a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to
community empowerment and cultural bridging

Volume I, issue 1, July 10, 2006

Two Trees, Inc. was formed two years ago as a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to community empowerment and cultural bridging.   It was also formed to carry out the vision of Lakota Rose Madison, a 17-year-old Hunkpapa Lakota women who was murdered before she could realize her vision of having safe places for youth and bridging cultures.   Lakota Rose is the daughter of Marles and Josephine Madison and sister to Steve, Lisa and Cyril Makes Him First and Mary Jo and Georgianne Madison.

Two of our cultural consultants, Helmina Makes Him First and Blanche Lawrence, suggested that we write up and send out a newsletter about our activities.   We think this is a great idea and are more than happy to do just that on a regular basis as we have news to share.   We invite your comments, news, and suggestions about our efforts.

Spring Breakout Trip (March 12-16, 2006).
For the second year in a row, The Running Antelope District, Two Trees, the Circle of Light and Alpha Phi Omega co-sponsored a spring breakout trip to Little Eagle with students and adults from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Canada.   The two communities participated in events that included a second mural project, classes at Sitting Bull College, a Botany field trip, and two visits to the Little Eagle Day School.   During that trip, Two Trees met with the Planning Commission about plans for the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place.   The response from the Planning Commission was very favorable.   Another hightlight was the unveiling of a painting of Lakota Rose Madison by Leonard Peltier, who is incarcerated in Pennsylvania and who has taken a special interest in the Lakota Rose Madison project.   Everyone who traveled to Little Eagle wants to thank the many people from Standing Rock who worked so hard to make the visit a powerful and memorable one.   Thanks go first to the Wakpala Lakeside Singers Drum group for honoring youth, adults, families and the prisoners at Allenwood and Lewisburg Federal Penitentiaries.   Thanks to the Cheyenne River Tribe for providing beef and snacks for feeds; to Blanche Lawrence, Helmina Makes Him First, Lakota Rose’s family and Tennikkia Williams for preparing the feasts; to Frank Jamerson, Virgil Taken Alive and other members of the Running Antelope Planning Commission for their support of the Peace Place project plans; to Wilford and Linda Jones for sharing so much of their knowledge with us; to the Little Eagle Day School and its acting principle Alberta Little Dog for welcoming us to the school; to Vaughn Three Legs for his singing and prayers; to Jonathan Chasing Hawk, Charlie Has Horns, Tasha Kills Crow, Forest, Odie and all the youth for their hard work on the mural; to Marge Edwards for her support of the activities; to Stella Guggloz, Leslie and Dave Dirk, Melda Looking Back, Winona Eagle Shield, Helmina Makes Him First, Blanche Lawrence and Frank Jamerson for their hard work for and support of the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place project; and to the Standing Rock Communities who gave us so much love and support.   A big wopila from all of the people from the east and Canada.

Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place (Little Eagle).
The Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place Project was launched at Lakota Rose’s Memorial on June 12, 2002.   Things are progressing very well toward the establishment of the first Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place in Little Eagle.   After the Planning Commission and District Council meetings and unanimous votes by district people, two lots were allocated to be used to build the Peace Place.   A very special “wopila” is extended to Frank Jamerson, Running Antelope District Councilman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, for his hard work above and beyond the call of duty to put the various pieces (sewer, water, electrical, excavation, etc.) together so that ground breaking for the building can begin soon.   Right now, Frank is looking into obtaining money for the project and negotiating for the construction of the foundation.   Special thanks go to Virgil Taken Alive, who as Running Antelope District Chairman, gave his strong support to the project. Special thanks go to the Running Antelope people for their strong support of the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place project.   Finally, very special thanks go to Stella Guggloz, Blanche Lawrence, Frank Jamerson and Helmina Makes Him First for overseeing and working to make the project a reality.   It has been suggested that the structure be a geodesic dome because of its large free-standing enclosed space, low cost, strength, and energy efficiency.   While she was here in Pennsylvania (more on this later in the newsletter), Helmina Makes Him First and Dave Weinkauf measured out and looked at the size of a 51’ dome that offers close to 2,400’ of floor space for each floor.   The two also spoke to Joe Frawley of Energy Structures Inc, St. Paul, Minnesota, manufacturers of energy-efficient geodesic domes.   Joe said he could supply architectural blueprints for his dome kits and cinder-block or poured concrete foundations for the dome.   We look forward to working with the Little Eagle community in getting this much needed structure up and running for the children who need the Peace Place and want to see it go up.

Helmina Makes Him First Visits Ohio/Pennsylvania (June 21-July 10, 2006).
For the past several years, Helmina has collaborated with Mary Anne Angel (co-director of Two Trees) on her dissertation titled Making Women Meaning: The Story of Us.   In the dissertation, Mary Anne compares American Indian Leadership with the transformational model.   Mary Anne and Helmina then compare personal stories on their cross-cultural experiences and women’s leadership.   Helmina attended Mary Anne’s defense of the dissertation at the University of Dayton on Friday, June 23.   After that meeting, Mary Anne received word she completed work on her Ph.D. degree.   Our congratulations to DR. Mary Anne!

