The workshop included an initial assessment of plant knowledge of youth and adults, a hands-on excursion which included the identification, collection, and documentation of local native plants, presentations and knowledge exchange from both youth and elders, and the sharing of a traditional meal prepared from buffalo meat and edible plants collected by the youth.
Research was conducted while simultaneously assuring the generational momentum of traditional knowledge and community development on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Richard Sherman, Michael Brydge and Kristy Glenn worked in tandem, with tribal and non-tribal entities, Lakota elders, and Lakota youth in an effort to strengthen both human and natural communities through enhancing natural resource stewardship on the Reservation.
The basis of the project through which research was gathered was guided by the Indigenous Stewardship Model. Richard Sherman, a Lakota elder, has worked as a wildlife biologist with OSPRA to develop the Indigenous Stewardship Model over the course of a life time, bringing in traditional ecological knowledge through stories, lived-experiences, and his former position with OSPRA.
Specifically, the aim of the research was to document the process of a participatory community development initiative from preparation to implementation, to understand the process of pedagogy taking place during the workshop, current perceptions that the youth, elders and teachers have of their relationship to traditional ecological knowledge as well as their local environments, and what role traditional knowledge serves for the participants today.
The story was also covered in the Lakota Country Times