Time to Shine

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Alliance for Transforming the
Lives of Children

Restorative Justice

Wounded Knee Summer Encampment

Working with the Lakota, from grandmothers to little ones , in an heartwarming, sustainable building project on sovereign land.


Soft pencil sketch/illustration of Buffalo standing with head leaning towards the earth, horns forward

Santa Cruz, California and Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

We are building natural earth (cob) houses.

A house that is warm in winter and cool in summer
A house made with many hands and ready resources

A house that will not develop black mold

A house where children can grow well

This is about the children!

Concerning Lakota and the Grandmother to Grandmother Project
What happened already:

1. 2004... summer camp, building site, outdoor kitchen/living, bulding muscles, building fires at night and walls by day ... building friendships, sharing pictures and stories and lives, making cob 'bricks
2. Freda Yellow Hair traveled back to Santa Cruz with Johanna Parry Cougar and into the WomenRise circle. Freda received the gift of pounamu (New Zealand greenstone/Jade) carried by Paxe from Aotearoa
3. Grandmother to Grandmother was born and a second summer building camp was followed in 2005 with the specific intention to begin building a cob house for one family (as a prototype).
2006... the third year building camp is underway and YOU are invited!!!!

"The dirt's been here all along!"

Johanna Parry Cougar

HIGH FIVE: Help feed the hungry builders!
Your dollars go most often for gas and bulk food for the camp. Little bills oil the wheels - click here now - no amount too small, every little bit helps.

Every meal a blessing on our building together. For the grandmothers, the grandfathers, the strong ones, the weak ones, the children and the children yet to be born...

DVD of Wounded Knee 2005 now available!,

"Happy New Era" -Wounded Knee 2005

capturing the spirit of sustainable home building with Lakota
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota

A group of five women and one wheelchair travel to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as volunteer labour to build a 'cob' house from the ground. Over the din of the ever-present wind the camera captures the flavour of a building site like no other.

Characters and stories come and go between rock runs for the foundation of a house. Wild storms and flapping tarps are weathered with good-natured banter.

Rare footage of Little Big Horn day shows Lakota keeping alive their warrior skills, such as dragging the injured off the battlefield with horse and rope.

The shadow of the past is etched in stone in the grounds of the notorious Christian church at Wounded Knee.

Running time; 24 mins. Widescreen DV NTSC Created by Yinka Selley
Final thesis for MA in film studies at University of Bath, England
Camera: Maggi Moon and Elmer Bear Eagle, Editing assistant: Tony Mills

With special thanks to Leola One Feather, Freda Yellow Hair, and the Wounded Knee community. And to WomenRise for Global Peace, especially Johanna Parry Cougar, the Santa Cruz 'cob Lady.'

Click on PayPal and make a donation: covers shipping and extra goes to anything from gas to pulses to greens to marshmallows (toasting on an open campfire EVERY evening they are available at the Wounded Knee building site thanks to the kids...!)

Remember your children are your elders in Universe time - Buckminster Fuller


"It is time for the broken hoop to be mended."

Pine Ridge Agency greeting Barry Brailsford on his "Journey of the Stone" to the (12) Nations in 1992.

"The smallest spark gives life to the fire." We come to the fire. We warm the threads of our connecting. The building happens on many levels. We build trust and relationship. Now as I prepare to set foot in Lakota country again we are celebrating building those casas que cantan… 'houses that sing'.

We trace one vibrant connection back to the New Zealand Waitaha and Wallace Black Elk. Barry Brailsford (Song of the Waitaha, Song of the Stone) was guided to bring the pounamu (NZ nephrite, jade, greenstone) to the Pine Ridge Lakota, as one of the twelve Nations on the North American continent. At Pine Ridge he delivered pounamu into the hands of grandmother, Emma Kills Enemy. It was 1992 and she was 85 years old, driving 100 miles every week to be a part of the Foster Grandparent's Programme, a gathering of grandmothers mentoring young Lakota parents.

After this first stone ceremony, Barry was taken up to Wounded Knee by Tim Thunderhorse where another elder, Zack Bearshield, waited to receive him. Barry remembers; "the sun shone brightly and gave lustre to the greenstone I gave into his hands.."

A decade down the road, and Freda Yellow Hair is with us here in Santa Cruz. Paxe arrives from New Zealand. She is chairperson of Tui now, the oldest intentional community in New Zealand, near Golden Bay, Nelson. Maggi Moon had been their maintenance person for a period of time and Paxe and Maggi grew dear to one another. Hence Paxe is here at my door. She carried with her the pounamu greenstone; she thinks, for me. But as soon as she lays eyes on Freda she knows that it is to this Lakota woman she must give the stone.

And as for our Sister 'City' aspirations… 60 Years ago, in the aftermath of a war that tore at the fabric of humanity, a United States president initiated the 'Sister City Program', a structure to enable communities to share and bring out the best in one another. The City of Santa Cruz has taken the first steps to name this relationship with Pine Ridge Lakota. The initiative, unprecedented in the history of the United States and the Indian Nations, has been approved by Sister Cities International and now is in our hands to form the words, in Lakota & English alike, that speak to what it is we are birthing in our inter-weaving.

