Pine Ridge Reservation
South Dakota

Restoration Project

Arbor Tree

The Pine Ridge Project (PRP) is a collaboration of the Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and NCC. We are working together to foster cultural awareness and build community through the restoration of a traditional Oglala Sioux ceremony grounds and facility. Established in 2010, the goal of the PRP is to assist in delivering a program for design, construction, and vocational skills training and to provide an opportunity for development of Lakota youth and adults in deconstruction, green building, team problem solving and leadership, and other vocational skills.

In the summer of 2011, the Annenberg Foundation, through explore.org, awarded NCC a grant to support the work of the Project. The goals of the grant included education and teaching of traditional Lakota spiritual customs and practices as well as supporting the restoration of the ceremony grounds and facility in Porcupine, SD.  Over the next year, Project outcomes included architectural drawings for the ceremony arbor, installation of electrical service and potable water utilities to the site, delivery of a construction and vocational skills training program for 65 youth and adult volunteers including more than one thousand volunteer hours, construction and refurbishment of the ceremony arbor and cook house, landscape and tree planting, and foundation layout for the future ceremony house. The Project facilitated the preservation of traditional Lakota cultural practices through formal teachings in 14 cities around the United States and Canada with participation of 1,381 student learners and 7,551 learner contact hours. Additionally, more than five hundred hours of music, language, and customs were catalogued and archived in digital media format. PRP helped produce a 13-track audio CD of traditional Lakota songs with a companion teaching booklet for a Lakota language arts curriculum and established the Warfield Moose Cultural Society, a newly formed, Colorado-based 501c3 educational non-profit organization, to carry on the work of the Project.

We are honored to work with the Lakota people and are grateful for their willingness to share their history and wisdom. We are currently working to develop and deliver phase two of the ceremony grounds restoration and vocational skills training at Pine Ridge. As of spring 2014, we continue our work on the ceremony grounds restoration and vocational skills training at Pine Ridge. If you are interested in participating, please contact Neil Kaufman at Neil@NCCraftsmanship.org.