I went to high school at OCHS back in the late 1960's. This is the take from Russell Means on Pine Ridge and the Pine Ridge Reservation today. Though it was a beautiful place to grow up for a kid who enjoyed his horse and hunting, then, as now, the minus's outweighed the positives.
Genocidal Results of the Failed American Indian Policies of the United States Government:
Lakotah men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, lowest of any country in the World (excluding AIDS) including Haiti.
Lakotah death rate is the highest in the United States.
The Lakotah infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. Average.
One out of every four Lakotah children born are fostered or adopted out to non-Indian homes.
Diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, etc. are present. Cancer is now at epidemic proportions!
Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
POVERTY:Median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year. 97% of our Lakotah people live below the poverty line. Many families cannot afford heating oil, wood or propane and many residents use ovens to heat their homes. UNEMPLOYMENT: Unemployment rates on our reservations are 80% or higher. Government funding for job creation is lost through cronyism and corruption. HOUSING: Elderly die each winter from hypothermia (freezing). 1/3 of the homes lack basic clean water and sewage while 40% lack electricity. 60% of Reservation families have no telephone. 60% of housing is infected with potentially fatal black molds. There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (may only have two to three rooms). Some homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them. DRUGS AND ALCOHOL: More than half the Reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease. Alcoholism affects 9 in 10 families. Two known meth-amphetamine labs allowed to continue operation. Why? DISEASE: The Tuberculosis rate on Lakotah reservations is approx. 800% higher than the U.S national average. Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S national average. The rate of diabetes is 800% higher than the U.S national average. Federal Commodity Food Program provides high sugar foods that kill Native people through diabetes and heart disease. INCARCERATION: Indian children incarceration rate 40% higher than whites. In South Dakota, 21 percent of state prisoners are American Indians, yet they only make up 2% of the population. Indians have the second largest state prison incarceration rate in the nation. Most Indians live on federal reservations. Less than 2% of Indians live where the state has jurisdiction! THREATENED CULTURE: Only 14% of the Lakotah population can speak the Lakotah language. The language is not being shared inter-generationally. Today, the average age of a fluent Lakotah speaker is 65 years. Our Lakotah language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction. Our Lakotah language is not allowed to be taught in the U.S. Government schools. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 605-867-1025
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