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Beginning in 2009, Christina (while at BNIM), worked with Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) to conceive of a planning process and funding strategy for sustainable development. The first major endeavor with TVCDC was to coordinate a regional planning process for the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation through the inaugural grant of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program. 

The regional plan for the Oglala Lakota is called Oyate Omniciye | Oglala Lakota Plan and has been adopted by the Lakota tribal councils since its completion in 2012.

The planning process facilitated community conversations with children, elders, elected officials, community leaders, and all stakeholders who were vested in building a healthy and sustainable tribal community. The overarching objectives in this regional sustainability plan for the Oglala Lakota that emerged from the engagement process are:

Continue the healing and strengthening of our people by bolstering identity and opportunity through the unique and beautiful perspective of Lakota knowledge, culture, and language.

  • Reinvigorate a thriving, dynamic, and robust society where all share in the benefits.

  • Honor our connections with the Earth and seek out ways to protect her environment.

  • Create meaningful economic and job opportunities that reignite cultural identity.

  • Promote and enhance public health, and awareness of healthy alternatives.

  • Provide and enhance infrastructure, housing, and social services at an affordable cost.

From broad public engagement and professional analysis during this two-year planning process, twelve interrelated initiatives emerged that hold the greatest potential for achieving the objectives above.  

  1. Creation of a Regional Planning Office

  2. Governance Reform

  3. Language Revitalization

  4. Focus on Advocacy and Leadership Programs for Youth and Young Ones

  5. Model Community Development

  6. Health and Wellness Programs

  7. Expanding Education, Training and Outreach Programs

  8. Economic Development Reform

  9. Land Use Regulation Reform

  10. Environment and Ecosystem Conservation Policy and Resilience Planning

  11. Expanded Communications and Technology Networks

  12. Transportation Redefinition


Recommendations and implementation strategies were developed for each initiative and after a two-year planning process, the Oglala Lakota people and TVCDC were ready to take on some of the plan’s recommended implementation strategies, including purchasing a 34-acre site to implement a Model Regenerative Community. The Model Regenerative Community Master Plan was developed with performance goals to increase Lakota community vitality culturally, socially, environmentally, and economically.

TV Oyate Omniciye Logo



Porcupine, South Dakota


2009 - 2012


Oyate Omniciye | Oglala Lakota Regional Plan: 2010 - 2012

- Funded by HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program

(Team co-led with Thunder Valley CDC while at BNIM)

Document Links

Oyate Omniciye | Oglala Lakota Regional Plan located HERE


Nick Tilsen

- Past and Founding Executive

Director of Thunder Valley CDC

- NDN Collective

Current President and CEO



Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Program

Ecosystem of Opportunity

Oyate Omniciye | Oglala Lakota Regional Plan

Oglala Lakota Regional Plan Vision Pages

Excerpt from the regional plan which was composed in both Lakota and English, emphasizing the importance of language revitalization

TV Expanding Education

Food Sovereignty Training and Outreach Programs

TV Advocacy and Leadership Programs

Advocacy and Leadership Programs for Youth and Young Ones

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