Sacred Stone Strawbale Schoolhouse

A group of six natural builders headed the call for winter structures at the DAPL restistence camps on the land of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. One week later, we left California for North Dakota and started to help in various ways. After a few days, the group heard of the vision for a strawbale schoolhouse at the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp. Another few days later, the design was complete and the building started on November 6th.

It took only 8 weeks for classes to start in the building and 10 weeks to consider it "done" for the season. That unprecedented speed was due to hundreds and hundreds of helping people through donations of time, expertise, money, tools, and love, anchored by a changing, dedicated crew of skilled builders who worked all day, every day until the end. Countless people were inspired and warmed by the building. It was but a beautiful stroke of the paint brush in a larger painting within the museum of history.

On March 8th the building was demolished, along with the rest of the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp. What lives on in our memories will always be a part of us and will continue to guide our actions moving forward.

The DAPL resistence continues as the people seek justice for the abuses of power and greed that took the form of violence against peaceful protestors and the land itself. And in the wake of the camps, the resistence gets stronger as people realize that they can, and must, educate themselves and come together to change the way we live, both near and far.

Thank you all of the support!


Water is life, water is love, we are water, water connects us all.

Q: What is natural building?
A: It has always been done, and is still done so worldwide today, but the term refers to a conscious intention to consider the affects of building materials on human and environmental health. As an ideal, this takes the form of using local, minimally/self-processed building materials.

Q: Why straw bales?
A: Straw is a highly insulative, readily/mass available building material, which is intuitive to build with. Hay is not used in this way. The photo at the head of this page is an example of a "simple" strawbale structure, covered in a layer of clay plaster.

Q: What is a "rocket mass heater"?
A: It's a more efficient way of heating the people in a space using wood as the fuel, based on a few principles. 1) wood is burned more efficiently (the "rocket"), which means less wood is used and less smoke/pollution is produced. 2) the heat from the fire is stored in a bench (the "mass") and slowly radiates over time. 3) that radiant heat is better at heating the people in the space, rather than trying to heat the air to heat the people, which is lost through every crack and door opening.

Q: Why drive 24 hours to protest an oil pipeline?
A: There is no better use of fossil fuels, at this time, than to work towards ending our forced dependence on them.

Q: Why Standing Rock?
A: This is a historical demonstration by thousands of people from all over the country and world joining together to honor and support the one group of indigenous people to protect their water and all the lifeways embodied in the land they've always lived on. The movement became so big because the earth is at a critical point when we need a massive shift in consciousness and "normal", and people of many different callings, creeds and focuses came together to make a stand. People were physically, non-violently putting themselves in the way of pipeline construction, and praying for their health and the health of *all beings*, while being met with violence and immoral/illegal actions by local and national police and privately hired "mercenaries" (mostly former military). Now is the time to switch the precedent that nature has no representation while corporations grab land and destroy it. For more information... don't turn on the television.


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Eric Spiegel 
San Francisco, CA
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