Oglala Lakota Cultural Economic Revitalization Initiative
Ogala-Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative ("OLCERI") is a Lakota run organization created to foster resilience, self-sufficiency, economic independence and cultural revitalization amongst the Lakota at Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.
Our program has many facets to it, with a common element of sustainable and regenerative living.
The core of our project is the creation of a completely self-sufficient demonstration site at an 8000 acre cattle ranch at Pine Ridge. The project is concentrated on 14 acres surrounding the home of a Lakota family and outbuildings. A permaculture design has been created for the 14 acre site. Permaculture is a sustainable design method based in large part on indigenous wisdom traditions. The design includes no-chemical, sustainable food production and preservation; water conservation and catchment; natural building (such as straw bale); and wind power, biodigesters, high-efficiency stoves and other forms of renewable energy production.
This site currently has five wind towers, a large sustainable garden, a small biodiesel operation, and cattle and other animals. A large straw bale building is in progress, with the outer shell completed. Water catchment dams have been built on the ranch and a series of wells are being dug for backup.
Planned for 2011 are a keyline dam and swale/trench systems to capture and distribute water for food production; roof rainwater catchment for house gardens; a greenhouse; a food forest; expansion of the vegetable garden; a community supported agriculture program; a library; several classes on different aspects of sustainable living; job and entrepreneur opportunities; open houses and reach out events; and a youth-at-risk program for Lakota youth which will include wilderness survival, horse and rider program, gardening, animal care and much else.