Circling Back Home

Twelve years ago this month, we had to leave our beloved ranch in Northwestern Nebraska. The programs that we ran on the land there were life-changing for people who participated. While it was incredibly hard to leave, we had no choice because of the financial consequences of the wildfire that had swept through the ranch the year before. We never imagined we would be lucky enough to come back to that area, an area we love and that people found so powerful through our meetings and workshops.

But life has a funny way of working. It seems to like circles, which is appropriate given our model using the Sacred Circle. This month, Tapestry is relocating back to Northwestern Nebraska. We aren’t located at our former ranch. We are actually working on finding a new land partner in this area.

The world has changed a lot in the decade-plus that we have been away from this area. If anything, our mission is even more important than it was before. Some change has been good. Indigenous knowledge has gained prominence in mainstream media, and people are paying attention to Indigenous voices in many endeavors, including climate change and land conservation. In other ways, the news is not so good.

Along with our relocation, we have new programs to address the changes in the world. Our IKhana Fund provides financial support to people engaged in projects of reciprocal, relational knowing to acquire Indigenous Knowledge that can help communities adapt to changing environments and that can help preserve and protect environments threatened by catastrophic change. The Horse-Human Relationship Program continues to grow with Horse Ibachakali and Mindfulness with Mustangs, providing opportunities for people to connect with horses — and the natural world — using mindfulness and within Indigenous worldview. Finally, we will have exciting news this month about our journey to find a new land partner.

We want all of our friends and supporters to know how much your kind words and support have meant all these years. It’s thanks to you that we are back in the Place that supports our work and that will allow us to move forward with our programs. Stay tuned for more exciting information about our programs. Remember to join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to follow our work. If you want to support our work financially, all donations are tax-deductible.

The Call of the Porcupine

Have you ever heard a porcupine call?  Tapestry Institute was based at a ranch on the Pine Ridge of Northwestern Nebraska from fall 2004 through fall 2007.  A catastrophic wildfire swept through the canyon and surrounding 50,000 acres in the summer of 2006.  That fall, Jo Belasco, Esq. of Tapestry, recorded calls of porcupines one evening.  The porcupines came close to the house area of the ranch after the wildfire in order to eat apples from the apple trees near the buildings.  Jo hiked the canyon the entire year after the wildfire and never found any dead animals or animal bones in connection with the wildfire.  Check out this video to hear the porcupine and see pictures of porcupines who lived at Tapestry’s ranch.

Photos and video copyright Tapestry Institute.

The Canyon Hike Series Finale

A rainbow ends in Sowbelly Canyon.
A rainbow ends in near our ranch in Nebraska’s Pine Ridge.

I hope you enjoyed taking a virtual hike of Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. As the pictures showed, it was a canyon of varying terrain. Some of it burned quite badly, and it will take years before the soil allows regrowth. But, amazingly, most of it had regrown before we left in October 2007 (we had to leave due to the financial consequences of the wildfire), and with additional beauty it perhaps did not have before the fire.  I will end this hiking series with a beautiful picture of a rainbow that ended in near our canyon ranch on Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. The Land itself really is the gold at the end of the rainbow, no matter which land it may be.

 

The Canyon Hike Series, Part 9

Beautiful view.
Beautiful view.

The buttes in the canyon of Pine Ridge were quite beautiful and easy to hike to. I was amazed to find a small pine tree, unaffected by the fire, growing out of one of the buttes. It was quite the image of determination.

 

 

 

 

A ring of buttes.
A ring of buttes.
Slope to buttes.
Slope to buttes.

 

A lush field with buttes.
A lush field with buttes.

 

The moon rising over a butte.
The moon rising over a butte.

 

 

 

 

A pine tree grows out of a butte.
A pine tree grows out of a butte.
Buttes rise about burned and green trees.
Buttes rise about burned and green trees.

The Canyon Hike Series, Part 8

A beautiful, still creek in the canyon.
A beautiful, still creek in the canyon.

 

We were lucky to have several springs and a running creek in the canyon. It’s a rare thing in the West, which is suffering from a horrible drought. The water ran cool and clear.

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful blade of grass on clear water.
A beautiful blade of grass on clear water.
Beautiful stones under clear water.
Beautiful stones under clear water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful creek rocks under sparkling water.
Beautiful creek rocks under sparkling water.
Large rock under clear water.
Large rock under clear water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby deer waiting for mom.
Baby deer waiting for mom.

Along with the porcupines, deer also returned to the canyon and had their babies. This little one was lying right outside the horse pasture (hence the wire in the photograph). I quickly snapped a picture and headed away, knowing her mother was likely nearby and would not want her baby disturbed. We also heard elk in the fall of 2006, but they were quite elusive, so, unfortunately, I have no pictures of them.

Deer bounding through a meadow.
Deer bounding through a meadow.