Village Earth

CSU Students Spend Their Spring Break at Pine Ridge

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While many students around the country were spending their spring break sunning themselves at the beach, skiing, or just taking it easy, 12 students from Colorado State University’s “Alternative Spring Break Program” spent their week long break helping out with community projects on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This is the second year of the program on Pine Ridge which is jointly organized by the CSU office of Civic Leadership and Student Involvment and Village Earth. Above: CSU students preparing breakfast burritos outside of their temporary home. For the past two years the students have slept in Tipis on the Red Cloud’s land near the village of Oglala. This year the group helped elders with projects around their homes, worked with school kids on a community-film project, and helped build a cook shed that can be used by their group next year and other groups that come to help throughout the year. Henry Red Cloud also organized a number of cultural exchange activities including a drumming and dancing with the Crazy Horse Singers, storyteling, hiking in the badlands, touring the reservation and group reflection. Overall this year’s program was a huge success and was enjoyed by both the students and the residents of Pine Ridge who were involved.

Upcoming Courses in the Village Earth/CSU Online Certificate Program in Community-Based Development

Fall I Session

GSLL 1509 – Development and the Politics of Empowerment

Through a careful investigation of the historical applications of development, we will explore the idea that development is an inherently political process and challenge the claim that any development NGO is apolitical. Additionally, we will strive to identify successful methods of community empowerment through political organization.

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Summer II Session

GSLL 1510 – Community-Based Mapping

This course explores theories, ethics, applications, and methods of community-based mapping and its role in participatory learning and action as well as larger processes of integrated community-based development.

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