An Indigenous Community
As an indigenous community, Keya Wakpala Waicageyapi will provide housing, businesses, jobs, learning environments, clean water, energy, infrastructure, and a balanced economic life in a manner that supports, cultivates and re-emerges cultural values, and relationships. It will develop ecologically engineered systems, including green and natural building, ecological waste water treatment, renewable energy development, and integrated agricultural systems as potential options to address these needs. Most importantly, it will strive to be truly reflective of a living indigenous culture, including relationships and responsibilities to land and community.
Indigenous design emerges from commonly held values, the purpose of the community and its buildings, the way families move within it, local sourced materials, and aesthetic sense. It encompasses strategies ideal for environmental adaptation. In traditional architecture worldwide building are designed with layers of spiritual and cultural meaning, understood to be a living entity by many. What we design and build embodies and reinforces central understandings about our place in the Universe. This includes meanings encoded into the shapes used, the placement of buildings on the land, artistic elements, and materials used.
Prior to colonization, our ancestors lived in tipis, which were a continuous remind of Lakota cosmology and relationships, as well as being highly resourceful and functional. The very act of putting up a tipi is a ceremony. Kapemni, the vortex at the top of the tipi where the poles come together, is the place at the top of the head that connects a person to the spirit world. The hole in the middle of that vortex is the middle of the hole in the Pleiades, which was the origin place of the people. The center pole represents the woman's backbone, the back two are her shoulder blades, and inside is the circular world that holds her family and shows what the tiwahe had accomplished. The structure of an placement of the tipi also determined the social relationships of the families within them. The tipi is a sacred place defining a culture.
For Keya Wakpala Waicageyapi, buildings and homes will be designed to be continuous reminders of vital Lakota interrelationships. By re-integrating cultural meaning and environmentally responsive and regenerative design into our community, we are placing ourselves again in right relationship to culture and landscape. Living in this way is a continuous reminder to current and future generations of the sacred obligations we keep to each other and the lands of our ancestors.