Tiyospaye Winyan Maka

Promoting Alternative Housing and Energy, and Nutritional Sovereignty For Indigenous Families

Services & Housing Projects

Tiyospaye Winyan Maka has a strategic vision to address the multitude of issues facing the Lakota and other indigenous people by merging traditional wisdom and values with contemporary regenerative practices, particularly in the building trade.

Our mission is to promote alternative housing, energy, nutritional, and educational sovereignty for indigenous women and their families. To do our work effectively we first try to bring an awareness of these beautiful, strong people, the Lakota who have a proud history and traveled nomadically and extensively throughout this continent.  They now live in third world conditions in one of the richest nations on Earth and were at one time "confined" to various prisoner-of-war camps. To leave that camp without those documents meant risking being labeled hostiles and facing imprisonment or death.


EACH YEAR teams of volunteers participate on-site with Tiyospaye Winyan Maka summer “builds” as weather and people-power permit.  These take place on various homesteads on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.


Restoring “wicosani” (balance) across all four aspects of life—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—is the intention underlying every Tiyospaye Winyan Maka project.  Using this as a guiding principle, each year the projects take on specific needs, challenges and priorities of the families we serve. We are limited only by available resources from year to year and the family’s energy, imagination and willingness.

TWM Homestead Project - 2017


Under construction. 

Information coming soon...

2011: One Feather Homestead

On the land of Leola One Feather, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD

For the 2011 build season, a team of Tiyospaye Winyan Maka volunteers focused on the construction of a root cellar to provide year-round storage of seasonal produce from Leola One Feather’s extensive organic gardens. A second team of volunteers turned their attention to the practical design and construction of a sturdy camp kitchen to serve the family and volunteers throughout the build season. Like in homes all over the world, the kitchen became a gathering place and center for “story swapping” among the international volunteers from different countries and domestic crews from Pine ridge and nearby Colorado.


Camp Kitchen

Putting up supports and shade for the camp kitchen.


Carrying the lumber for the camp kitchen. Boards milled at the Yohe’s off-grid sawmill facility in Chadron, Nebraska.


Raising the roof and securing the supports.


A much needed break to create traditional art projects with the kids.

Root Cellar

Volunteers recycle creosote coated  (to prevent rotting) beetle-kill logs. These are sunk 4 feet deep and create support posts for roof beams and evenly spaced studs for siding.


Volunteers attach tarpaper and rough-cut siding to hold back the dirt. Perishable vegetable and other provisions will be  stored in this underground space to maintain the proper temperature.


Intrepid International volunteers: Romain from Switzerland, Marcel from Germany and Michelle from Ireland.


2009-2010: Prototype Ecodome

On the land of Hobart Spotted Bear, Wounded Knee, SD

The 2009 summer build, under the direction of TWM Executive Director, Christinia Eala, and Construction Coordinator, Jason Medrano, included: taking local soil samples; preparing, testing and refining an appropriate mix of local materials for use in the construction process; locating the footprint, digging, and building a foundation layer for a prototype dome; and finally, placing the earth-bags layer by layer, resulting in completed construction of the “miniature” ecodome, used for tool storage on the property. Volunteers participating in the 2009 build included student groups from charter school serving Denver's indigenous children, and international volunteers from England, Switzerland, and ....

In 2010 Eala and Medrano returned to check on the structural integrity of the ecodome and conduct preliminary planning for the next project including foundation citing for a full size ecodome.


Christinia Eala, director of Tiyospaye Winyan Maka featured with Jason Medrano, construction coordinator.

Home of  Hobart Spotted Bear seen in the background.

Testing a “superadobe” plaster to cover and protect layers of earth bags used to construct the ecodome.


Integrity of dome after a year.

Jason and volunteer prepping for more work:


2008: Cal-Earth Workshop

California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, Hesperia, CA

In 2008, Tiyospaye WInyan Maka travelled with a group of seven Lakota individuals from the Pine Ridge Reservation to Hesperia, California to attend a hands-on workshop on the design and construction of a specific style of earthen architecture, known as the ecodome.

The ecodome was popularized by Nader Khalili (1936-2008), the world-renowned Iranian-American architect, author, humanitarian, teacher, and founder of the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture.

According to http://calearth.org/about/about-cal-earth.html “The technology and designs developed at Cal-Earth are inspired by timeless principles in architecture: the universal natural elements, the arch and its derivatives of the vault, dome, and apse; sustainable energy, natural geometry and symmetry of structure, the unity of tension and compression. To reach the masses in need, Nader Khalili (1936-2008), and now Cal-Earth’s associates and apprentices, have educated, and continue to educate, the public in these self-help, environmental and futuristic technologies and designs.”


Do you have items to donate?

  • Windows 
  • doors 
  • electrical equipment 
  • plumbing equipment
  • sand bags

Mail your donations directly to: 

Tiyospaye Winyan Maka 

c/o Christinia Eala 

1245 East Lincoln Avenue

Fort Collins, Colorado 80524 

Please consider donating on any of the following 
"gofundme" pages to help us purchase any one of the items listed below.  Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Pilamaye na Wicosani.  May you Walk in Balance ALWAYS in ALL WAYS with the mental, physical, emotional, and Spiritual.