BRYAN DEANS - Teacher and camp host


Bryan is the founder of OLCERI and host of IWPSC. He was born on Pine Ridge reservation and continues to be an incredible community resource. Bryan is skilled in permaculture design, integrating these teachings with his understanding of the Lakota ways. He worked as an aerospace mechanic and engineer, and as a welding teacher. He has envisioned, designed, and built all of the infrastructure and programs on the OLCERI homestead. Including: wind and solar clean energy system, farmer rancher educational program for local people, wild horse rescue program, biodiesel production, a sawmill for local lumber, and community garden that currently produces hundreds of pounds of food. OLCERI's latest projects are an Earthship-style rammed earth tire building that will house the Indigenous Wisdom Center, a Lakota language school and cultural preservation center. And, in collaboration with other groups across the res, a Food Distribution Network to supply fresh foods to people throughout Pine Ridge. 

Michael Alcazar - Teacher

2018. 2017. Michael is an Indigenous permaculturalist, veteran, artist, designer, builder, outdoor experiential facilitator, movement fundamental specialist, and educator. He has a lifetime of experience in green building, intentional design, and has been an educator for almost three decades! He joins us from Denver, CO where he is working on projects from sustainable policy and community garden organization. He is also involved in the Eco Village for Standing Rock ND, sustainable housing and workshops for the Black Mesa Band of Navajo people, and an organizer for 1 million trees 4 Haiti. He will be teaching on Indigenous Phenology, Carbon Farming, and the Perennial Economy. 

Nate Etsitty - Teacher

2018. Nate is first and foremost Dine'. He is of the Cliff Dweller people, born for the Towering House people. My maternal grandfathers are of the Big Water people and my paternal grandfathers are of the Big Water people. He grew up on the Navajo Reservation.

"After graduating high school I moved to the city and went to college. However, like many natives moving off rez I was hypnotized by the glitter and glitz of American culture. So I never graduated, but instead had a complete identity crisis at the age of 29. I decided the best thing to do was move home and rediscover who I was. Shortly after moving home I discovered Permaculture and began to devour all the information I could. I began to experiment with techniques and learn more indigenous regenerative lifeways. In 2016 I was certified in Organic Gardening by Northland Pioneer College out of Holbrook, AZ. and later that same year I took a PDC course at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in Occidental, CA."

Nate is an active member in the food sovereignty and regenerative lifestyle movement here on Navajo teaching people how to garden, harvest water, and think critically about environmental issues.

JIM schalles - teacher

2018. 2017. Jim Schalles is the founder of Tallgrass Vernacular School of Natural Building, based out of the Loess Hills of Western Iowa.  He is a member of the Masonry Heater Association and has been concentrating his efforts on wood-fired appliances such as fuel-efficient rocket stoves and bake ovens for the past 5 years. In addition to his interest in bio-fuel technology, he teaches straw bale and other natural building techniques in workshop settings. Jim will be leading a outdoor kitchen rocket stove workshop during the convergence.

Rah Hines - Teacher

Rah is the co-founder of Black Permaculture Network. Her experiences in movement building and showing up as an ally have been vital for the camp's processing of decolonizing the permaculture movement. 

Megan szrom - Lead Organizer

Megan Szrom is a full-time Garden & Regenerative Ecology Teacher and Director of Community Service for Alta Vista School in San Francisco, CA. Megan brings permaculture principles, herbalism, mycology, ecological design, community resiliency, and mindfulness into her elementary school sustainability classes. After completing her Permaculture Design Certification with Koreen Brennan, Megan spent the summer of 2012 in Pine Ridge working on a variety of regenerative projects at the OLCERI site. It was during this time at Pine Ridge that Megan first planted the seed for this convergence - after 5 years of dreaming she is now directing and coordinating the Indigenous Wisdom and Permaculture Skills convergence.

