Well in the time since all the motorcycles left Western South Dakota things have been very good. We were blessed with a fairly good response to harvesters bringing in South Dakota sage. Not as much as we would have liked, but still a good harvest. We will continue to limit the buys to one pound per order so what we have can be shared into next year.
Our sweetgrass harvest was a real mixed bag this year. The first harvest we got was not what we had expected but do understand that there was either too much moisture in some areas or too little in others. The braids we received were already turning brown from the stress of the environment, the braids still smell great and are totally useable. These braids are smaller and are not limited, we sell them for $5.50 each until they run out. The next batch of braids we received are way nicer but much more expensive. We reached out to some of the Canadian folks who came for our local He Sapa Wacipi Na Oskate (Black Hills Pow Wow) and were able to make some great connections. Their way is to involve the whole community in the project of gathering sweetgrass, braiding and then marketing. We are hopeful for a long and mutually fruitful relationship.
So as climate change affects us all we are going to adapt as well, we must. I simply love that this group pulls the grass, removes the root (while keeping the root wet) and then replants the wet root. It is the way they have preserved the grass for harvesting for future use and it works! I have been working with local sage harvesters for the last 25 years (more if you count the years before me) and saving the roots by cutting and not pulling has also created a larger harvest of sage despite the environmental changes. We are all a part of this planet and natural medicine has come full circle and we as a people need them more than ever.
As I said, during the first week of October Rapid City hosted the Black Hills Pow Wow and it was glorious. Over 1,000 dancers showed up, and it drew a record number of spectators. Congratulations to the entire crew of the Black Hills Pow Wow and the crew at the Monument arena. Come dance with us next year, you won't be disappointed.
On a sadder note, we lost a very important part of our community in the passing of Jace DeCory. Jace has been a cultural and historic leader/advisor for many years. She put together the Native American Education program at Black Hills State University. She was a mentor for both Native and Non-Native American students and will have this legacy for many years to come. We will all miss you Jace, travel well to the Spirit World.
On a personal note: I just wanted to share that I had a medical procedure done last Wednesday, all is looking good so far. But the point of my story is a spiritual leader came to visit me on Friday, I will not share his name as I did ask his permission to. He just showed u and said I looked sickly and needed his help right now. He mentioned that a number of years ago I had helped him and his family out and he had never forgotten that. Long story short, he had come to pray and help with the healing. After a small ceremony here in my office, he simply left. I'm not sure what all went on in the moment but I have to admit that I think I am feeling a little better already.
Wopila my friends and have a safe and joyful Thanksgiving!
General Manager Prairie Edge