Mni Wichoni horizontal logo depicting buffalo amidst wildflowers and herbs

LAND & FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

Land Restoration

& Land-Based Activities

We have used many strategies to offer community engagement, cultural revitalization and holistic wellness through land- based activities. These have included: 

  • Planting Chanshasha, or Red Dogwood Oiser to restore native vegetation along riverbanks
  • Master- Apprentice, multigenerational learning opportunities
  • Indigenous plant foraging opportunities for food and medicine
  • Outdoor camps including our Isnati Awichalowanpi
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Community Garden, Food Growing, Processing, & Self-Sufficiency Skills

For 3 years we have had a land stewards program where our team supports community gardens at local churches, elderly nutrition, or other community individuals abilities to access local nutrition. Our land stewards not only grow and forage food, but they also educate others, while processing to develop life-sustaining skills.

Food Access

& Cooking Demos

Other than community gardens we have been advocating for nutritious foods to be available locally. Our land stewards have been offering food demos and recipes at the local grocery store. This helps spark new  ideas in our community members while encouraging them to incorporate whole, fresh food as much as possible.

Traditional Harvesting Protocols

Many land-based activities will offer education around our Traditional Harvesting Protocols. Many of this includes accessing plant habitat and population to ensure we are not overharvesting. If there is an abundance of medicine we encourage people to only harvest what they need or will use to share/ trade throughout the year. Before harvesting we encourage an offering to be made in the form of a prayer, song, tobacco, chanshasha, water, seeds or any other appropriate gift of reciprocity.

Community Buffalo Processing

We have supported 5 community buffalo butcherings in the last  few years. We have done them outdoors and partnered with local schools to offer hands-on, outdoor education for their students to broaden their skills. For many participants it may be their first time butchering an animal, and others may have had the chance to process an animal with their family. It has always been a powerful learning experience for us to learn together while being able to distribute thousands of pounds of meat, organs and bones to be used for nutrition locally.

Moon Cycle & Star Knowledge

Every new moon we update people about the Lakota reference of the month. Usually this is a significant ecological change that marks the passage of time through the seasons

We have offered star knowledge workshops to learn more about our skills for time keeping based on their movement through our sky. We use the signs from constellations at specific locations as a reminder for when we perform various ceremonies. 

Wakinyan Agli, or welcoming the thunders is a spring ceremony we have been practicing and supporting for years. This is a time when we offer our gratitude to the elementals in exchange for blessings in the upcoming year. Many people refer to this time around the spring equinox as the Lakota New Year.

Traditional Medicine Making Workshops

Many of our staff has experience in cultivating, processing and using out traditional medicines. We offer workshops for schools, professionals and community members to learn more about the abundance that our prairie is able to offer us in terms of medicine or food. Our medicine making includes teas, salves, syrups, broths, infusions and many other techniques to use our plant allies.

CHANŠÁŠA REVITALIZATION PROJECT

The Mni Wiconi Clinic and Farm, in collaboration with the University of North Dakota (UND), developed a project to give community members and Elders the opportunity to work together through a paid Master-Apprentice to revitalize the teachings around čhaŋšáša (Red Willow- traditional tobacco). Using the Master-Apprentice model, the community members, guided by Elders, will:

1.) map out four (4) natural creeks on Standing Rock

2.) plant čhaŋšáša seedlings

3.) create a natural walking trail for future propagation, and

4.) develop a protocol for harvesting čhaŋšáša in a traditional and sustainable way.

Chanšáša Revitalization Project

Learning with our elders on the land, about how to steward the land, will undoubtably have positive implications for healing for our people.