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Help For Lakota People  RSS feed

 
Jim Fry
Posts: 145
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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I received a phone call today. I thought I might pass it on.

Many years ago I was asked if I could help the people of Pineridge Indian Reservation in what is now called S. Dakota. Pineridge was (probably still is) the poorest county in the U.S. The people there had been suffering years and years of government neglect and abuse. People died of cold in winter, there was little money to afford the things needed to live in the white society forced on them at the start of the reservation period, the food was unhealthy, children often grew up with little hope. An old Elder, Granma Nellie, called someone she had never met and knew nothing about, because there was no one else to call. In that first conversation we had, Grandma asked me three times if I could help. With that third request, I knew the meaning and depth of what she asked.

For the next 20+ years I collected food, clothing, furniture, tools, money and whatever else I could gather, and drove what became nearly 70 semi truck loads to Pineridge, Rosebud, Green Grass, Seneca and Mohawk Reservations in N.Y., other Res's in Nebraska and the Four Corners area. I did all I could do, kept my mouth shut, spent more time with Traditionals than I did on my own land, and helped as I could. Eventually they trusted me enough to ask me to take them to Iraq, before the first war, to Pray for Peace. We met with and Prayed with all the leaders who would later be executed by the "winners" of that struggle. The Lakota Elders and Medicine People went there despite all their own hard and difficult lives, because Spirit spoke to them and told them they must go.

Nearly all those old Elders I once knew are now gone. Spirit had told them that if they went to Pray, they would be noticed by other Spirit that did not like good things happening in the World. And they would pay a price. And so they did. Difficult lives became even more difficult because they did such a good thing for the world. Now, others take their place.

I have not been to Pineridge in many years. As time has passed the 2400 mile round trip became too much. The need for help there remains as it has always been, but others are needed now to listen to them and consider how to respond.

I received a phone call today. I thought I would pass it on. Canupa Gluha Mami called. He has never met me, I know nothing of him. But he asked if I knew of a way to help. I told him the same thing I told Grandma Nellie 40 years ago, I'll see what Spirit has to say, ...and I make no promises. And as I walked my farm today I heard a voice say that maybe I should pass on Mami's ask for help to the people of Permaculture.

...He told me he, and others, were working very hard to help their Lakota People. They are especially trying very hard to get them better food. But they have little money and little infrastructure for such an effort. He said they needed a barn to receive food and distribute it from. They don't just want to take what the gov't gives them, they want to build their own way of feeding their people. Mami said he does not have a computer, but that a friend had set up a web site so folks could see some more about them. You can see it at www.cantetenza.wordpress.com. He also gave me his phone number where you could call him, in the community of Porcupine, Pineridge. 605-517-1547. Please only call him if you have something to offer, whether it be advice about growing healthy food or building a building or sending a donation to help. I trust that posting his phone in such a public way will only be a good thing. And, please make no promises. Just do what you can do.

When I spent time at Pineridge the food there was awful. It still is. The commodities the gov't gives are all of poor quality, ..the whitest rice, the most refined sugars, blocks of cheese food, the closest to vegetables I saw was ketchup. They need better. We can do better. I do not know him. We have not met. But, Spirit said to me it was alright to pass this request along. Now I ask Spirit to talk with you about what you will do.

-- I received a phone call today. It is the third time I have written that.

Thank you. Nyah-weh. Pilamiya.

Jim Fry
Stone Garden Farm
Ohio




 
Lori Whit
Posts: 47
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This seems important.  Thank you for sharing this!

I went to the website you linked.  There were a couple of pages about the food drive, and one of them shared an address.  https://cantetenza.wordpress.com/actions/2016-food-drive/ ; I decided to try this, and it seems to have worked:

I went to Amazon, ordered ten of this item, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019JNHJVQ, and had it shipped to their address.  Amazon has accepted the order, which means they confirmed the address is real and one they can send to, and promised to deliver by Oct 20 - Oct 26.  (The limit per customer was ten, so that was all I could do.  It's currently the price I'd pay in the store for salmon, so I think that was a good deal.)

I would also be willing to send a small donation if I knew where to direct it (by check).  I don't have the permaculture skills to help, or any fresh foods to send.  I'm terrible at phone calls.  But I think this is important.  Thank you for posting.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 547
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I would like to hear more about what items would help them grow more of their own food.

What is the weather like? The soil? What grows there? Maybe some of us could send seeds.
 
Roger Rhodes
Posts: 38
Location: Oklahoma - Zone 6b today 7a tomorrow
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chicken food preservation forest garden
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What happened to OLCERI?
 
Jim Fry
Posts: 145
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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Thank you for your replies.

I have not been to Pineridge for several years. It's a 2400 mile round trip and it's become too rigorous as I've aged. So I hesitate to write about exactly what is going on there right now. But, I can talk about what I saw a few years ago.

....The Western Plains used to be a beautiful and abundant place. The buffalo roamed in the millions. They were masters of permaculture unlike the world is likely to ever see again. As they moved thru an area their hooves turned the soil, they left behind rich manure, and after their passing, rich and strong grasses grew, waiting for their someday return. It was an in-cooperation with Nature, that built wonderful topsoil many feet deep.

All that changed with the start of the Reservation Period following the American Civil War. Huge numbers of people of a different culture went west, leaving behind the ravages of war and seeking new opportunities. Very unfortunately, they saw the land in a very different way. They believed in individual ownership, and fenced the land into pieces. They destroyed the free running buffalo. Where they could own their own land, many of them cared for it. But others "rented" land on the Indian Reservations. Then land became a thing of profit. No longer cared for, no longer loved. And the cows and over grazing began.

Pineridge once was prairie. The grasses strong and thick. Now, much of it looks like desert. Sand, rock, cactus, dust, little moisture, wind. Cold in Winter, hot in Summer. I talked with many folks about improving their soil, growing their own gardens, enjoying good foods, --instead of existing on "commodities". Some replied that putting chicken manure on the garden was disgusting. "Manure on vegetables? Ick!" When I was there, every home was full of coffee, meat and cigarettes. But I don't remember vegetables. Lots of sugar, few things green. I talked about starting a food co-op. I gave them addresses of where to order whole foods. I took scales to divide the bulk orders. I even arranged for Midwives, and healthy food cooks and herbalists to go there to teach. I gave them everything they needed to begin a new way of doing for themselves, just as we had done in our own hometown whole foods co-op. --But, the time was not right. They did not need to be told what was good for them. That has been happening to them for a hundred years. Being told.

So I was so happy when Mami called. He spoke of a new way for his people. He envisioned what could be done. And now he has asked for help. Not being told what to do, but asking for help to do what he saw to do.

--So I ask you permaculturalists, can you help him in the way he asks? My suggestion is to call him. I am sure he will welcome hearing from you. Ask him what you can do. Ask him his solutions. Ask HIM what he needs to help his folks. Maybe offer him knowledge about forgotten ways (after all, isn't that what permaculture really is? A way that once was common and now is almost mystery?) Tell him, if you wish, that you received his number from someone on permaculture, a wonderful organization of people who love Earth and the peoples who walk Her, care for Her.

His name, as I understood it, is Canupa Gluha Mami. His number is 605-5171547.

..Call him, see what he says, and, "Maybe a good thing will happen today."
Thank you.

Jim Fry
Stone Garden Farm
Richfield, Ohio







 
Well behaved women rarely make history - Eleanor Roosevelt. tiny ad:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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