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


Our Crazy Adventure-Filled Weekend

Posted by winyanmaka07 on November 14, 2014 at 8:55 PM


The Off-grid housing workshop with Dan Fink, Front Range Bioneers with artists and builders, and hiking in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. 
NOVEMBER 7-10, 2014

On Friday evening November 7th members and volunteers from around the country, including Swami Parameshananda from Minnesota and Emmanuel Gray from northern Kentucky, gathered at the house of Elissa Tivona, our Tiyospaye’s communications specialist, and her husband Glenn. We enjoyed a home-cooked dinner of Andean quinoa, Philippine marinated chicken (for non-vegetarians), butter-squash, and, of course, tea. Together with good food and good company, we spent the evening relaxing and sharing stories of our various adventures.

The next morning on November 8th we were up bright and early to attend the 8-hour Off-grid housing workshop, presented by Dan Fink, co-author of Homebrew Wind Power. With the help of Dan Fink our team were able to come up with a rudimentary plan for designing a sustainable off-grid system for the Fast Horse family on their Lakota homelands. Design elements may include an open circuit array of 4 solar modules (160 volts), with a 200-volt controller, a 48-volt battery storage system, and a back-up generator; additionally we are considering a solar water pump for a well, an insulated power-shed, and a grey water recycling system for the house. It is a lot to take in and our brains might explode, but we are trekking along! Our job now is cultivating energy awareness and accumulating materials and appliances. If you would like to help you can contact Christinia Eala at Christiniawin@yahoo.com, or Elissa Tivona at etivona@gmail.com

Or you can donate directly to: 
Tiyospaye Winyan Maka 
c/o Christinia Eala
1304 Ponderosa Drive 
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521 

On Sunday morning, November 9th we said farewell to Swami P. and our blogger friend Mike Sullivan, while the rest of us attended workshops at the Front Range Bioneers conference at University of Colorado, Boulder. There we networked like crazy! We met Earth Guardians youth Xiuhtezcatl and Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez, and artists like Mike Wird and Robin Eden, who are also members of Regenerative Lifestyles and co-builders of the Denver Earthship. We spoke with amazing muralist Vanessa Solari Espinoza who presented on her work with Water Writes (a 10-city exhibition of advocacy for water issues around the globe), and we connected with several other amazing poetic souls including our new friend Musa from Black Sun Cinema and spoken-word poet Kimberly ‘InVinity’ Ford.

       Christinia and Musa



Emmanuel with Xiuhtezcatl (left) and Itzcuauhtli (right)



All of us took a group photo in solidary with Itzcuauhtli, 11 years old, who recently took a vow of silence calling for OUR action on climate change. You can join his awesome and inspiring campaign at www.climatesilencenow.org.

After lunch we attended a workshop with Mohawk tracker Ian Sanderson who led us outside through experiential exercises learning about systems in nature that were present around the earth. We also discussed the role of humans in the stewardship of the earth, and how the activities of indigenous peoples have worked to maintain various ecosystems around the globe.

 Elissa and Christinia, listening intently

On Monday November 10th, our last day together, we took a field trip to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and hiked up to the Tibetan Stupa at the Shambhala Mountain Center. It was snowing, cold, and uphill, but well worth it!


(Photo from shambhalamountain.org)

On our way back down from the mountain we were greeted by many four-legged hooved relatives who kindly allowed us to gawk and take photographs.

At the end of the day, after Emmanuel got on his bus back home, it was time for everyone to recuperate and get back to the grind. Inspired, spiritually energized, and in the wake of new blossoming friendships, Tiyospaye Winyan Maka is looking ahead to a bright and productive future!

Categories: Updates, Photos

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