Lakota Nation Building at the Keya Wakpala Development | 2015 SEED AWARD WINNER

Location: Mission, South Dakota, USA

Issues addressed: Empowerment, Cultural Heritage, Food Security/Hunger, Economic Development, Green Energy

Summary: The Rosebud Indian Reservation faces multiple, socio-economic issues including the loss of traditional homelands and culture as well as the degradation of the familial tribal structure and language. The poverty and unemployment rates in Todd County, where the bulk of the tribal members reside, are both over 40% making it one of the five poorest counties in the United States. It begins with a fundamental question about “Who is responsible for the way things are?” This means honoring thousands of years of tradition, while acknowledging more recent unexpected changes, but then moving forward with the realization “We must seek a new path if we are to reclaim and define the best parts of who we are if we are to thrive.” As an indigenous community, Keya Wakpala will provide housing, businesses, jobs, learning environments, clean water, energy, infrastructure, and a balanced economic life in a manner that supports, cultivates and re-emerges cultural values, and relationships. By re-integrating cultural meaning into our community, we place ourselves again in right relationship to culture and landscape.

Team: Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO); Wizipan Little Elk, Executive Director and Project Leader; Mindi Vavra, Finance Officer; Blue Star Studio Inc: Scott Moore y Medina, Project Architect; Jon Red Corn, Project Manager; David Jaber, Director of Performance & Audits; Travis Roubideaux, Designer; Barb Dills, Grant Writer; Jesse Benedick, Landscape Design & Graphics Associate; Sustainable Nations – Indigenous Systems and Community Empowerment: Dr. PennElys Droz, Executive Director; Chad Renfro Design: Chad Renfro, Interior Designer; Development Center for Appropriate Technology; David Eisenberg, Director; Biohabitats Inc: Erin English, Bioregional Team Leader and Senior Engineer; LeBeau Development LLC: Zoe LeBeau, President; Dream Design International Inc: Hani Shafai, President and Principal Engineer; Kyle Treloar, Project Engineer; Minnesota Housing Partnership: Chip Halbach, Executive Director; Rosemary Fagrelius, Housing Development Director; PAE Consulting Engineers: Conrad Brown, Principal Engineer; Ruwan Jayaweera, Project Engineer; Skyline Engineering LLC; S. Allen Freeland, Mechanical Engineer; University of Oklahoma School of Architecture – Division of Regional & City Planning: Dr. Dawn F. Jourdan, Director

Jury Review: Special Jury Commendation – This planning document is an incredible asset for the community, a clear and moving description of the community, their history and the challenges that they face. The project goals are completely aligned with SEED principles. The community surveys, meeting minutes, and other docs show an amazing amount of work. A profoundly moving statement here – “Times have been hard, but our people still remain” – that also describes other under-resourced (and underestimated) people that can learn from this.