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BWB NEWS 05/14/2019

Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Skills Convergence : 2018 BWB Microgrant Update!

One of our 2018 Community Micro Grant Recipients is Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Skills Convergence in Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.

Project lead Kammer Moss describes the impact:

We used funds to give administrative support to the Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Skills Convergence at host site and non-profit OLCERI within Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. OLCERI, or Oglalla Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative, is focusing its multiple efforts on the reservation to address intergenerational housing, food producing and access as well as language and culture school. Their mission seeks funds to train, employ and build resilience within the reservation. Funds were mostly distributed towards building and infrastructure projects like the lumber, hardware, fasteners required to build a solar water heater, a permanent stage and make additions to the root cellar and earthship.

There were about 300 people who came through the convergence and about 150 that participated fully. The stage was used throughout the convergence as the premier speaking/workshop area as well as talent showcase.

By providing a place to gather with food, music, workshops and projects, it strengthens community and ties people into the broader “change” movement Bryan and OLCERI are putting together. It also changes the way in which some view bridge-building and how some locals relate to outside help. OLCERI is really ground zero as a networking hub for a bigger, broader and deeply important movement within Pine Ridge. Bryan Deans is a beacon of perseverance, strength and solutions in a place the government has forgotten. Us helping him truly changes the landscape around the reservation as he is acquiring grant funding to set-up food production around the reservation creating positions for people to construct the hoop houses and farmers to grow the food.

Were any of Burning Man’s 10 Principles exemplified in an interesting way through this project?

Definitely. In fact many actually were demonstrated in the harsh environments of South Dakota. Coming together as multiple cultures colluding as one, directly participating with one another to practice community, learn from one another and build on the OLCERI site. Of all that emerged Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Radical Self Reliance, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Participation, and Immediacy, I’d say that Radical Self reliance was the most prominent. Once we arrived there was no cell service, there are no outside experts beyond what is in the group — this created a beautiful synergy and communal reliance and amazing things sprung forth from almost everyone. In building this looked like a lot of creative and labor intensive reuse, but ultimately we ended up with quality build projects that will be used for years to come.

To learn more about the convergence, visit the website.

To learn more about Permaculture Action Network, find them here.

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