Manataka American Indian Council






Healing Center Planned


for Pine Ridge



Zintkala Oyate (Peter V. Catches) shares his vision of the Ceremonial House planned to be constructed on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  Manataka asks that you consider becoming a part of this dream.


Pete Catches Sr. (Petaga Yuha Mani - He Who Walks With Hot Coals) lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota throughout his life, and for decades healed and instructed both Natives and non-Natives near his home and off the reservation.  He is credited with reviving the Wiwangyang Wacipi (Sundance) among the Lakota in the early 1960's.  In 1964, he was named  Sundance chief by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, the only such distinction in tribal history. 


His son, Zintkala Oyate (Bird People), Peter V. Catches, Jr. is the descendant of 37 generations of medicine men, is recognized as the Keeper of the Spotted Eagle Way medicine, oral history, sacred rites, and experiential teachings.  For the past 30 years, he has conducted the Spotted Eagle Sundance near his home on Pine Ridge.


Both Lakota Spotted Eagle Medicine men had a vision of Oceti Wakan - Sacred Fireplace. It was in response to events that have devastated the Dakota Nation (Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota), the great Sioux Nation. 



Zintkala Oyate Says,


"Our vision for the future is to have a Healing Center. The Healing Center will be a large ceremonial house. It will be a place for educational workshops, cultural events, ceremonies, Lakota language programs and other community activities. We will also have small cabins where people will be able to stay to get help. The elders of the Tribe will be actively involved in teaching younger generations about the history and the beauty of the Lakota people. We currently have the land, the architectural drawings; we just need the funds to build it.

Additionally we will continue to develop new materials to foster the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse for all Native young peoples. It is very hard once someone starts using alcohol. This will include character education based on Native cultures. We will also continue the development of Lakota language and cultural enrichment. It is easier to learn language in the younger years. Many elderly people speak the Lakota language; most of our young people do not. The culture is kept alive by the language.

Our prevention program is now in its third year in about 82% of our schools. We have touched the lives of approximately 2,400 students and want to expand this to other reservations.

Finally, the Lakota word for child is wakanyeja which means sacred being. Our vision also includes a Sacred Child Center. The Sacred Child Center will be a safe place to which parents or police will be able to bring the children when the parents are drinking or when there is suspicion of child abuse or neglect. It will also be a place for children to stay while waiting for permanent placement in a home. This will be a safe, beautiful environment for children with horses and lots of socialization activities. The Sacred Child Center will be a place to learn the beauty of the Lakota culture and language. It will have character education and cultural enrichment programs. We will have many Lakota elders participating in these programs."  ~Zintkala Oyate (Peter V. Catches)



Ceremonial House Model

The heart of our vision of a healing/educational center is the Ceremonial House. This CH will be by the Sundance grounds in a beautiful panoramic setting. Kate Chesley from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture donated her valuable time to do the architectural drawings and she just finished the building of a beautiful wooden model. It is really impossible to share our gratitude to her. We sincerely believe these tools will enable us to secure the funds to build this ceremonial house. We have created a building fund for this purpose.  The Ceremonial House is a little over 100 diameter. As you can see you will be able to drive in on the dirt floor to put wood and rocks for the sweat lodge. Regardless of the weather we will be able to conduct these ceremonies with the sacred fire in the center. On the left is a place on a wood floor for teachings to be shared to children, youth, and adults at different times. This will also serve as a place for healing and other ceremonies. There are also two offices to conduct the business of Oceti Wakan. On the right is a kitchen and eating area plus bathrooms.


What goes on inside the Ceremonial House

o       Teaching children virtues and values of the Lakota

o    Teaching children and youth prevention tools for alcohol and drug abuse

o    Teachings of the Seven Sacred Rites

o    Lakota language

o    Drumming/singing groups

o    Lakota arts

o    Sweat Lodges

o    Healing ceremonies

o    Wopila ceremonies

o    Lowanpis

o    Giveaways

o    Half way houses for recovering alcohol/drug addiction support

o       Economic projects to support recovering people



There are two excellent interviews with Peter Catches at and Part Two


The Elders of the Manataka American Indian Council know this man and his work well and we endorse his work and strongly believe in his vision.


The Healing Center is desperately needed by the Lakota people -- physically, emotionally, culturally and spiritually.


We ask that you support this vision by sending a contribution today!


An excellent video of Peter V. Catches:



Read More About Peter Catches and his books