It’s been several weeks since I returned from Haiti and I’m still processing. I could write a book on what I’ve absorbed since starting this journey in January, but I’d rather just do something about it.
The main thing I’d like to share right now is our plans to bring some people from the SE division of the Ministry of the Environment to Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota to get training on Keyline Design and other permaculture techniques and principles. They are very interested in using permaculture to revitilize their economy and rehabilitate the eroded and denuded hillsides and mountaintops of Haiti. These individuals are already thinking in terms of whole systems design, looking at how natural resources can be used regeneratively and in a way that helps villages to provide for themselves and stabalize economically. They have created a vermicomposting program, they are researching sustainable polycropping and agroforestry.
They gave full back up and support to our permaculture team, providing an office and connections which enabled them to “teach the teachers” in their limited time there, and have continued to provide support to those of us still involved.
In turn, we’d like to bring them to Pine Ridge to give them the knowledge of keyline design. This is a highly appropriate technology to remediate the denuded hills of Haiti, and it will dovetail with a program the government is already running, teaching women to run heavy machinery like tractors, doing earth moving. There are many ways in which keyline design can dovetail with ongoing energies and create really positive results.
There are many differences between Pine Ridge and Haiti – they are two very different worlds culturally. But the similarities are haunting, especially in the sufferings of poverty and oppressions, so much so, that when the idea arose, it made perfect sense to bring this contingent to Pine Ridge to see the permaculture “revitilization” program ongoing there. Many elements of that program would also work in Haiti, and some of them are already being implemented under this Ministry.
If you’d like to assist us to bring this to fruition, please contact us via our site. Please also let others know that participation in our keyline class or other classes at the rez will help fund this project as well as the Pine Ridge project.
(Update: We did bring two members of the Ministry of the Environment to Pine Ridge to complete the Permaculture Design Course. Armed with the knowledge of keyline and other regenerative approaches, they have been working on a variety of projects to regenerate Haiti).