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Native Sun News Today: Lakota youth set up beekeeping business

Filed Under: Business | Environment | National
More on: food, native sun news, rosebud sioux, south dakota, youth

Lakota youth society members who volunteer as beekeepers in a new social enterprise on the Rosebud Sioux Nation brought their honey to Rapid City, South Dakota, for the 2017 Earth Day Expo. Photo courtesy Native American Advocacy Program

Sicangu Oyate youth honey growers make beeline for 2nd Annual Earth Day Expo 2017
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

RAPID CITY –– Lakota youth from the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation fledgling social enterprise Honey Lodge are scheduled to bring their locally raised honey products to the Central States Fairgrounds to join dozens of other sales and exhibitors’ booths at the Second Annual Earth Day Expo 2017, taking place here April 21-23

The youth are trying to support their non-profit’s after-school and summer programs while creating a future job source and economic driver for their community. They hope beekeeping will provide opportunity for the Sicangu Oyate.

The non-profit, Mato Tasunka Wakinyan Okolakiciye, or Bear Horse Thunder Youth Society, has more than 20 participants from 12 to 25 years old. All are stakeholders in the social enterprise with the goal of empowerment through awareness and promotion of Lakota culture.

The youth society members volunteer in harvesting, processing and bottling their honey products.

“It’s our way to help grandmother earth and our plant relatives,” one member said. “Our bees are connected to everything in nature, they are our relatives and they need our help."

Honey Lodge had a successful first season, selling over 1,400 pounds of honey through retail, wholesale, and online outlets. The youth are introducing new products in 2017 including lip balm, ointment and candles. They hope to broaden their market to concessionaires of the National Parks located in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

The Native American Advocacy Program is the parent organization mentoring the youth society. Established in 1992, the statewide non-profit grassroots organization is located on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Sicangu Oyate youth honey growers make beeline for 2nd Annual Earth Day Expo 2017

(Contact Talli Nauman at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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