Our Symbol
Our Symbol

Activities Update - Jan 2024

Currently Buffalo Star People is developing partnerships to make educational opportunities available in strawbale and other sustainable building techniques. These include plans for a communal art space/artists lodge, and a bison processing building/lodge, both of which would include the development of a sustainable food ecosystem onsite. Each is meant to demonstrate and provide hands on learning opportunities to increase the capacity of the Oyate to re-indigenize by practicing sustainable lifeways in harmony with all our relatives. 



We are pleased to let you know that our building efforts on Florine’s tiny house are done! It didn’t happen the way we planned, but the results are even more significant than we hoped.

We met with the Rosebud Sioux Tribes’s Director of Housing and Head Building Inspector for the tribe. They informed us that this is the first house to ever have been built by anyone other than tribal Housing and it has been attracting lots of attention. We were thrilled to show them the house and receive compliments about its quality. We agreed to share the specs and materials list because they feel this is a great way to affordably accommodate small families. While the RST housing department received millions of dollars through ARPA funds granted by the US government for covid relief, imposed grant restrictions dictated how they use the funds. Only 52 houses in the past 5 years have been constructed, all 1500 square feet with a cost of over $225,000 each. Tiny home construction costs less than $15,000 to build and would be perfect for a small family. We are thrilled to share our work!

Additionally, they offered tribal resources to complete the siding, electrical wiring, heating, water and sewer. As a result we are officially done!

Pilamayelo for donations of money, labor, ideas, materials and prayers, and for communicating our collective work to others. We want to give special acknowledgement to the Provancial brothers (Florine’s nephew): Philemon, Dean and William. These three young men stepped up consistently to learn every aspect of this build, enthusiastically and gracefully, at times starting at first daylight and working through 100 degree heat. They demonstrate what we call Wolakota, a leadership trait, meaning they step up to help where help is needed. That is being a good relative.

We are humbled to have contributed to building local capacity, provided solid housing, made new and continuing relationships, and to have begun a healing process for all involved. Please accept our sincerest gratitude and thanks.

Stay tuned for the next big effort!

We are beginning plans with traditional Lakota artist, historian, native speaker, and story-teller Anthony Horse Road, and several other traditional artists to build a straw bale art space. We plan to provide many opportunities to learn straw bale construction over the summer months of 2024. Let’s put our hearts and minds together and intend a beautiful space where these traditional artists/elders can continue their work and teach anyone interested in Lakota quillwork, beadwork, flute-making, and sculpting.

Activities and Programming


Our History/Past Activities

Buffalo Star People was organized as a South Dakota nonprofit in June 2007. Prior to that, from 2005-2007, the core leadership volunteered as the educational team on a sustainable gardening project entitled Oyate Wicozani (Healthy People), in Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. With a small grant from the Archibald Bush Foundation and administered by the Village Earth Consortium for Sustainable Village-based Development, the team provided tribal residents with hands-on experiential learning opportunities. These included workshops on managing family finances, building greenhouse and cold frame structures from recyclable materials, organic gardening, links between nutrition and health, project governance strategies, grant administration and grant development.

Infused in all our programming are messages of:

  • Self-determination
  • Self-reliance
  • Practices that respect Mother Earth
  • Promoting overall wellness
  • A profound understanding that we are all related. Mitakuye oyasin