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


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Beyond a mere "Pilamayaye and Wopila"...

Posted by winyanmaka07 on December 22, 2015 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (4)

Mitakuyapi (my family) of this Facebook world....I find it quite necessary to post to you about my heart feelings towards you, where ever you may be in every part of the world. First, I offer warmest of hugs to the dear friends who have helped keep the annual Christmas Project going to Wounded Knee for close to 30 years. I haven't been up for the last couple of years due to health reasons, but the beautiful folks at the Shambala Center and Unity of Boulder have always been and continue to be very busy preparing for the annual trip to Wounded Knee for the Christmas Project and to get it up there no matter the circumstance. I want you to know how full my heart has been in the past month or so as things are in full upswing mode as I am now strong enough to be of more service and will travel with the Christmas volunteers and bring them all home to Colorado in time to be with their loved ones for Christmas Eve. That is my honor to do.

Further, exciting things are happening in a good way for the Homestead Project, and all of the various programs that we do. To all of my former International volunteers who have kept in contact with me through the years; those of you from Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, France, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, etc. how can I tell you how much your desire to help the Lakota has meant to all of us? My love also to each of the local and domestic volunteers who have helped further our Vision by doing fundraising work in our community, or coming up to deliver much needed equipment, supplies, tools – large and small, food, and your hard work…pilamayaye tanka.

I am not ready to announce the miracles yet, but once they have been formalized, I will be so happy to share with you. I appear to be rambling so please bear with me.

I don't know if each of you know the depth of what your friendship means to me or how your messages and posts have pulled me through some of the darkest hours I have experienced in the year since my open heart surgery. Beyond a mere "Pilamayaye and Wopila" I want to offer my love to all of you. To those of you who posted beautiful inspirational posts, it has been said that you many not even know what someone may be going through and yet, your posts may bring them through great difficulties. Additionally, many of you gave me strength and the will to continue practicing perseverance, endurance and patience in the face of BIG problems with the Homestead project. We had almost all of the tools and equipment stolen, my sweet little “Susie” (Suzuki swift) gone as well…along with our kitchen/supply tent that was donated to us by the wonderful UCC community from Laramie Wyoming. To you wonderful folks up there...I say I am sorry that I wasn't a better keeper of the tent. But you always remain in my heart for that kindness. When I first heard the news...my emotions plummeted and I felt like giving up. But once again, Spirit worked that Spirit magic and so many of you would post the things that were so apropos to what was going on for me...and I was able to receive it as though it was meant just for me in my time of need.

I love all of the seemingly small every day miracles that I find here, that in retrospect, are often HUGE miracles. AS I've read before, you never know who you help or offer strength to through various posts, so just keep posting those messages of love...I think they really are magic. Christinia

Friday News Roll - June 5th

Posted by winyanmaka07 on June 5, 2015 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Indigenous foods summit showcases traditional foods and discussion around food sovereignty

If you had wandered into the UW wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ - Intellectual House on Saturday, you would have gotten a taste, quite literally, of ancient tradition. Seal oil, berries, Douglas fir tea, and numerous other plant and animal foods that have nourished traditional Native cultures for millennia were on offer to taste.

The occasion was the third annual summit around indigenous foods held by the UW American Indian Studies department. Panelists invited from across Native North America shared stories, teachings, and insights from their cultures and professional lives. [...]

“When I look back at our treaties and how they were negotiated here and how my ancestors thought was top priority, it was about access to food, having access to all of the elk, the deer, the salmon, the shellfish, the berries, the roots, medicines and the cedar tree,” Segrest said. “Because we know that when these things cease to exist, then so do we as a people. When we eat our foods, we maintain our identity.” READ MORE

US selects Alaskan Native villages for next round of START Project

START provides federally recognised Alaska Native Corporations and federally recognised Alaska Native governments with technical assistance to accelerate tribal clean energy projects and initiatives. It supports tribal communities across the US in order to enhance their energy security, build a sustainable future and combat climate change. It is a competitive technical assistance programme that assists Alaska Native corporations and villages with accelerating clean energy projects and aims to reduce the cost and use of energy for rural Alaska consumers and communities, increase local capacity, energy efficiency, and conservation through training and public education, and increase renewable energy deployment and financing opportunities for communities and utilities. 

“Alaska Native communities face urgent energy, economic, and environmental impacts” said Sherwood-Randall. “Through the START Program, the Department of Energy is directly involved in supporting Alaska Native villages and corporations to develop and implement innovative, sustainable solutions.” READ MORE

Elon Musk’s Tesla Battery + SolarCity’s Solar Systems 

= Clean Energy Future

Following months of anticipation, Tesla founder Elon Musk last week unveiled a suite of batteries for homes and businesses that he says will “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.” And while this is huge news from the electric carmaker, the biggest initial impact it’ll make will be for SolarCity and its customers looking to untether from Big Power.

The San Mateo, California-based solar supplier is the first in line to incorporate Tesla’s new batteries, offering a “turnkey residential solar battery backup system” at a price point that’s more than 60 percent less than previous solar power storage products, SolarCity announced. 

