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Indigenous Wisdom and Permaculture Skills Convergence

July 26 @ 8:00 am - July 31 @ 5:00 pm

$300 - $500

Indigenous Wisdom and Permaculture Skills Convergence
Pre-Event On-Site Infrastructure Build: July 19 – 25, 2017
Convergence: July 26 8:00 Am – July 31, 2017  5:00 pm
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

Building a just and regenerative world from the roots up!

Join the Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative and a team of incredible facilitators to co-create a gathering that is transformative – not just for the attendees but for the community and the land that supports it. A place for us to put our values into practice through permaculture design alongside experts, where we can build a just and regenerative world from the roots up through art, music, and community.

Read more at the IWPSConvergence webpage, and reserve your spot here.


1. Complete Lakota-initiated projects that increase food security, build sustainable infrastructure, and enhance economic opportunity on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
2. Provide stipends (see: Community Stewards Stipend Program) for Pine Ridge residents to join as paid stewards and learn useful ecological design and construction skills.
3. Attendees learn and practice permaculture design through hands-on workshops, and leave the Convergence with a deeper understanding of natural building, aquaponics, traditional ecological knowledge, and appropriate technologies. ALL projects were selected as beneficial by our Lakota partners.
4. Create community through music, skill shares, and meals that are open to the Pine Ridge community. 
5. Build long-term relationships that support the resiliency of indigenous and Earth-centered networks.

Opportunities to learn, build, and leave a positive impact

Natural Building
Participants have the opportunity to help design the plans for a Permaculture Center made of cob, under the guidance of renowned natural building teachers. Then we will start and finish a smaller project, such as a chicken coop or oven together. Prepare for a cob-stomp dance party to music performers! If passionate about natural building, attendees are invited to stay on the reservation after the end of the convergence to help complete a nearby Earthship.

Growing Food Security
Learn about the unique challenges and solutions to growing food on the Great Plains. Work in OLCERI’s food forest, now 5 years old. Together we will plant the site’s Community Garden, and Walapini Greenhouse. Many infrastructure designs were created especially for the reservation and made of repurposed materials.

Growing mushrooms low-tech and medicinals. Mushrooms are a fast-growing source of nutrition and medicine. Learn how to cultivate mushrooms in open air conditions.

Appropriate Technologies
Attendees will learn how to build and complete projects that will contribute to the self-sufficient sustainable practices of the tribe, including:
• Passive Solar Dehydrators
• Rocket Stoves


Nothing brings community together like a delicious, nourishing meal. The outdoor kitchen will be serving 3 a day for all participants. The kitchen hosts a workshop on traditional foods for all who prepare and serve meals. Meals are hot and off the grid provided by the world’s largest solar oven, on-site.

SolutionCraft is an ecological education kitchen classroom that highlights appropriate technology and ecological design. We will be highlighting the giant Villager sun oven, solar parabolas, rocket stoves, efficient zero waste and dishwashing systems, and other ecological technologies that can be used when designing a truly regenerative kitchen.
Read more about SolutionCraft here.

Tea House
Enjoy the company of other builders and visionaries in the tea yurt and join discussions on a variety of facilitated circle discussions. Open every evening.


We will be moved to the musical tunes of local and indigenous performers including Calina Lawrence, Tom and Emanuel Blackbear.
Any interested performers please email pineridgepermaculuregathering@gmail.com


We encourage the sharing of skills and facilitators for evening talks and performances on direct action, astronomy, native resiliency groups, theater, and those with EMT skills.


Bryan Deans, natural building and Lakota ways
Bryan is the founder of OLCERI and host of the convergence. Bryan is an aerospace mechanic, welder, and veteran who is well-versed in ecological design and Lakota ways. For more on his work, please see http://www.olceri.org/about-us

Koreen Brennan, food forestry
Koreen has extensive experience in permaculture design and education. She has taught permaculture design at Pine Ridge since 2005. Her areas of expertise and passion are food forestry, small farms and food security, community building, and regenerative economics. Specialties include soil building and remediation, water catchment and use, edible landscaping, planning urban and rural integrated farming, reducing energy needs, and building more resilient finances and communities. 

