Anpetu waste’ lo! (Good day!)
I’m Steve, though many people know me as Mato Inila (Quiet Bear). My journey through life has taken me to some pretty diverse places and taught me much about how to live upon the earth in a gentle way. It is my goal to teach what I’ve learned with regard to sustainable living, as well as spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. “Everything in moderation” is a motto you’re likely to hear from me often. My teachers have ranged from college professors in my botany, horticulture, and agriculture schooling, to first nations elders (Native Americans) in cultural/spiritual living, to the raw experience that nature itself brings. Some of my best teachers have had paws or feathers. 😉
Nature has always been the center and balance of my life, which is probably why I was attracted to Native American cultures and the Old Earth wisdom within them. Indigenous peoples and cultures are very close to my heart, especially the Lakota. There is a vast wisdom to be gained by embracing indigenous perspectives. I’ve been learning the Lakota language over the years as I grow closer to friends and the culture. The Lakota medicine wheel, what it represents, carries a great deal of importance within my life journey. It is my hope to share this Old Earth wisdom with the world along with my OEP partners.
You’ll quickly find that I’m OEP’s resident beekeeper and plant guru. My knowledge ranges from sustainable organic gardening (permaculture), to wild edibles & medicinals, to animal husbandry and their applications toward self reliance. I’ve acquired a vast understanding over the past 20 years of how to work in concert with nature’s symphony WITHOUT the use of controversial chemicals. I’ve spent a great deal of time as a consultant for sustainable agriculture programs among Lakota friends on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota, and a little time at Pine Ridge for the same purpose. My time among these wise people has certainly expanded my knowledge and awareness on multiple fronts, and I consider myself blessed to have been their student culturally and spiritually. It has been a great honor to have learned and partaken in many of their sacred ceremonies. I now carry within me, knowledge and experiences that I regard as sacred as well.
I’m also a practicing herbalist and my beliefs can probably be best summed up by a great Okanogan woman, one of the first Native American authors….. “Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission.” ~ Mourning Dove~ It is my hope to share the Old Earth knowledge I’ve acquired over the years, of identifying medicinal plants as well as their harvesting, properties, and preparation in maintaining a healthy body. It is not my goal to shun modern medicine, but to relieve the financial stress it creates by utilizing the healing gifts of nature at our disposal for free!