Winter shelter for Standing Rock!
When they first put the call out for other nations to come and support their work, several months passed before anyone came to support the efforts. Today there are more than 220 Nations who have arrived at camp to stand in Solidarity with those at Standing Rock. Of the thousands there now, many of these protectors are without winter shelter and it is getting closer everyday to the bitter cold winter in North Dakota.
Our plan is to build affordable (roughly $250 material cost each including the wood stove) winter shelters to support the Protectors and the amazing work happening out at Standing Rock. We will be doing volunteer work parties, posting how-to videos and teaching workshops on how to build these affordable winter shelters for the people living in the camps.
Thank you so much for your interest in this project, as we step towards creating winter shelter for the water protectors at Standing Rock.
I am Paul Cheyok'ten Wagner, of the Saanich First Nations of Vancouver Island. My mother gave me my name of Cheyok'ten which is "of a feeling to watch over, to care for the people and things that you love for many seasons". With the name comes the responsibility of upholding and honoring oneself and the ones who held this name for hundreds of generations. I first became inspired to participate at Standing Rock when I witnessed the dedication of the youth. They were running accross the country to deliver a message to the White House to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their mission was heart-centered and powerful- to protect the water and the stand together for the wellness of future generations. After traveling to Standing Rock and experiencing the fridid nights from inside of a thin walled tent, I felt the need for suitable winter shelter.
I came up with a design for a contemporary teepee which utilizes easily acquired materials from a hardware store, the teepee will be wrapped in white 8 mil heavy duty poly tarp material with 2" x 4" X 16ft poles and a 2 ft. round plywood roof top. We will also be building wood stoves to heat these teepees which will be centered in the living space with the stove pipe going straight up and exiting out a metal roof jack. These warm dry shelters can sleep up to 12 people comfortably and allow plenty of day light through the translucent white tarp.
I feel fortunate to have heard numerous elders speak in the spiritual houses of our Coast Salish peoples and the most prominent teaching I've heard these wisdom keepers say is "We are here to help one another" and "I lift you up above myself”. These sayings have taught me the importance of taking time and making the effort to help others who need your strength and energy.
100% of the funds (energy) to make this project successful will be put to good use making sure we can take care of as many brothers, sisters, children and elders and provide them with the winter shelter they need. I'm very excited about the prospects of helping so many who are working for all of us and for our future.
Hyswka siem nu schay'lacha (Thank you my honorable friends) for your contributions! Tlo masi'sta (May Spirit make it so).
The wood stoves and roof tops (with hardware) will be assembled here in Seattle by volunteers and later transported or shipped, the 8 mil tarps will be shipped to Standing Rock straight from the manufacturer, the 2 x 4 x 16 ft poles will be purchased at Manard's hardware store in Bismarck ND.
For more info about ongoing projects in which I have been involved visit the follow sites :)
As we got both experience and feedback building our "tarpees" and our volunteer teams in Seattle and Standing Rock grew we made some changes to the tarpee design and our operation expenses to be able to better support both tarpee recepients and volunteer construction teams.
We finally did some serious calculations on the real cost of a shelter with all of the perifrial expenditures, tools ladders, impact drivers, cots for Elders and insulation layer, and fuel costs etc.. We still have more expenditures to calculate but it looks like each tarpee is somewhere around $1000, we have completed 60 roof tops and 40 stoves. Our funds, including donations from our Duwamish Longhouse fundraiser, bring us shy of the goal for 60 shelters. I'm confident that an additional $15,000 we will make this goal. Thanking all of you for your willingness to help create a future! Hyswka siem.. Please share.
Honorable friends and supporters, a project status update is long overdue. I’m now back in Seattle. I hit the ground running the first few days after my return and I’m finally getting a little break.
As you know several blizzards have challenged the infrastructure of the camps. Night time temps were well below zero with gusting winds of 60 miles / hr.
We had been waiting for leadership decisions on how to move forward after the easement denial and finally yesterday we heard from our team on the ground that camp leadership requested our team evacuate for safety. Camp elders and leaders are requesting new comers NOT to come into camp at this time. We have been told only the most prepared and self-sufficient water protectors will remain. That said, it was made clear that the weather is dangerous and almost half of our team members have headed home. We thank all past volunteers for their support. The smaller remaining team has temporarily evacuated and is waiting out the blizzard in Bismarck.
My initial goal was to provide shelter for water protectors in Standing Rock and we have built 47 structures in the camps. More recently Tarpee villages were approved for construction by camp leaders, Curly & Donna, in Rosebud Camp. One Tarpee village of 6 structures was completed there before the blizzard reached the camps. At which point camp leadership decided to stop all construction projects. From this point forward we’re not building additional structures, unless requested by the council.
After talks and agreements with Oceti Sakowin elder council liaison, Theron, and camp leaders in Rosebud camp, our team are expected to return in a few days to complete safety & insulation improvements in previously occupied Tarpees. We will likely get ready to come back home after that, if camp leaders decide they no longer need our support there.
We’re grateful for your generous donations and support. We will continue to share more updates here and in our FB page but will end this Go Fund Me campaign.
Our hope is that because of the enthusiasm of current Tarpee occupants, eventually all Tarpees will continue to be utilized in an appropriate village setting by the Standing Rock Sioux. We are anticipating being part of a large clean-up effort and, possibly, the relocation of Tarpees as determined by the council in the Spring. We will be allocating some of the funds we’ve received for this purpose as this could be a fairly large effort. Our team is enthused about helping with this aspect of our work as well.
This is only the beginning of our shelter support to indigenous-led movements. We’ve received requests for our Tarpees for other movements in need of infrastructure to protect water, life, and future generations from climate catastrophe - and we are excited to be able to continue this work with other movements of equal importance when it comes to the well-being of our grandchildren’s grandchildren.
Hyswka siem nu schay’lacha (Thank you my honorable friends)!
My Tarpee design and our teams assembly skills got put through the test last night in subzero temperatures and direct exposure wind gusts of 55+ MPH... I didnt even notice any cold in our toasty Tarpee all night! Giving deep thanks for all of your support! We are doing this together! Hyswka siem....
There is a lot of positivity and purposefullness in every shelter building action.
Looking forward to seeing our first Tarpee villages come up. Thank you all for your continued sharing and support. Hyswka Siem!
Mni Wikoni! Water is life!
my friend and I will be going to SR and have only a thin walled tent for our shelter. I would like to participate in helping build these shelters partly to learn for our own survival. We will be driving a Dodge Ram 3500 mini-bus and will likely have a significant amount of room to help transport these shelters to the SR location.
So, let's say I'm a master Jack of all Trades (welding, carpentry, solar power, etc). I'm guessing I could make a bigger difference by helping out with constructing basically anything needed on site but I live all the way in WV. There any sort of supply chain going where people from East Coast are transporting people or goods that direction? Won't quite be able to afford to leave the family business till after Christmas but I'd love to help.
Check out my page and share the go fund me to send medical supplies to the water protectors
Is it possible to know how much money is left vs how much has been raised? Some people may give less and donate elsewhere if the perceive that the goal has been reached. And thanks for the awesome work!
This is a wonderful cause. Won't miss helping in anyway I can
If I donate $1000 can I have one set aside and delivered for a specific group?
You need a bend in that stove pipe.
You guys are righteous! Keep up the great work!!
Yay! So great to see you there! such a beautiful shelter! Love to you!