Each of our initiatives are aligned around a single purpose: to protect the balance of all life.
The Horse Nation and Its Natural Role in the Ecosystem
Sungwakan, the Horse Nation, is a foundational species that originated in the Americas. The Horse Nation has held a central place as a keystone species in multiple environments throughout the Americas and, likewise, as it has migrated around the world. Today, Sungwakan has been relegated to a place of domestication that prevents it from exercising its natural role in balancing the ecosystems of which it is a part. The effects of this on the environment are glaring. To date, research has largely focused on the horse’s many gifts to mankind in recent history, rather than its role as an integral part of the natural world. GIFTS engages in scientific collaborations with First Nations Peoples, universities and other institutions around the globe to refocus science and history on Sungwakan’s true and most important roles for the health and sustainability of all life forms.
Indigenous Food Systems and Food Sovereignty Solutions
For centuries, the world has benefited from the introduction of Indigenous foods and cultivation systems. It is estimated that about 60 percent of the current world food supply originated in the Americas from Indigenous sources. However, this fact is little recognized or understood. As these foods have been taken out of their original cultivation systems, their optimization from a nutritional stand point has been significantly altered. GIFTS is engaged with First Nations People’s, food scientists, institutions and food producers to find a new path forward in a return to functional and nutritional foods by combining the best of Traditional and Western food sciences and respecting traditional protocols.
Protection of Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth)
Since time immemorial, Lakota sciences have been premised on the development and implementation of sustainable systems for the preservation and protection of all life. The foundation of our sciences and life ways is the concept of “Mitakuye Oyasin,” which reflects an understanding of the interrelatedness and interconnectedness between elements and life forms. Likewise, all innovation and research must be considered through our Seven Generations Analysis to determine any potential consequences to the health and balance of life forms and the ecosystems of which they are a part. GIFTS is engaged in multiple initiatives and projects to bring these scientific concepts forward in a manner that is respectful of the protocols inherent in the transmission of traditional knowledge. In conjunction with the best of Western scientific technology we are committed to designing a new, collaborative path forward that will help to return the world to a sustainable state for all life forms.
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