Sustainable Spring Break Journal
From March 13-27, a small group of Carleton students will experience firsthand some of the problems facing the White Earth and Pine Ridge Indian reservations in Minnesota and South Dakota. After visiting local groups in Northfield and Minneapolis, they will travel to the reservations to learn about reclaming native land and rebuilding healthy Great Plains economies. In South Dakota they will also stay on the buffalo ranch of author Dan O'Brien to learn about prairie restoration and make day trips to significant places like Ted Turner's buffalo ranch, Bear Butte, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and Custer Park. The group will volunteer for their hosts and build links between communities struggling to keep their traditions alive as they shape them to function sustainably in the future. Along the way, they'll share their experiences and observations here. The trip was organized by The Wellstone House of Organization and Activism (WHOA).
- March 15, 2005
Dave and Chris delivered food today, while Dana, Ryan, and Emily went to the sugarbush. After work, we came home and were joined by Winona Laduke for a short discussion and questions.
- March 14, 2005
After enjoying the first full night of sleep in weeks, we started the day full of energy to meet the people of White Earth Reservation. Our first destination of the day was our hosts‚ work place, the office of the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP). The organization is led by Winona LaDuke and is devoted to recovering reservation land from non-tribal members and restoring the culture of the reservation. Among other things, the organization revives tribal culture and community by helping members of the tribe in the production and sale of products such as maple syrup, wild rice, traditional arts and crafts, and jams from wild fruits.
- March 13, 2005
This morning in Northfield we met with writer/buffalo rancher
Dan O'Brien, Bruce Anderson of Renew Northfield, and Alex Beeby of
Just Foods Coop. In Minneapolis we visited the Green Institute and
Re-Use Center and met with Alyssa Erickson of The League of Pissed Off Voters. Then we drove to White Earth Reservation to stay with our hosts working with the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
- March 11, 2005
We met today with Hudlin Wagner, the current interim dean of students. Hudlin is Cherokee and she told us about her cultural heritage and her reservation in North Carolina. She cautioned us against lumping all tribes together in terms of culture and explained how even though she is native, she often feels like an outsider arriving on a new reservation and how Americans often homogenize tribes in our minds. She also cautioned us against making the assumption that if people are poor that they are miserable when in fact many lead "very rich lives."
- March 4, 2005
- March 4, 2005
The travelers will be visiting several reservations, buffalo ranches, prairie restoration, monuments and parks. An approximate itinerary is included here.