Tribal memory of gardens is preserved in the Grandmother’s Circle of Brave Heart but many youth have not had this experience in Housing Development areas. Food sovereignty — the ability to feed oneself — was a tribal value that was lost due to the coming of “cluster” housing on limited land areas on the reservation. This cultural health was a mainstay in tribal families that has been replaced by addictions to saturated fat-laden soda and potato chips, and other fast food. By reinforcing Dakota food sovereignty, the community can create a buffer to these enemy food choices.
The Grandmothers’ Circle governs the Brave Heart Society, “to enhance and preserve the Dakota culture for the coming generations, thereby creating strong, competent worldly families with a strong foundation and an indigenous worldview. The society utilizes traditional knowledge to empower tribal people and their families with cultural values they need to face 21st century problems.”