Who we are
The Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers is a Tribal non-profit organization in Pipestone, Minnesota, that was formed in 1996 by local Native Americans and tribal leaders to protect and educate the public about the nearby pipestone quarries.
The Keepers founding president was Bud Johnston and VP Travis Erickson. They are both still active. The current board is Bud Johnston president, Leon Carney vice president and Rona Johnston treasure-secretary.
Keepers has members all over the world — more than half are tribal members from over 35 different tribes.
Keepers bring both national and international recognition to Pipestone by traveling all over the world to present and educate people about American Indian history and culture. Keepers President Bud Johnston has taken American Indian dance groups to Europe several times to allow tribal youth to showcase their talent and community to the world.
The organization works with local Native American organizations to provide goods and resources to local Indian reservations, as well as with schools and prisons to help people understand tribal culture.
1) To archive the histories, stories, styles and uses of pipes by Native Americans
2) To bring together spiritual leaders, teachers, storytellers and artists to share their knowledge to the public
3) To conduct Native art workshops, storytelling classes and education lectures
4) To promote unity and to bring together the four colors of man
5) To sponsor cultural awareness exchanges in the U.S. and abroad to promote and teach Native culture to other people
"The Great Spirit only sketches out the path of life roughly for all the creatures on earth, shows them where to go, where to arrive, but leaves them to find their own way to get there. He wants them to act independently according to their nature, to the urges of each of them."