Revealing Pine Ridge Rez Demographic Information

This diary was inspired by the recommended diary Suicide State Of Emergency On Pine Ridge Reservation by Winter Rabbit.

Permission granted to post the following in its entirety:

The Arrogance of Ignorance:

Hidden Away, Out of Sight and Out of Mind

Regarding life, conditions, and hope on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Reservation of South Dakota

This is an article of facts about the lives of modern-day American Indians, a topic most mainstream American news organizations will not discuss. It is not a plea for charity.  It is not a promotion for non-profit organizations. It is not aimed for pity.  It is not even an effort to detail cause and effect.  It is, however, an effort to dispel ignorance…. a massive, pervasive, societal ignorance filled with illusions and caricatures which, ultimately, serve only to corrupt the intelligence and decent intent of the average mainstream citizen. Only through knowledge and understanding can solutions be found.  But facts must be known first.  Then, it is the reader’s choice what to do with those facts.


Hidden away, out of sight but dotting the landscape of America, are the little known or forgotten Reservations of the Indigenous People of our land.  Sadly, the average U.S. mainstream resident knows almost nothing about the people of the Native American reservations other than what romanticized or caricaturized versions they see on film or as the print media stereotypes of oil or casino-rich Indians.  Most assume that whatever poverty exists on a reservation is most certainly comparable to that which they might experience themselves. Further, they assume it is curable by the same means they would use.

But that is the arrogance of ignorance.

Our dominant society is accustomed to being exposed to poverty.  It’s nearly invisible because it is everywhere.  We drive through our cities with a blind eye, numb to the suffering on the streets, or we shake our heads and turn away, assuming help is on the way.  After all, it’s known that the government and the big charities are helping the needy in nearly every corner of the world.

But the question begs: What about the sovereign nations on America’s own soil, within this country, a part and yet apart from mainstream society?  What about these Reservations that few people ever see?

Oddly enough, the case could be made that more Europeans and Australians know and understand the cultures and conditions of our Indigenous people better Americans do.

Moreover, what the Europeans and Australians know is that there are a number of very fortunate Native American Nations whose people are able to earn a very good living due to casino income, natural resource income, a good job market from nearby cities, or from some other source.  They also know, however, that a staggering number of residents on Native American reservations live in abject, incomprehensible conditions rivaling, or even surpassing, that of many Third World countries.

This article chronicles just one Nation: the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Nation of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  Yet the name and only a few details could easily be changed to describe a host of others…. the Dineh (Navajo), Ute Mountain Ute, Tohono O’odham, Pima, Yaqui, Apache, the Brule’ Lakota (Sioux) ….the list is long.

But this is not an article of hopelessness.  Despite nearly-insurmountable conditions, few resources, and against unbelievable odds, Nation after Nation of Indigenous leaders and their people are working hard to counteract decades of oppression and forced destruction of their cultures, to bring their citizens back to a life of self-respect and self-sufficiency in today’s world.

In the meantime, these words will serve simply to dispel a few illusions and make public part of that which is hidden away, out of sight, out of mind, in the richest country in the world.  It seeks to dispel the arrogance of ignorance.

 Demographic Information
  • The Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Indian Reservation sits in Bennett, Jackson, and Shannon Counties and is located in the southwest corner of South Dakota, fifty miles east of the Wyoming border.
  • The 11,000-square mile (approximately 2,700,000 acres) Pine Ridge Reservation is the second-largest Native American Reservation within the United States.  It is roughly the size of the State of Connecticut.  According to the Oglala Sioux tribal statistics, approximately 1,700,000 acres of this land are owned by the Tribe or by tribal members.
  • The Reservation is divided into eight districts: Eagle Nest, Pass Creek, Wakpamni, LaCreek, Pine Ridge, White Clay, Medicine Root, Porcupine, and Wounded Knee.
  • The topography of the Pine Ridge Reservation includes the barren Badlands, rolling grassland hills, dryland prairie, and areas dotted with pine trees.
  • The Pine Ridge Reservation is home to approximately 40,000 persons, 35% of which are under the age of 18.  The latest Federal Census shows the median age to be 20.6 years.  Approximately half the residents of the Reservation are registered tribal members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation.
  • According to the most recent Federal Census, 58.7% of the grandparents on the Reservation are responsible for raising their own grandchildren.
  • The population is slowly but steadily rising, despite the severe conditions on the Reservation, as more and more Oglala Lakota return home from far-away cities to live within their societal values, be with their families, and assist with the revitalization of their culture and their Nation.

