Founder, Christinia inherited the Tiyospaye Crisis Center, where she volunteered, from her spiritual mentor in 1999. Wishing to find permanent solutions rather than deal with day-to-day crises, she morphed it into Tiyospaye Winyan Maka (Extended Family of Women of the Earth). Indigenous cultures are usually matrilineal; the name honors those who are most often responsible for home and children.
In the years since, she has served on the boards of the Coalition for the Homeless and the United Nations Association. These organizations provided the networks Tiyospaye Winyan Maka needed to build homes, organize food supply caravans during floods, and deliver propane in winter storms. She also partners with groups like Engineers Without Borders, The Indigenous Wisdom Center (Slim Buttes, South Dakota), Her Many Voices (Boulder, Colorado,) and Neighbor to Neighbor in Fort Collins.
Christinia realized sustainable, owner-built housing with solar alternative energy was the direction she needed to take for reservation housing. She studied earthbag construction at Cal-Earth Institute, inspired by dome designs that are flood, fire, and earthquake-proof and architecturally based on the sacred circle. She teamed up with a solar school, experimented with hempcrete and pallet houses, spending years researching and planning.
"One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken" - Leo Tolstoy
Tiyospaye Winyan Maka, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, 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.
To do our work effectively we raise awareness that there are beautiful, strong people with a proud history who now live in third world conditions throughout one of the richest nation on Earth. There are many people who are suffering; however, our focus is currently the Lakota (Sioux) tribes living in Lakota Territory in South Dakota.
Promoting Alternative Housing and Energy, and Nutritional Sovereignty For Indigenous Families