four Nations through music and the drum…which is the heartbeat of the Earth Mother. Drum groups will be from the Black, Red, Yellow, and White Nations. Our vision would see each of these groups perform solo, and then choreograph their own united drum performance. And it is our intention to put our heads together to invite one powerful, female guest speaker from each Nation to talk about the struggles of their Nation and how those struggles were overcome by reaching out to their allies from other Nations to stand with them in solidarity while speaking TRUTH to POWER.
I would like to invite each of you to join us in a meeting to discuss this vision so we all have a voice in how this vision will take shape. ALL thoughts and suggestions are needed and welcomed. I am in hopes that we could meet on Tuesday the 17th at 5 p.m. or Wednesday the 18th, again at 5 p.m. To all of my friends and supporters, not in Colorado, we will send out notes from the meeting as well as updates. I hope to hear from many of you soon.
p.s. It's starting to look like Wed. the 18th at 5 p.m. is getting the most responses, so that's what we will go with. I will see then if we can find a meeting place on the CSU campus.
Our Housing Projects: Check out our Eco-dome construction on Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation using the Cal-Earth patented earth bag design:
We offer the following services to native communities in the state of South Dakota and the cities of Fort Collins, CO & Denver, CO:
There are a high number of indigenous peoples who are struggling, suffering, and dying from alcohol and drug related diseases.
We work with agencies and other non-profit organizations that are culturally sensitive and have in place the knowledge and personnel to allow successful interaction with indigenous populations to help individuals move past addictions and into healthy, successful lives.
Contact us if you need more information for yourself or a loved one.
Restorative JusticeDispute Resolution
We have a certified Restorative Justice facilitator and have successfully coordinated meetings between victims and offenders.
Our goal is to bring dispute resolution to indigenous community members that speaks to the indigenous mindset both off and on the reservation.
If you are in need of assistance, please contact us. All communication with Tiospaye Winyan Maka is confidential.
Domestic Violence Intervention & Prevention
Tiyospaye Winyan Maka strives to make a difference in the area of domestic violence by partnering with shelters and other non-profits whose sole focus is domestic violence intervention and prevention.
If you need help with an intervention or getting out of a dangerous situation, please contact Christinia immediately at:
605-441-1661 PINE RIDGE
We will help you (and your children, if needed) get out of dangerous situations and into safety.