Visit to Allenwood Federal Penitentiary (June 15, 2006).
Dennis Bussell (Integrated World Arts) and Dave Weinkauf took willows and other material to Allenwood FPS so the American Indian brothers there could construct an inipi sweat lodge on the compound.   After the building of the lodge, Dennis and Dave joined the brothers for an inipi conducted by one of the Lakota brothers. Allenwood is the prison where the first Lakota Rose sobriety bracelets were made for the White Bison organization.

Visit to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary (June 27, 2006).

Helmina Makes Him First and Dave Weinkauf spent the day at the prison with the circle of American Indian brothers.   The brothers, led by Frank Bettelyoun, sang a special song for Lakota Rose.   The lyrics were then given to Helmina, who will refine them and record the song.   Dave showed a DVD of the March trip to Little Eagle which included the special honoring song for the brothers by the Lakeside Singers.    All of the brothers stood for the song and were touched by it. Frank, who created the Lakota/English coloring books that were gifted to the children in Little Eagle, was especially touched by the images of the children using his books. He is planning several new series of the books in the future.   Leonard Peltier, who is a member of the group, talked with Helmina and Dave about the Lakota Rose Madison project.   Last November, after seeing the Lakota Rose Madison Memorial video, Leonard painted a portrait of Lakota Rose and gifted it to Two Trees to raise money for the project.   Leonard is a big supporter of the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place.   Toward the end of the day, Helmina was asked to pray with the chanupa that was then shared by the brothers and visitors.

Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place (DuBois, Pennsylvania)
After their visit to Lewisburg, Helmina and Dave traveled to DuBois, Pa. where they accompanied Dennis Bussell of Integrated World Arts, and met with the board of the Anchor Center, a new non-profit community center where self-help support groups can meet, socialize, and receive physical and emotional support through the phases of their sustained recovery.   At the meeting, Dennis made a proposal to have the Center designate space in its facility for a Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place.   After Helmina, Dave and Dennis made their presentations and a tour of the facility was conducted, the board voted unanimously to allocate three rooms in the facility for Integrated World Arts activities and a Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place.   Dennis hopes to put into place technology that will allow youth for all communities such as DuBois and Little Eagle to communicate with each other.

Mural Project

Alicia Pagan and Ray Two Crows Wallen have worked hard to put together an art project that will allow youth to talk about their communities and their issues through the creation of large murals.   The first of the nine murals already completed was done by the youth in Little Eagle during the March breakout trip in 2005.   Jonathan Chasing Horse worked hard and mentored others in the creation of the mural that was taken back to Ohio and displayed in several venues including an International Festival of the Arts.   A second mural by the youth of Little Eagle was done during the March breakout trip in 2006.   This one dealt specifically with the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place. Jonathan and other youth who worked on the first mural project were back again to see this one through to completion.   Other murals have been created by communities in the Dayton, Ohio and Dubois, Pa. Again, Several new murals will be created this summer.

Two Trees received two more grants (making a total of six since its inception) during the month of June.   The first one was from Wal-Mart and the second from the Densford Fund Program.   Both will be used to continue the mural project titled The World Through the Eyes of a Child.   Grants like these will be used by Two Trees as in-kind funding for other grants that will benefit Peace Place projects.

Web Page
Two Trees will soon have its web site (www.twotreesinc.org) up and running.    Kaycy Ruffer took a design by Dave Weinkauf and has completed the pages for the site.   The web site will have at least 10 pages that will include information on Two Trees mission, Lakota Rose Madison, the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Places, Events and Publications, links and other information.   It will also have a page where items such as reproductions of Leonard Peltier’s painting of Lakota Rose can be purchased with all proceeds going to support Two Trees projects.

The Muse Tree
A new piece of software is being developed under Two Trees by Kayce Ruffer and Gene Angel that will allow youth to create their own web sites to share their art work and communicate with youth from other cultures free of charge.   Ruffer and Angel are also working with Two Trees on a separate project to stream radio broadcasts from around the world.

Dan Beggs, a Canadian who visited Little Eagle during the last two spring breakout trips, was recently honored by Two Trees.   For the duration of each of the last two years of his four-year sun dance commitment, Dan has carried a buffalo skull on his back for Lakota Rose and the children of Little Eagle.   When his commitment finishes next year, Dan plans to donate the skull to the Lakota Rose Madison Peace Place in Little Eagle.   For his sacrifice and commitment to the children of Little Eagle and to the vision of Lakota Rose, Two Trees presented Dan with a canvas reproduction of Leonard Peltier’s painting of Lakota Rose.

Upcoming Trip in November 2006
In early November, some youth and elders who participated in the Mural and Lakota Rose Sobriety Project will be invited to come to Ohio and Pennsylvania to make relations with other youth and elders in the Lakota Rose Madison tiospaye.   In Ohio, the group will meet with groups from the University of Dayton and other schools.    In Edinboro, the group will participate in events during Native American Month at Edinboro University.   After that, the group will travel to DuBois, Pa. to meet and interact with youth from the Lakota Rose Peace Place there and Integrated World Arts.

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