Anpetu was'te! (Good day) This is the website for the Tatanka Wakpala (Buffalo Creek) water and land restoration project.
Decades ago, the United States government created reservations in an attempt to control both people and nature. However, in this attempt and in their attempt to force dominion over mother Earth rather than working with her, the entire natural water cycle was destroyed. Over 40 percent of the global population lives in water-stressed areas today. Water insecurity undermines health, perpetuates poverty and threatens economic growth. This has become particularly apparent on the lands of the Lakota people.
Grazing and farming lands of Cheyenne River show dramatic evidence of drought and devastating erosion due to extreme water events in the form of floods. The natural water cycle must be restored using a variety of methods – proven successful in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe – to store rainwater, restore vegetation (including sacred Lakota foods and medicines) and restore our once highly productive grasslands.
The Blue Alternative Project is an amazing method for storing water where it falls, rather than allowing it to run off into creeks and rivers, where it is of no use to our prairie plants and animals.
Through the construction of small berms and catchments, made of completely natural and local materials, we can hold rainwater where it falls and allow it to penetrate the Earth to nourish plants and increase biodiversity. Additionally, these new green areas are permanent, and will allow water to fall more gently on the Earth, limiting the impacts of extreme weather events and softening the flow of water of Lakota lands.