On May 6th, 12 volunteers from the Mountain Lake Repair Community were joined by 10 student volunteers from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN). They planted over 200 fruit and nut trees at Hohwozu Otunwe (Village of Vibrant Growth).
The students learned about Makoce Ikikcupi in a class where our executive director, Waziyatawin, did a Zoom presentation. They were inspired by her words and made Hohwozu Otunwe and the tree planting their class project.
We are grateful to all of the volunteers that help bring our dream to life!
One of our governing council members, Jim Rock, was interviewed for an article about our first village Zani Otunwe. Read the article, ‘Star-chitecture returns to the Minnesota prairie after 300 years,’ here.
In December 2022, Makoce Ikikcupi closed on another property, this one in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. The land purchase (approximately 20 acres) was made possible through the generous donation of land by Steve and Judy Harder and through monetary contributions from the Mountain Lake Repair Community that paid for the land parcel holding a large building onsite including a marketplace, kitchen, food storage, a large underground water cistern, and climate battery greenhouse. The Harders previously developed an organic farm, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), as well as a small cafe and marketplace.
Our hope is that we can turn this into a major food production site for Oceti Sakowin people (Seven Campfires, including Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Peoples). Two of Makoce Ikikcupi’s governing council members, Luke and Linda Black Elk, will eventually move to the site and manage the farm and marketplace. We will work on building a Dakota earthlodge for them to live in during the summer of 2023, and then continue building several more earthlodges for additional Oceti Sakowin families to join them. The name of this new village site is Hohwoju Otunwe (Village of Vibrant Growth).
Continue to check our website or our Facebook page for Hohwoju Otunwe updates.
On December 10, we got the main earth lodge covered, just in time for the first real snow of the season! We are so happy to have the roof on this lodge, which means we are set for the rest of the winter. In the spring, we’ll add more black dirt and plant grass seed over the top. The door isn’t on and the skylights are not yet covered, but we will continue to work on those in coming weeks. We have a wood stove coming soon, so we will be able to work inside as the weather gets even colder.
Zani Otunwe is what justice looks like for Dakota people! This is a place of healing, connection, and restoration.
Rafters went up earlier this season.
Check out our Facebook page for more updates and photos