Brennan blazer bird - Permaculture Projects Manager

Brennan Blazer Bird is an ecological educator and natural builder who has led a diverse array of artistic and ecological projects around the world. He is the founder of the Peace On Earthbench Movement (POEM), an international movement that inspires youth to transform plastic waste into an artistic community-gathering place ( He teaches workshops on composting, zero waste, solar cooking, natural building, and ecological design. Brennan is helping to coordinate our on-site projects and will be leading workshops on apporpriate technologies.

ERNEST RANDO - Teacher and kitchen manager

2018. 2017. Ernest Rando is a Community Rights Activist, Permaculture Designer, and Cooperative Governance Consultant. He applies permaculture through community volunteerism, cooperative living, and workplace democracy.  Ernest has experience with Holistic Management, Multi-Species Grazing, homesteading, aquaponics, group dynamics, consensus decision making, and non-violent direct action training. Ernest has spent the last 2 years raising awareness of the dangers of fossil fuel development, spending time at Standing Rock and organizing against the Diamond Pipeline in Arkansas.


2018. 2017. Koreen has extensive experience in permaculture design and education. She has planted over 1,000 trees on Pine Ridge, and has taught permaculture design at Pine Ridge since 2005. Her areas of expertise and passion are food forestry, small farms and food security, community building, and regenerative economics. She organized permaculture-style disaster relief for thousands of Haitians living in camps after the earthquake in 2010, coordinated the formation of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition St Petersburg, and is a founding co-organizer for the North American Permaculture Convergence.

Winona Katso - teacher

2017. Winona knows how to run an incredible kitchen to keep bellies full and hearts happy. Returning for her second year as an IWPSC teacher, she is teaching the importance of traditional foods, and healthy food access through wild foraging on the Great Plains.

Afia Walking Tree - teacher

2017. Afia Walking Tree, M.Ed - Educator, Facilitator, Permaculturist, and Ritualist. Afia Walking Tree, M.Ed is a world-class cultural ambassador, spiritual activist, empowerment guide, leadership development advocate and trainer. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Walking Tree’s drum-songs are prayers of gratitude for the generosity of spirit. Her lyrics are evolutionary teachings, addressing present day issues of social justice, freedom, healing and self-love. For over 25 years, Afia Walking Tree has served her destiny as visionary director of her brainchild, Spirit Drumz, an international organization that prioritizes women and youth of all cultures to utilize African Diasporic song, permaculture, drumming, dancing, storytelling to activate empowerment and healing. Afia's livity has always been rooted in liberation of the Global Underrepresented Indigenous Family and in the last two years, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Afia has created new spaces for Black healing and activism through the Jamaican Drum Retreats for Womyn, and #BlackPowerDrumMedicine. Afia's continued evolution is supporting the growth of the drumming arts as a tool for activism, healing and community building through partnerships with One Billion Rising, Echo Valley Farms, Qilombo Oakland, Acta Non-Verba, Bele Bele Rythm Collective, Women Drummers International and more. Afia has been blessed to bring her powerful work to Bioneers , Northern California Permaculturre Convergence, TEDWomen 2016, Blessed Unrest, Song for All Beings and numerous, festivals, non-profit organizations, and universities across the globe.

Kumiko Hayashi - ceremony and videographer


2017. Kumiko was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She graduated from Soka University of America, a school founded on the principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life. After graduating she traveled the globe as a filmmaker, activist and community builder. She is the founder of Soka Vision, an organization that produces media through community collaboration and is a co-producer for Voices of Amerikua, a media series dedicated to sharing the voice of indigenous people working to protect their culture, territories, and mother earth. She works to bridge ancestral cultures from South to North America and has participated in permaculture projects in Haiti, Ecuador, Colombia, and the US.  When she is not producing events or creating media she has her hands in the earth! 


2017. Peter McCoy is the co-founder of Radical Mycology, a grassroots organization and movement that teaches the means to easily work with mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological resilience. For the last ten years, Radical Mycology has provided free resources and held internationally attended conferences to share the science of mycology and the art of mushroom cultivation in a manner that is open-source, practical, and relevant for the modern world. Peter lives in Portland, Oregon and he regularly teaches mycology-related courses around the world.

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