Promoting Alternative Housing, Education, Energy, and Food Sovereignty For Indigenous Families


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It's THAT time of year.

Posted by winyanmaka07 on August 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (2)
Good morning and a very warm handshake to each one of you whose eyes fall on these words to day. And YES!!!...IT IS THAT TIME OF YEAR. I have been busy making preparations to travel up to Slim Buttes on the Pine Ridge Reservation which is located in the southwestern corner of South Dakota. We really could use your help with this. I am excited for this year as, in addition to the continuing the build of the Indigenous Wisdom Community Center, and the Permaculture Convergence, we will begin the build of a small Children's Village because YAAAAAY...more toddlers and children are coming to the convergence with their parents. We want to provide an area where they can be comfortable and safe while their parents attend workshops. We want them to be able to be out the elements, like monsoons and extreme heat. In order to do this, we need your gracious assistance to purchase the materials and supplies needed. We only just got started raising the $2,500 needed to purchase: 2x4x8 - 100 pieces, 2 x 4 x12 - 50 pieces, and plywood, both 1/4" and 1/2". We hope to purchase the lumber needed at the Chadron Lumber Company in Chadron, Nebraska because of its close proximity to the site. MOST URGENT RIGHT NOW, AND INCLUDED IN THE $2,500 REQUEST, IS THE NEED TO RENT A 20' U-HAUL TRUCK TO TRANSPORT THE DONATED MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES THAT ARE TUCKED AWAY IN MY STORAGE HERE IN THE FORT. THIS INCLUDES ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE ELDERS AS WELL AS THE CHILDREN'S VILLAGE, AND THE MEDICS AREA. WE ALSO HAVE AND NEED MORE CLOTHING AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES. IF YOU CAN HELP WITH MONETARY DONATIONS, SCHOOL SUPPLIES, CLOTHING, OR GENTLY USED CHILDRENS TOYS FOR THE VILLAGE WE WOULD BE MOST GRATEFUL. AND PLEASE, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE YOUR TIME TO COME TO SLIM BUTTES AND WORK ALONGSIDE US, YOU WILL HAVE MANY AREAS TO CHOOSE FROM; THE OUTDOOR KITCHEN, PREPPING, COOKING, CLEANING, WEEDING AND WATERING THE GARDENS, OR HELPING TO SHORE UP THE EXISTING, OR BUILD NEW INFRASTRUCTURE. LOTS OF HARD WORK AND GOOD TIMES AROUND THE CAMPFIRE EVERY NIGHT. FINALLY, THE COST OF THE TRUCK IS $373 PLUS GAS FOR THE TRUCK, MY CAR AND TRAVEL. There is a donation button on this page if you can give a hand in any way, in any amount, you will become a part of supporting our efforts to improve the nutrition, health, and living conditions on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Just press the donate button and you will see PayPal there. Pilamayaye na Wicosani to each of you and those you love. Christinia

Update: Winter 2017

Posted by winyanmaka07 on December 31, 2017 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (1)

This is a sweet picture of most of the 12 children who lost their mothers, who were sisters. The lady in purple is also their auntie who took them all in. I would love to thank the Fort Collins, Community and in particular Pam Jennings, and Jamie Folsom and their blessed Circle of friends who have done so much for first, Standing Rock, and then raised and sent clothing, shoes, boots, and gifts during the holiday season for all of these children. THANK YOU AND WARM HUGS TO EACH OF YOU INCREDIBLE GODDESS MOTHERS.

Update: December 2017

Posted by winyanmaka07 on December 27, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

December 27th, 2017

UPDATE: The holiday season and other activities took priority over the planning of this concert and so as things stand, we are still putting together a committee willing to help push this event forward. If you would like to be part of the committee and thought you may have missed the chance...take heart, the chance opportunity still available. Contact information in the paragraph above remains the same. E-mail and/or call; we will be setting up a conference call number for meetings after we put the committee together.

Update: October 2017

Posted by winyanmaka07 on October 6, 2017 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

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.

Tiyospaye Winyan Maka – Located in Fort Collins, Colorado is working in partnership with the Oglala Lakota Cultural and Environmental Revitalization Initiative – located in Slim Buttes in the southeast corner of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

We are honoring those who came before us, meeting the needs of the present generation,

not compromising the future, so that coming generations are able to meet their own needs and guide our vision and renew each cycle of life. The purpose of this project is to help create resilience and self-sufficiency among the people of Pine Ridge by using existing resources to design and create sustainable systems, abundant production of food, energy and shelter, and systems of local trade that will create economic independence. Key to this project is a “sustainability school” on the rez, run by the Lakota, that will teach residents and international students permaculture techniques and principles.

OLCERI works towards resiliency for the Lakota of Pine Ridge through education and the development of food, water and energy security projects. Funds will be used to carry out a set of trainings to teach sustainable building, permaculture, organic gardening and farming, sustainable range management and regeneration, and water catchment and reuse. During the hands-on courses, students build infrastructure, gardens, and compost for the gardens.

Update: March 2017

Posted by winyanmaka07 on March 1, 2017 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

March, 2017

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 were happy to return to their respective homes, there were those who had a very difficult time with leaving, and I believe that they like myself were leaving so much of their Spirit behind after weeks and months of fighting for the Water, the Earth, the Ancestors resting places. But additionally, 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...and 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 I really 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 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 - christiniawin@yahoo.com 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.