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Crow Creek Indian Reservation

 

The Crow Creek Indian Reservation in central South Dakota is home to over 2000 Dakota People (Sioux). These people have deep roots in the area, and strong ties to their ecosystem and ancestral traditions. However, as we see on many Indian reservations in America, these important ties are eroding under the current system. According to the Can-Do Organization, the Dakota People of Crow Creek are “faced with severe human rights violations being committed by companies, government, and even utilities. Countless years of racism have institutionalized nearly insurmountable barriers to employment opportunities: currently the region is facing an unemployment rate between 75-80%; the annual household income stagnates at $5000 – 11% less than the national average.” This community is in critical need of increased sustainability, nutrition, community building and overall quality of life. 

Fortunately they are, on the whole, willing and engaged in utilizing their traditions and collective culture to address these issues head on. Sacred Seeds, in partnership with the Native American Ethnobotany program at the William L. Brown Center, is joining with the community to promote these efforts. The Sacred Seeds sanctuary at Crow Creek serves as a classroom, where elders can teach younger generations about their cultural plant legacy. On the sanctuary grounds, they will plant a garden that will provide them with a sustainable source of nutritious foods, medicine, and ceremonial plants, all crucial for keeping their cultural and physical health and vitality.