The Camp Brothers of the Oglala Lakota People of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation seek to fulfill a vision of an independent, self-sustainable cannabis economy for their People. They are preparing to develop a full-term 3-acre, 500 plant cannabis operation and retail location in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. They seek assistance from Humboldt’s cultivation and ancillary support businesses for project materials e.g. irrigation equipment, tractors, processing equipment, soil, and a greenhouse, as well as business support in legal, security, accounting, regenerative agriculture, and branding and marketings.
HCGA is grateful to Daniel Montero of GW Smokebreak TV, who is helping to champion the Camp Family’s vision and who brought this effort to our attention. We join with friends, Humboldt Seed Company and Origins Council is supporting these efforts.
Latino Liberation. Big Medicine From Oglala Lakota Country.
Published “The Voice” April 2021 | Issue 3 | Volume 1
Written by Daniel Montero @gwsmokebreaktv
“Aho!” is a common greeting among the Lakota People at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. I’ve been learning about Lakota culture since November of last year when I was put in contact with Victorio and Mazhonaposhe Camp. The brothers are born and raised on Pine Ridge and are sons of Carter Camp, well known for the historical contributions he made for Indigenous People with his involvement in the American Indian Movement. Vic and Mazhon have also dedicated their lives to protecting Lakota land, water and People. The Camp Family is a traditional family, descending from Chief Red Cloud and holds their tradition, language and culture dear to their heart.
Movies like Thunderheart with Val Kilmer and books like Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee give us insight to what preceded the destitute conditions of life on the Rez today. The Pine Ridge Tribal Council legalized marijuana last October and I now find myself fully committed to contributing towards the Camp Brothers vision for a vertically integrated, self-sustainable Indigenous owned cannabis enterprise and independent cannabis economy at Pine Ridge.
I’m currently gathering industry support to provide equipment, material and resources to ensure a successful harvest as well as expertise for the optimal implementation of the Camp Brothers vision.
What has become a personal revelation for me during these past five months is that I find myself re-connecting with the Indigenous blood that flows through my veins. I’m a first generation American. My Dad is from the Altiplano of Bolivia and my Mom is Chilena. After swabbing my DNA and getting the results back I discovered that I’m 65% Indigenous to the Andean region of South America. I’m 65% Inca/Aymara. I’ve always been proud of my South American heritage but growing up in a private school in San Jose had its consequences.
The best consequence was learning the brutal truth of the Conquistadores and particularly American History. I was barely a teenager then but the result was a fire lit inside me so strong that it guided me to rebel against the system at the age of 18 by jumping into the game of slanging and growing herb full time. I’m extremely fortunate to have survived that chapter of my life.
What does it mean to come full circle? What does it mean to truly liberate ourselves, to taste untethered freedom that’s sold to us in 30 second commercials by the world’s largest corporations? I’ve discovered that as a Latino and Mestizo, that true liberation means connecting with my Indigenous past. And guess what? Most if not all Latinx also Indigenous descent!
To intimately know where you come from is one of the greatest gifts to receive in this lifetime. If we’re talking real empowerment then to me it means coming to terms with our violent history as Latinos. A history that was forced upon us and in many ways still is. To know that we have the power to right all the wrongs made to us by continuing to self discover and share the gift of self awareness.
This is the gift I’ve received from Victorio and Mazhonaposhe Camp and I have yet to touch down in Oglala Lakota Country. Creator willing, GW Smoke Break will visit Pine Ridge this year to document the Camp Brothers journey into the world of legal cannabis and honor Lakota culture and tradition.
In the meantime, let us remember that it is better to give than to take. That in the spirit of giving comes healing and change that no one can take away. I’ll conclude with a quote by Bob Marley that’s dear to my heart:
“Live for yourself and you will live in vain. Live for others and you will live again.”