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Village Earth's Fundraiser:

Healing Camp for Lakota Youth

Village Earth's Photo
Village Earth's Photo
Village Earth's Photo

BENEFITING: Village Earth

EVENT DATE: Jul 16, 2012


Please help a grassroots coalition on the Pine Ridge Reservation host a camp for children, ages 7-10, who live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and who have experienced grief, loss and/or trauma including losing a parent to death or prison, being abandoned by birth parents, witnessing violence, experiencing violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse and other types of traumatic events that can severely impact the spiritual and emotional development of children. In the Lakota language, Wakanyeja is a Lakota term for children and translates to “as a sacred being” and Wicoti refers to where people gather and live, or a family or extended family dwelling or camp. This camp will be held on July 16-20, 2012 in Porcupine, SD 

The wokiglega (goal) of the Wakanyeja Wicoti is to provide an opportunity for the Wakanyeja to experience Wokigna (comfort and care from a Lakota perspective), Woasniye (rest and respite from the daily grind of living with grief and loss) and Woapiye (Lakota traditional healing). The hoped for outcome is that the Wakanyeja (and their families) will leave the camp with a stronger sense of spirit and self along with age appropriate knowledge and tools for dealing with grief, loss and trauma.  

The Wakanyeja Wicoti will invite children and their family members (parents/guardians and siblings) for a maximum of 28 participants. The organizers understand there are many, many children that would want or need to participate in a gathering like this; however, the Wakanyeja Wicoti is a volunteer, grass-roots effort and will not have the resources or woman/man power to host a larger gathering.  

WAOIKIYA PI (Partners/Helpers) The Wakanyeja Wicoti is a collaborative effort among volunteer organizations and individuals; including the following (partnerships continue to be developed as of this writing):

  • Mila Yatan Pika Pte Oyate Okolakiciye (Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Organization), Porcupine, SD
  • Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Society), formerly Wakanyeja Pawicayapi, Porcupine, SD
  • Edith Nutter, Community Member, Lacrosse, WI
  • Sung Nagi Okolakiciye (Horse Spirit Society), Manderson, SD
  • Crazy Horse Ride Organization, Pine Ridge, SD
  • Gene Kolaczkowski, Licensed Psychotherapist, Gunderson Lutheran Behavioral Health Dept., Lacrosse, WI
  • Community members, Porcupine, SD
  •  Community members, Manderson, SD

TUKTEL (Location and Accommodations): The Wicoti will be held behind the Tasunke Wakan Ceremonial log house. Participants will stay in Tipis donated by the Tasunke Wakan Wi Wayang Wacipi Okolakiciye (Medicine Horse Sundance Society).   Sleeping bags and mats will be provided for up to 28 participants. Although the camp will be held during the Bloketu (summer season), the nights still get chilly and campers are encouraged to bring warm clothing and extra blankets.   CAMP ACTIVITIES and SERVICES (Children and Parents/Guardians will have some activities together and some separate according to age appropriateness)

  • Recreation – games, activities
  • Equine Assisted cultural teachings and horsewoman and horsemanship skills
  • Trail Rides
  • Wokpan (Cultural Tool kit) teaching and development
  • Grief work
  • Story telling
  • Family communication skills based on Lakota values of Wotakuye
  • Talking Circles
  • Inipi (purification lodge ceremony)
  • Woapiye (Lakota traditional healing) for Wasigla Pi (grieving)



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