SolarCity has already started taking orders for Tesla’s residential batteries and will begin installations in October. According to Bloomberg, customers can prepay $5,000 for a nine-year lease on a 10 kilowatt-hour system. Customers can also buy the entire system for $7,140. The prices reportedly include installation, a maintenance agreement, the electrical inverter and control systems. READ MORE


Esther Cepeda: Journalists' effort teaches poor to tell their own stories

When journalists get the opportunity to share and collaborate with those they report on -- to give something back rather than simply taking their photos or their statements -- it can be life-changing.

On May 1-2, an inaugural regional conference focused on poverty gathered a group of journalists to train residents of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on media literacy, multimedia skills and entrepreneurial journalism. In most cases, the reporters, who were members of the group UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, traveled to the homeland of the Oglala Sioux Tribe at their own expense. [...]

"As an organization, we decided we're not going to resorts anymore, we're going to focus on poverty and go to those who have been forgotten," said UNITY President Russell Contreras, a reporter for The Associated Press who works in the New Mexico bureau. "The event was designed to teach the people there to tell their own story through social media, through investigative journalism and to take steps to empower themselves through research and access to public information." READ MORE

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Honoring The Life Of Clarence Atwell, Jr.

Posted by winyanmaka07 on May 13, 2015 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (2)
Excerpt from CapitolWords: volume 159 , number 31 pages e245, extensions of remarks, tue, march 5, 2013
Honoring The Life Of
Clarence Atwell, Jr.
Rep. David Valadao: Mr. Speaker, I rise today, along with my colleague Mr. Costa, to pay tribute to the life of Clarence Atwell, Jr., who passed away on February 28, 2013 at the age of 67. Clarence served as Chief of the Tachi Yokut Tribe for 42 years. His leadership, guidance, and compassion will be greatly missed.
Born in the early morning hours under a lone tree on the Rice Ranch, Clarence Atwell would grow to lead an extraordinary life. Raised by his grandmother on the reservation, Clarence spoke his native language of Tachi. It was only when he started grade school that he learned English. During his adolescent years, Clarence developed a strong passion for caring for the tribal elders. He would spend days hunting for food, sometimes walking several miles to bring home rabbit, deer, and fish for the elders. His love of the land grew as he became a young man, and Clarence worked in the fields from sunup to well beyond sundown each day.

Strongly connected to his tribe, Chief Atwell was first elected Tribal Chairman in his early 20s and would go on to hold the position for over 40 years. The Tachi Yokut Tribe prospered under the powerful and wise Tribal Leadership of Chief Atwell. For many years, the members worked hard to achieve self-sufficiency by expanding Tachi Palace in Lemoore from a small gaming facility into one of the San Joaquin Valley's top destinations. Partially due to his efforts, tribal members now have access to secure housing, the elders receive lunch each day, and the members have dental and medical care.

Acknowledged by Kings County, California as an official Spiritual Leader, Chief Atwell was renowned for his spiritual guidance and performed countless life-changing ceremonies, including weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Chief Atwell was a Bear Clan Leader for California, one of the highest native spiritual honors afforded to individuals. The Bears were part of the official inauguration ceremony of then-California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante where they performed in full regalia at the State's Capitol.Chief Atwell advised many political leaders, having had the distinction of meeting Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton. Chief Atwell was known for his candor and forthrightness, though always in a quiet and polite manner. Tribes across the country could count on Chief Atwell for his political savvy, keen knowledge, and intense wisdom.

Clarence leaves behind his wife, Jeanette, and children: Kimberly, Cheryl, Curtis, Aubrey, and Rufus; as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect that Mr. Costa and I ask our colleagues in the House of Representatives to pay tribute to the life and service of Clarence Atwell, Jr. His advice and leadership will be missed by many, but his spirit will surely live on in the Tachi Yokut Tribe.

Photo from Hanford Sentinel

Article Source: http://capitolwords.org/date/2013/03/05/E245_honoring-the-life-of-clarence-atwell-jr/

Week One: Spring Build 2015

Posted by winyanmaka07 on April 27, 2015 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (1)

One step closer to a model sustainable, off-grid, solar powered Lakota home!


This weekend Tiyospaye, including a team of the Fast Horse family & kids, youth from EWB Colorado State University Chapter, and international & local volunteers, built foundations for a working/ volunteer camp on the Fast Horse land. Below are just a few of the things we’ve accomplished:

• a level, sturdy 8’ X 8’ floor & timber shelter for a battery shed

• a fortified two-seater latrine (cont'd from last summer)

• restored fire pit with LOADS of cut fire wood

• carefully cut and stacked cord wood and rock so we can continue cob wall experiments over the summer

• a leveled 650 gal water tank to gravity feed the camp kitchen over the summer build season

• layout of a hexagonal camp kitchen with a LIVE TREE center post

• a make-shift temporary shelter

• make shift tables and shelves from up-cycled materials generously provided by ALL our volunteers

• a set of GPS readings to map the homestead site.

• a temporary staging tent for tools and supplies

• and as always, fantastic pot luck MEALS that kept us all perking along and satisfied through the wet and the chill.

Setting up for the Fast Horse Project

Posted by winyanmaka07 on April 25, 2015 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Tiyospaye spring crew is setting up for 2015 work on the Fast Horse lands! Yesterday evening we were greeted by a rainbow and a breathtaking sunset. We are just getting started, come on out and join us any time!

Check out our volunteers page for more information: