When William Penn arrived in what is now Pennsylvania, he set out to create the Peaceable Kingdom - a place where all people are treated equally, with dignity and respect. He demonstrated this by being a progressive, for his time, in dealing with the native people. As history unfolded, however, a completely different narrative unfolded - one of genocides, broken treaties and broken promises. 
 
William Penn Quaker Workcamps seeks to do what we can to work towards a more just future, and we invite others to join in this effort. Every year we go to Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Lakota Nation, to participate in a 2 week Quaker Workcamp, living in fellowship with people from the community, building for the future while honoring sacred traditions and learning about the past. This year, we will be on the Rez from July 20 to August 4, with an option for participants to stay until August 7 for the completion of a Sun Dance.   
 
The general timeline for activities include:
Week 1: Working with Shannon Freed and Earth Tipi and camping on the grounds of Gerald Weasel and his family. The focus of this week is exploring the realities of modern-living on the Rez while helping to build for a sustainable future. In past years, we have helped to build 5 sustainable/earth houses and help with farming and land-management projects, while also helping build a sense of community through fellowship, fun and games. 
 
Week 2: We move to the northeast corner of the Rez, on a point overlooking the Badlands, and help the High Horse family prepare for their Sun Dance, the most sacred of ceremonies. Past activities, likely to be repeated, include everything from raking pine cones and cow pats from dancer areas, to rebuilding sweat lodges and outhouses, to cutting pine for the dance arbor. In all of this, we learn about what it means to call something sacred, and to honor what is sacred to others even if we don't fully understand it. In the process, we get to know the High Horse family, the dancers, and what sweat lodges can be like.
 
 
Interspersed in all of this, we take time to participate in other activities such as visiting cultural sites (Wounded Knee, Red Cloud School, Oglala Lakota College), and learn more about what it is to live on the Rez and how promises continue to be violated.  
 
Cost for this trip (includes all lodging, meal, transportation and program costs from/to the airport gate at Rapid City):
1 week is $850
2 weeks is $1600
We make every effort to work with people so that cost is not a barrier to participation, so if you would like to join us, please reach out to us to discuss options. In addition, PLEASE do not make airplane reservations until we have talked about options. See here for more information and for registration/medical forms. If you have further questions or want to talk about joining us, please contact Brad at brad@williampennhouse.org or 301-257-5348.