Our Mission – Healing

Mni Wichoni Health Circle (MWHC) provides purposeful care that models, teaches, and nurtures our people at every stage and in every role in the circle of life. We promote holistic community wellness by uplifting Indigenous ancestral knowledge systems while integrating contemporary practices to build spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental balance.

History

The Mni Wichoni Health Circle is an envisioned model for the Lakota/Dakota Nation that was born out of the #WaterIsLifeMovement at the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Camp that began in 2016 when the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies from across the world stood in opposition to the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In order to support families within the camp and warriors at the frontlines, there were donations of medical supplies, human resources, and other types of medical/healing aid gathered and coordinated efforts were made to make sure that everyone was healthy: mind, body, and spirit, while they were standing for the land and the water.

“As Indigenous people, our health and well-being are directly related to our connectedness and strength in identity. As we see our own language, teachings, and ways of living uplifted within our communities, we begin to see healing, reconnection, and the community of care that we know always existed. Through these connections to our lifeways, each other and the land, we are reminded of what it means to be a good relative.”

Tasha Peltier, Co-Executive Director, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Citizen

Our Plan

We will continue to consult with local Elders and knowledge keepers, traditional healers, herbalists and medicine makers, youth and other community stakeholders to co-create a holistic healing model of community care that fits the needs of our communities and aligns with our traditional Ochethi Sakowin lifeways.

Our Programs

The Mni Wichoni Health Circle (MWHC) is taking a holistic and integrated approach to health and wellness. We believe true healing happens when diet and the spiritual and emotional state are all considered and factored into the healing process.

We also believe that healing, especially for Indigenous communities, requires accessibility. That is why our programming includes models that allows us to meet our patients where they are.

Healing Spaces

The Mni Wichoni Health Circle (MWHC) is based on the Standing Rock Reservation and includes: ceremonial spaces for healing, land-based learning opportunities, a traditional apothecary that will be powered by renewable energy.

Decolonizing Diet

Within the Mni Wichoni Health Circle (MWHC) we are working towards a mobile kitchen and communal dining area so that we can lead decolonized food demonstrations and workshops to build education around decolonized diet and nutrition for our community. We’re also offering train-the-trainer opportunities for community members to share their knowledge around food and medicine making.

Mobile Healing Space

The Mobile Healing Space will be how we reach our community where they are. The mobile healing space will aim to provide access to care in remote areas and for those who do not have transportation.

Farm and Food Sovereignty

Our regenerative and community driven farm will provide the Mni Wichoni Health Circle (MWHC) and our decolonized food and diet programs with herbal and traditional medicines and foods.

“There are many stories in our genealogy that share our history and the great significance of how we conducted ourselves as Ochethi Sakowin people. From studying the buffalo, we have seen how they were attuned to the universe. The buffalo nation would follow the stars and seasons and would lead us to sacred sites throughout Makhoche Waste (Good Lands), also known as Turtle Island. From the buffalo nation’s guidance and presence, the Ochethi Sakowin people are remaking those connections and reclaiming, revitalizing, and reactivating our original teachings.”

Alayna Eagle Shield, Co-Executive Director, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Citizen

Our Team

Partners

We have strategically partnered with national and local groups to inform and improve our work. Our partners include Mass Design, Sitting Bull College and University California San Francisco.