All this is lit up in me as I prepare for the 3rd year to go to Pine Ridge. Despite the distance, despite our history, we have somehow found our way to one another and something new has begun. Steering steady on a journey that is as yet untitled, we step unerring towards a destination fashioned elsewhere, designed to nurture life in all of us.
Santa Cruz, CA, July 2006


Winged Bird
Steal my pierced heart
Fly with it high and higher
Till man and his earth
Are blurred and lost
Blind my eyes and deafen my ears
To lances that pierce
Voices that soothe
Hands that hold

Carry my heart to a peaceful land
Of untouched beauty
Where Soul and Mind
Disturbing no other
Lie in blissful Love

Let their child
The mother of a new creation
Untainted by memories
Of a world past
Or flaws of destruction

Let the child live
In the fruits
In the wisdom
Of a peaceful land

Child of beauty
Are you ready?
Return my healed heart to earth
Bring with you seeds
Of a new generation
Only when it is safe
And plant wisely
I will guard these seeds
With my life

Goweitduweetza (Veronica Riley)

from the Continuum Center booklet on the Edward S. Curtis Photographic Exhibit
of the North American Indian.
www.continuumcenter.net Minneapolis


It's about the children!

In the words of The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children:

Envision a world where:

* Every family is prepared for and supported in practicing the art and science of nurturing children
* Children joyfully participate in the vital life of family and community
* Dynamic, resilient, life-honoring cultures flourish

Let's take active responsibility for transforming our own human culture: 1 2 3...

1. Let's raise children who won't have to recover from their childhood. - Pam Leo
2. There is no single factor more radical in its potential for healing the world than a transformation in how we raise children - Marianne Williamson
3. There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world and that is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

The time has come:
aTLC has set up a WarmLine for parents to call (hotline is for crisis WarmLine is for acting on an inkling in good time). The aTLC WarmLine connects you to an aTLC parent mentor, someone who has been identified in their circles as beloved of children and adults alike, with heaps of experience, deep knowledge and ample mirth. Call this Family Support Network toll-free access line (800) 460 6105, and take it from there to suit your current need and questions. WarmLine website: www.WarmLine.org ~

"I tell you now, there is no reason to be afraid."

(Brother Warrior, Kate Wolf)

Womakaska Oyasin (We are Related to Everything)

We are waking up. We are weaving together... PlaNetweavers

"We are all woven together in a single garment of destiny." Martin Luther King Jr.

"May all be loved, may all be healed, may all be fed"

Many indigenous people in America continue to live in poverty-inducing conditions that create a population of diabetic and obese people who do not have the means to obtain healthy food, quality housing, health care or economic independence. On most US reservations unemployment is a way of life

On the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, below poverty level conditions have existed since the Wounded Knee Massacre occurred there in 1890.

Today in the Lakota Nation, at Wounded Knee and on the Pine Ridge reservation, as is true with many US reservations, the housing stock is ugly, inadequate and scant, strangely fitting an old Lakota prophesy from long before the white man came. It was prophesied (by a Lakota elder) that one day the Lakota People would live in grey boxes and be starving to death. In actuality, Lakota get federal government food 'commodities'. Commodities are supposed to mean basic (life-sustaining) foodstuffs but these staples (rations) consist of white flour, white sugar goods that are certainly contributing to the deteriorating well being of a People.

Pine Ridge Lakota has one of the highest suicide and accidental death rates worldwide, and one of the worst youth suicide epidemics our world has ever seen.


Soft pencil sketch/illustration of Buffalo standing with head leaning towards the earth, horns forward

             Black and white, crisp, good quality photograph of Tatanka Tyotaka Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Chief. Photo credits to http://us.history.wisc.edu

Tatanka Iyotaka Sitting Bull (1831?-1890),
Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux Chief

photo credit


Let us put our minds together and see what future we can build for our children.
Sitting Bull - Hunkpapa Lakota

WOMENRISE FOR GLOBAL PEACE in Santa Cruz responded to this cry.

It is about the children.

Interesting that JL Chestnut said repeatedly at Bioneers a couple years back "Racism has a stanglehold on this democracy." In the case of Native Americans, racism toward them has left deep scars. Yet here, our relationship with Pine Ridge Lakota is made possible because individual Lakota made the connection that kinship can transcend lineage, race, nations, Peoples. In this age we are finding one another and calling in a new reality. As Arundhati Roy said so exquisitely:

"Another world is not only possible, she's on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

WomenRise, with Pine Ridge Lakota, and others who come from far and wide to weave in the spirit of renewal, get to be a part of this awesome unfolding.

Visit WomenRise website: www.womenrise.org
Earth and straw bale home LINKS:

WomenRise for Global Peace: WomenRise for Global Peace Principles
-- We can live in celebration and respect for all life and love.
-- The power of our individual choices to be peaceful in thought, word and deed, does change the world
-- We can effectively promote peace as a world solution

Sketch history of this lineage: Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. This treaty placed the Oglala Sioux on the Great Sioux Reservation. In 1889, after the federal government confiscated 7.7 million acres of the Sioux's Black Hills, the Oglala were assigned to live on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The reservation is second in size only to the Navajo Reservation in the southwest U.S.

In 1890 over 300 residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation were slaughtered by U.S. government troops near Wounded Knee Creek on the reservation. In the 20th century, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must pay the Oglala and other Sioux Nations tens of millions of dollars in compensation for illegally taking the sacred Black Hills. To this very day, the Oglala have refused to accept this settlement money as a matter of principle.

TODAY Economically, the Pine Ridge Reservation has been deemed the poorest area in the United States. http://www.airc.org/reservations/pineridge.html

Joe American Horse, grandson of American Horse who signed the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868. Member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, and living in the poorest county in America:

"Remember us as we are making our stand; we are in it for the long run." Joe American Horse is a traditional chief and former president of the 0glala Sioux Tribe. http://www.ratical.org/renewables/JoeAmericanHorse.html

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