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In the past 6 weeks, I have experienced a wide variety of new and exciting things while working for Sweet Grass Consulting, LLC. The most important of these however was the opportunity to work for and with the Lakota people living on the Reservation. We were able to work not only with local programs and initiatives, performing data collection and analysis, but were also able to live with and learn from the generous people working with us. Their knowledge, stories, and experiences were a integral part of this internship. I was able to learn valuable anthropological skills including database management, survey administration, and data analysis as well as learning about water conservation, carpentry, ethnobotany, Lakota culture, and grassroots initiatives. This experience has left me with a multitude of professional skills and knowledge that will last me a lifetime.


My time at the CSU ethnographic field school was some of the most valuable of my life. I was able to take all of the skills and methodology that I learned from my degree and working for Sweet Grass Consulting and apply it to a real world framework. It is a truly special experience when you can take the skills you've acquired and actually use them to impact the lives of real people. I am very grateful. 

The experience I had as an intern for Sweet grass was an amazing experience, that I think people should try in some form in their life time. Diving deep into the poverty reduction program at Tribal Ventures really brought you face to face with a lot of problems of the reservation, while working for the Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce and seeing business development brought a lot of perspective, especially after seeing our final results. I was very thankful for all the events and Inipi that I was able to attend, and the people I was able to meet.

My experience as a SGS intern this summer was a life changing experience. I gained a vast array of new skills that ranged from data analysis, surveying and collective story harvesting to land restoration projects and the correct way to hold a hammer. Beyond my content for the new skill sets I gained is my gratitude for all that the Lakota Natives taught me. I will never forget the stories and traditions that were shared, the amazing relationships that I developed throughout the experience and more so the endless giving nature of those we had the honor of working with. Infinite laughs and unforgettable memories… pilámayeye!


Interning for Sweet Grass was a deeply meaningful experience for me. Because of the relationships that Sweet Grass and their affiliates have made, we were immediately welcomed on the reservation and were able to establish very close connections with community members.  In addition, I gained valuable real-world experience real-world experience working in many different capacities in the non-profit sector.  Thank you Sweet Grass!



Working as an intern for Sweet Grass Consulting was very rewarding. It taught me the kinds of hands-on skills needed to actually listen to, work with and assist communities and organizations in economical need. It was a truly eye-opening experience full of people, places and experiences that I’ll not soon forget.


I am a senior Cultural Anthropology student at CSU and field school was an incredible way for me to see applied anthropology in practice. I learned several professional skills and more importantly life skills that will aid me in my professional and personal experiences. The Lakota are amazing people and I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend time with them.


CSU's ethnographic field school was a wonderful experience, both adventurous and enlightening. I was allowed to enter into a world almost entirely different from my own and gain an understanding of it. Furthermore, I was able to grow as an individual while providing valuable services to those in the community in ways which they desired, avoiding the conundrums of "missionary" community outreach. Not only did I gain valuable professional skills which I can easily see myself using in the future, but I developed a love of a land and people different from my own. I can think of few things I am as grateful for experiencing as the CSU ethnographic fieldschool.



I am a senior at Colorado State University in the Anthropology department with minors in Botany and International Development. My interests in the field deal with the intergenerational transfer of cultural and ethnobotanical knowledge. My main drive is to empower local communities with the natural resources around them and allow participatory tactics to arise from within in order to create stewards of the land.   I’ve volunteered at the CSU herbarium for a year and other entities such as Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) that has allowed me to pursue the path that was created by Sweet Grass Consulting. Michael and Andrea have showed me the start of the trail, but now its my turn to walk the path.



Working with Sweet Grass Consulting was a unique and interesting experience. Whether conducting business surveys, building dams, or just chatting with locals there was always something to do and always something to learn. I think that the skills I gained in six weeks of hands-on experience exceed what I would ever expect to get from a 16 week classroom course. Of course, the entire process was made much more enjoyable by the community members we had the fortune of meeting. 

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