I am entering the fourth week of my internship with REDCO’s Food Sovereignty Initiative through Ogallala Commons in Mission, SD on the Rosebud Reservation. In addition to working in the community garden, I am getting the opportunity to work on some awesome projects.
My workday is 8 hours. Normally, I spend 4 of those hours in the Keya Wakpala community garden. On Thursdays, I am able to volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club in Rosebud, SD. We’re helping them maintain their garden and trying our best to teach the kids there the things we’ve learned through our experiences with the Food Sovereignty Program. We also run a cooking class with the kids where we take a recipe using indigenous ingredients and help the kids make the food. For example, the first thing we made was blue corn pancakes, made from blue corn we received from Navajo Nation and syrup made from chokecherries we had previously picked. They seemed to enjoy it a lot.
The other 4 hours I spend in the Food Sovereignty office with a “passion project” in addition to my regular work on projects in the office. My passion project is built around working with members of the South Dakota legislature on various things that can help out REDCO, as well as proposing changes to the Sicangu Youth Council, which works with the Tribal Council. I haven’t really started on it as of yet, but am excited to make some progress later in the week.
I am also helping produce, write, direct, and edit a web series on harvesting in the wild. Writing has been surprisingly time-consuming, but I can’t wait to get out and create the videos.
We’ve also been able to participate in equine therapy. We did so last summer, but this year we did more than just ride the horses. We also groomed and got to hang out with the horses, something that relaxed me and everyone on the team. I hope we continue to do equine therapy throughout the summer.
I’m having a ton of fun this summer and my work in the office has allowed me to test myself in ways I wasn’t anticipating this summer. Overall, my work is making me feel fulfilled and I’m excited to come to work every day. I’m excited to see where it will take me as my internship continues.