7 Tenets to Guide the Next 7 Generations, over 300 years (7-7-300)


The Lakota teach that the five basic needs of life are: food, fire, water, shelter, and air. These basic needs are what must be met for an individual to actualize by finding self, and spirit, the final two which make up our seven core tenants at OLCERI.

Without these basic needs met, individuals are stuck in perpetual states of insecurity, poverty, and scarcity - making it harder for them to do good by themselves and others, and leading to all types of psychiatric, physical, and spiritual problems.

Today on Pine Ridge Reservation, these needs are not being met (add this list to image in canva)

  • The average life expectancy on Pine Ridge is 66.81 years, the lowest in the United States. Other statistics, attributed to the Pine Ridge hospital, cite an average life expectancy for men of just 47 years. Women fare slightly better, with an average life expectancy of 55 years.

  • Per capita income for American Indians living on Pine Ridge is $7,773. The average for all reservations is $10,543. The United States average is $27,599.

  • The officially reported poverty rate for American Indians living on Pine Ridge is 53.75%. The United States average is 15.6%.

  • Statistics produced by the Oglala Sioux Tribe paint a bleak picture about the health of the reservation:

    • Tuberculosis: 800% higher than America as a whole

    • Infant mortality: 300% higher than America as a whole

    • Teen suicide: 150% higher than America as a whole

    • Approximately 85% of Lakota families are affected by alcoholism

    • Approximately 58% of grandparents of Lakota families are raising their grandchildren

    • Approximately 50% of adults over the age of 40 have diabetes

Hopelessness and despair caused by this lack of stability and basic needs is the direct cause of these problems. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains how without basic safety and security needs met, an individual will not be able to actualize into a good person that serves their family and communities with their own unique skills, gifts and talents.

If we can provide the first 5 basic needs for families and households across the Reservation, then they will be able to actualize their own Self & Spirit to heal generational trauma, enrich the community, and bring about a new wave of cultural revitalization for the Oglala Lakota Nation.