Tatanka Wakpala is land and water restoration project that deals with bringing life back to the lands that have been so badly damaged. On their website they state that:
“Grazing and farming lands of Cheyenne River show dramatic evidence of drought and devastating erosion due to extreme water events in the form of floods. The natural water cycle must be restored using a variety of methods – proven successful in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe – to store rainwater, restore vegetation (including sacred Lakota foods and medicines) and restore our once highly productive grasslands”. -http://tatankawakpala.org/
Their actions are so well thought out that they provide a model for those who live all across the world in places that face similar problems effecting their land contributing to mother earths reactions. Their actions include:
“Through the construction of small berms and catchments, made of completely natural and local materials, we can hold rainwater where it falls and allow it to penetrate the Earth to nourish plants and increase biodiversity. Additionally, these new green areas are permanent, and will allow water to fall more gently on the Earth, limiting the impacts of extreme weather events and softening the flow of water of Lakota lands”. -http://tatankawakpala.org/
Their leadership is so inspiring that their efforts should be spread through all avenues and reach all ears that can contribute to the relieving of pain being pushed upon mother earth.
Robert Looks Twice is a leader in his community and in his family. He is a proud dancer and has received many awards at pow wows all across the west. The basketball team that he is apart of just won the NABI tournament in Arizona and brought back a victory to South Dakota, but especially to his home district.
Marlene McDonald lives in Pine Ridge and brings to life a remarkable story into how caring for a garden can bring forth remarkable changes for the people around her, especially her 5 daughters. Many on the rez suffer from non nutritious diet habits and diabetes. Marlene has been growing a garden for years according to an article by Lakota Funds which has provided an insight into the benefits of hard-work, gardening, cooperation, and the aspect of learning ways to provide for oneself.
Article and Image:(http://www.lakotafunds.org/docs/Marlene.pdf)
An article i found about a wildlife biologist named Richard Sherman who works with the youth in the intergenerational transfer of Lakota botanical knowledge and how to become stewards of the land they call home. This article talks about a plant excursion on the rez and a community feed that took place in Kyle involving elders, teachers, parents, and students from Oglala Lakota College (OLC).
Many have already started to gather Timpsila and selling the braids to family members. I wonder if there are more people who sell the braids than keep them. What do your family members do with timpsila braids?