She organized permaculture-style disaster relief for thousands of Haitians living in camps after the earthquake in 2010, coordinated the formation of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition St Petersburg, and is a founding co-organizer for the North American Permaculture Convergence.

Michael Alcazar, permaculture and direct action
Michael is an Indigenous permaculturalist, veteran, artist, designer, builder, outdoor experiential facilitator, movement fundamental specialist, and educator. He has a lifetime of experience in green building, intentional design, and has been an educator for almost three decades! He joins us from Denver, CO where he is working on projects from sustainable policy and community garden organization. He is also involved in the Eco Village for Standing Rock ND, sustainable housing and workshops for the Black Mesa Band of Navajo people, and an organizer for 1 million trees 4 Haiti. He will be teaching on Indigenous Phenology, Carbon Farming, and the Perennial Economy. 

Peter McCoy, mycology and mycoremediation
Peter McCoy is the co-founder of Radical Mycology, a grassroots organization and movement that teaches the means to easily work with mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological resilience. For the last ten years, Radical Mycology has provided free resources and held internationally attended conferences to share the science of mycology and the art of mushroom cultivation in a manner that is open-source, practical, and relevant for the modern world. Peter lives in Portland, Oregon and he regularly teaches mycology-related courses around the world.

Miguel Elliot, natural building
Miguel Elliott, knighted as “Sir Cobalot” had been Cobbing full time for over 20 years. He is the owner of Living Earth Structures, based in the Bay Area, which specializes in leading workshops and projects at schools to build ovens, benches and huts. He was part of the crew at Standing Rock to build the Strawbale School for the children of the camp. His latest design is the “Palletable Cobin” which is a quick, durable, well insulated structure made of pallets and cob. To see photos of his work, you can visit his website.

Kevin Poor Bear, live mural painter
Kevin Poor Bear of the Lakota Sioux Nation is a proud member of the Pine Ridge reservation, an artist, a husband, and father, and a bilateral amputee resulting from a brown recluse spider bite.

Kevin’s original hand painted pastels embody and preserve the Lakota history and culture. Like many of the Sioux people, Kevin strives to preserve the history, language, and spiritual practices of his ancestors.


Free for Pine Ridge and other residents of reservations
$300 – 500 sliding scale for Convergence July 26th – 31st.

$150 for volunteers pre-event infrastructure build and convergence organizing roles
Pre-build volunteers are invited to join the week before the Convergence (July 19th – 26th) to set up infrastructure. Besides a discounted ticket, volunteers will gain an intimate look at event production using permaculture design principles that uphold sustainability and transparency as the highest values. Volunteers will construct solar showers, compost toilets, shade structures, and signage for the incoming gathering, as well as get acquainted with the reservation through community outreach events. Positions to help organize the festival are needed.

Residents interested in stewarding our designs at community impact centers throughout the reservation are invited to email us (pineridgepermaculturegathering@gmail.com) and connect with OLCERI to join the Convergence as a paid steward.

Reservation Community Resilience Programs attend free
We would like to serve as a platform for your organization or project. Please email to let us know how you’d like to join us.

Reserve your space and buy tickets here

Can’t join us but want to support the project? Please donate. 100% of proceeds go to building project materials.

For questions, comments, or workshop/artists proposals, contact:  pineridgepermaculturegathering@gmail.com

Stay connected and invite your friends at the Facebook event page here:  https://www.facebook.com/IWPSconvergence/

Permaculture Action Network is honored to be co-hosting this unique convergence and to be in solidarity with indigenous people whose lifeways we all benefit greatly in learning from and with all those living, working, and fighting to restore traditional lifeways that are regenerative and holistic.


July 26 @ 8:00 am
July 31 @ 5:00 pm
$300 - $500
Event Tags:
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Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
Pine Ridge Reservation, SD United States


Oglala Lakota Cultural & Economic Revitalization Initiative