Permaculture Design Course

at Pine Ridge Reservation

When: Aug 19 - 25, 2019

Where: OLCERI Ranch, Slim Buttes, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation


Oglala-Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative (OLCERI) and Grow Permaculture will co-host a Permaculture Design Course from Aug 19-Aug 25th, 2019. The course will be held at OLCERI ranch on Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation, in South Dakota, an indigenous permaculture demonstration site with natural building, water catchment, and permaculture food systems, and the home of Bryan Deans (OLCERI’s founder) and his family.

OLCERI, alongside Grow Permaculture, have hosted two PDCs on site which have been great experiences for students and helpful to the reservation. There were students from Haiti and Eritrea who attended the courses alongside Lakota, as well as people from all over the US and Canada, which made for rich knowledge sharing across cultures.

The course is based on Bill Mollison’s internationally recognized curriculum, but also weaves in elements of Lakota culture and practice - indigenous wisdom. Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture, observed many indigenous practices that led to his insights into permaculture design tools, thus we feel it is important and appropriate to understand and acknowledge the source of that information.

Students will be immersed in an environment where they can observe and participate in permaculture systems on site: food forests, natural building, appropriate tech, innovative greenhouse solutions, animals, solar and more. You will work in teams on real life design situations on the reservation, practicing design skills gained through the course. With support from the instructors, the student design teams will complete a design as part of the course.

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The training is designed to offer multiple opportunities including career mentoring and pathways, community building opportunities, resource networking, skill building, as well as what is for many, a life changing experience. We will offer written materials and study aids and exercises before the course and urge students to use them, as you will get much more out of the course. Course field trips will bring students into relationship with other families and projects on the reservation.

The course includes an overview of:

  • Natural building, regenerative building technology.

  • Reducing energy costs in your home.

  • Best forms of alternative energy.

  • Appropriate technology including solar.

  • Self-reliant living, urban and rural strategies.

  • Healing modalities.

  • Boosting your career with permaculture.

  • Sustainable economies.

  • Increasing quality of life through “placemaking” design.

  • Community and cultural revitalization and rebuilding.

  • Successful strategies for intentional communities, ecovillages and cohousing, urban and rural.

  • Permaculture design tools, ethics and principles.

  • Master planning and site analysis.

  • Reading the landscape.

  • Pattern recognition in nature and society.

  • Organic, intensive gardening and farming.

  • Soil building.

  • Composting and vermicomposting.

  • Designing sustainable water use.

  • Water harvesting techniques.

  • Building food forests.

  • Agroforestry and ecoagriculture.

  • Aquaculture.

  • Alternative pest management.

  • Holistic range management.

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The fee covers all costs, including materials, three healthy meals per day and a place to pitch your tent. Your fee helps support the work of OLCERI.

If you cannot attend but would like to sponsor a Lakota to attend the course or support the future educational work of OLCERI, please donate here: (GoFundMe for OLCERI)

Course price is $1495, with an early bird rate of $1295 before May 31.

For questions or if you need more information, please contact Steve at: 727-495-6145 or



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Bryan Deans

Bryan is the founder of OLCERI and host of IWPSC. He was born on Pine Ridge reservation and continues to be an incredible community resource. Bryan is skilled in permaculture design, integrating these teachings with his understanding of the Lakota ways. He worked as an aerospace mechanic and engineer, and as a welding teacher.

He has envisioned, designed, and built all of the infrastructure and programs on the OLCERI homestead. Including: wind and solar clean energy system, farmer rancher educational program for local people, wild horse rescue program, bio-diesel production, a sawmill for local lumber, and community garden that currently produces hundreds of pounds of food. OLCERI's latest projects are an Earthship-style rammed earth tire building that will house the Indigenous Wisdom Center, a Lakota language school and cultural preservation center. And, in collaboration with other groups across the res, a Food Distribution Network to supply fresh foods to people throughout Pine Ridge.


Koreen Brennan

Koreen has been visiting and working on the Pine Ridge reservation since 2005 and with OLCERI since 2006, organizing PDCs, tree plantings, and natural build projects. She has been an educator for over 20 years, and a permaculture designer for over 10. Her approach to education is from the root meaning of the word which is “to draw out.” She strives to facilitate an environment where the best of the student can manifest.

She has lived and taught permaculture in a number of countries and throughout the US. Outside of her work at Pine Ridge, she organized permaculture style disaster relief for thousands of Haitians living in camps after the earthquake in 2010, coordinated the formation of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition St Petersburg, worked with food deserts in LA and Florida to create local, healthy food forests and gardens, and is a founding co-organizer for the North American Permaculture Convergence and the international permaculture Co-Lab effort (formerly known as The Next Big Step). She currently is a Board member of Permaculture Institute of North America.

Koreen manages a permaculture medicinal herb and orchard demonstration farm in West Central Florida where she gets to dance with the natural world. She strives to live a balanced life, to walk her talk, and to make decisions in the interest of the next seven generations.

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Jillian Hovey

Jillian is an experienced international permaculture teacher and a facilitator of regenerative systems design. Since the early 1990s, she has been working creatively and collaboratively with others, applying whole systems design principles to a wide range of projects: from urban balconies, to entire ecovillages. She holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture, and has completed all but her final project in a Masters of Environmental Planning. Jillian took her Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in 1996, and with her background in biophysical sciences and planning she was able to start teaching right away. Jillian is known for her community leadership, wholistic processing abilities, and emotional intelligence, and holds space for deep, holistic learning which supports students in transformative experiences. After teaching and consulting in 35 countries across five continents, Jillian is returning to supporting Native communities in North America, which includes stewarding her own Native Huron lineage. She believes that there is a beautiful synergy between Native American teaching and Permaculture, and is pleased to be a part of this course for all of us to be on a learning journey together so that we can be more conscious and able agents of regeneration in the world.

Course price is $1495, with an early bird rate of $1295 before May 31.

For questions or to register, contact Steve at: 727-495-6145 or