Overview                       Current                       Upcoming

Current  Projects


OLCERI is headquartered in the Slim Butte area of the Reservation. Slim Butte was once along a migration route the Lakota used near the White River and was then referred to as the Smoky Hills. Our Slim Butte site is about 15 miles west of the town, Pine Ridge, and is the home of Bryan Deans (OLCERI’s founder) and his family. It is an 8,000-acre ranch, home to free-range cattle and hundreds of rescued wild horses.

Our goal is to create a demonstration site here that will serve as a community learning center for Pine Ridge and our visitors. With several long-term projects already underway, we are en route to making this a sustainable site — self-sufficient in food, fire (energy), water, and shelter.

As the Slim Butte center becomes the self-sustaining community hub we’re working to create, we’ll be better positioned to facilitate existing and new education programs for youth and adults, as well as a cottage industry approach to economic sovereignty for our people.



Food Forests

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Mauris id fermentum nulla. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Aliquam bibendum, turpis eu mattis iaculis, ex lorem mollis sem, ut sollicitudin risus orci quis tellus. Donec ac fringilla turpis. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa.


As part of our efforts to secure a healthy food supply within our communities, we are also installing community gardens. These serve as sites where food can be grown locally as well as education opportunities. Pictured above left is the planting of a garden on the grounds of the Pine Ridge Jail by our partners at Global Natural Health Alliance, Grow Permaculture and several inmates in the spring of 2012. The image on the right is of our lush “kitchen” garden at the Slim Butte site.




Water supply is scarce in the dry, harsh landscapes across Pine Ridge. We work to develop ideas for harvesting rain water through small-scale, more common methods as well as earth works such as swales and keyline dams. The above left image shows a pond created by a keyline dam in what was once a dry, eroded canyon, and the right-hand image shows a group of our Permaculture Design Certificate students building a greywater garden at the Slim Butte learning center.

Natural building

We are working on several natural building projects to, not only provide sustainable and affordable homes to families in need but to demonstrate various building techniques with every project. Shown above are images of OLCERI’s strawbale building workshop and a palette house built with Earth Tipi and Texas Natural Builders.




Since 2010, we have partnered with Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue and Red Horse Nation to use our 8,000 acre site at Slim Butte as the new home of hundreds of wild horses.

These horses have been rescued from being abused, abandoned, neglected and slaughtered. They’ve been introduced into our pastures and are galloping freely.

If you’re interested in adopting a horse, please contact us for details.



Generating jobs and income are some of the greatest challenges our community faces. Beginning in the summer of 2012, our new facility in Wall, SD, a well-visited tourist destination, has become an outlet for local artisans to vend their work. Millions of tourists flood this tiny town situated on the north side of the Badlands each year while few make it to the trading posts on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. On the main street in Wall, the trading post dubbed “Lakota Ways” provides great for exposure of artists’ work, along with opportunities for additional businesses, like the planned traditional restaurant, in this large building.

Lakota Ways has already seen success, generating income to quilters and artisans of Pine Ridge. Not only does the store create economic stability for artists and their families, the demand for traditional art and crafts encourages the passing down of Lakota culture.



As thousands of Lakota struggle to cope with historic trauma, oppression, alcoholism, the resulting generations of broken homes, and the conflict between traditional culture amidst Western ideals, many find themselves detained in the jail system without the help they need to end the destructive cycle.

In response, OLCERI has developed a program to enable wellness starting with the inner self and has been working within the Pine Ridge Jail system to empower its inmates to build better lives for themselves and those around them once they’ve served their terms. This culturally relevant program incorporates the Lakota culture, including its spiritual aspects and traditional societies, healing participants and even providing some employment opportunities for them once released.


This successful training program for Lakota who are interested in farming or ranching is now in its fourth year. The course guides students in the skills they need to successfully use their land for raising cattle and growing food. New graduates are already putting their knowledge to use to feed their families local healthy food.