Building Bridges: Indigenous Food and Cultural Healing Project: OLCERI

Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative (OLCERI), is a project on the Pine Ridge Reservation to focus on food, economic and cultural healing and sovereignty. Join this talk to learn about this exciting project as well as the history that inspired this project. The Lakota teach that the five basic needs of life are: food, fire, water, shelter, and earth. These basic needs are what must be met for an individual to actualize by finding self, and spirit, the final two which make up our seven core tenants at OLCERI.Without these basic needs met, individuals are stuck in perpetual states of insecurity, poverty, and scarcity - making it harder for them to do good by themselves and others, and leading to all types of psychiatric, physical, and spiritual problems. OLCERI is based on a site in Slim Buttes that is actively being designed as a fully off-grid Eco-Ranch designed to represent a “Garden of Eden” model to provide access to affordable, simple, and fun solutions to the 5 basic needs for the tribal community.


Bryan Deans is the founder of OLCERI and host of the Indigenous Wisdom & Permaculture Skills Convergence (IWPSC), on his permaculture demonstration site. He was born on Pine Ridge reservation and has to be an incredible community resource for over 20 years. Bryan is skilled in permaculture design, integrating these teachings with his understanding of the Lakota ways, and a great communicator and teacher. He has worked as a project manager, in local government, an aerospace mechanic and engineer, welding teacher, and permaculture designer. He has envisioned, designed, and built all of the infrastructure and programs on the OLCERI homestead. Including wind and solar clean energy system, a farmer-rancher educational program for local people, wild horse rescue program, bio-diesel production, a sawmill for local lumber, and community garden that currently produces hundreds of pounds of food. OLCERI's latest projects are an Earthship-style rammed earth tire building that will house the Indigenous Wisdom Center, a Lakota language school and cultural preservation center. With his work with OLCERI Bryan has also designed the methodology for Food Distribution Network to supply fresh foods to people throughout Pine Ridge.

Tahera Hamdani is the secretary and project manager for OLCERI. Her life's vision is for us, as humanity, to evolve from the current industrial growth society, based on extraction and exploitation of natural resources, to a life-sustaining society based on regenerative agricultural and industrial processes, one which is more in harmony with the elements and of all our human brothers and sisters. She is an Indian citizen, raised as an expat in the UAE. and completed her undergrad in Computing and Communication Systems Engineering at the University of Manchester, in the UK. Post University, she moved to NYC and spent the last 13 years of her professional life practicing management consultancy, strategic planning and large change management for Financial Services firms. Following some deep inner work, she chose to opt out of the corporate world to pursue her aspirations of building regenerative communities and food systems. Having always lived in countries other than the one she was born in, her sense of home is largely driven by the land she lives on and the communities she is a part of.

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