Employment Information
  • Recent reports vary but many point out that the median income on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year.
  • The unemployment rate on Pine Ridge is said to be approximately 83-85% and can be higher during the winter months when travel is difficult or often impossible.
  • According to 2006 resources, about 97% of the population lives below Federal poverty levels.
  • There is little industry, technology, or commercial infrastructure on the Reservation to provide employment.
  • Rapid City, South Dakota is the nearest town of size (population approximately 57,700) for those who can travel to find work.  It is located 120 miles from the Reservation.  The nearest large city to Pine Ridge is Denver, Colorado located some 350 miles away.

Life Expectancy and Health Conditions

  • Some figures state that the life expectancy on the Reservation is 48 years old for men and 52 for women. Other reports state that the average life expectancy on the Reservation is 45 years old.  These statistics are far from the 77.5 years of age life expectancy average found in the United States as a whole.  According to current USDA Rural Development documents, the Lakota have the lowest life expectancy of any group in America.
  • Teenage suicide rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is 150% higher than the U.S. national average for this age group.
  • The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and is about 300% higher than the U.S. national average.
  • More than half the Reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease.  Alcoholism, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and malnutrition are pervasive.
  • The rate of diabetes on the Reservation is reported to be 800% higher than the U.S. national average.
  • Recent reports indicate that almost 50% of the adults on the Reservation over the age of 40 have diabetes.
  • As a result of the high rate of diabetes on the Reservation, diabetic-related blindness, amputations, and kidney failure are common.
  • The tuberculosis rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately 800% higher than the U.S. national average.
  • Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S. national average.
  • It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are infested with Black Mold, Stachybotrys.  This infestation causes an often-fatal condition with infants, children, elderly, those with damaged immune systems, and those with lung and pulmonary conditions at the highest risk.  Exposure to this mold can cause hemorrhaging of the lungs and brain as well as cancer.
  • A Federal Commodity Food Program is active but supplies mostly inappropriate foods (high in carbohydrate and/or sugar) for the largely diabetic population of the Reservation.
  • A small non-profit Food Co-op is in operation on the Reservation but is available only for those with funds to participate.

Health Care
  • Many Reservation residents live without health care due to vast travel distances involved in accessing that care.  Additional factors include under-funded, under-staffed medical facilities and outdated or non-existent medical equipment.
  • Preventive healthcare programs are rare.
  • In most of the treaties between the U.S. Government and Indian Nations, the U.S. government agreed to provide adequate medical care for Indians in return for vast quantities of land.  The Indian Health Services (IHS) was set up to administer the health care for Indians under these treaties and receives an appropriation each year to fund Indian health care. Unfortunately, the appropriation is very small compared to the need and there is little hope for increased funding from Congress. The IHS is understaffed and ill-equipped and can’t possibly address the needs of Indian communities.  Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Education Issues
  • School drop-out rate is over 70%.
  • According to a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) report, the Pine Ridge Reservation schools are in the bottom 10% of school funding by U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Teacher turnover is 800% that of the U.S. national average.

Housing Conditions and Homelessness
  • The small BIA/Tribal Housing Authority homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are overcrowded and scarce, resulting in many homeless families who often use tents or cars for shelter.  Many families live in old cabins or dilapidated mobile homes and trailers.
  • According to a 2003 report from South Dakota State University, the majority of the current Tribal Housing Authority homes were built from 1970-1979.  The report brings to light that a great percentage of that original construction by the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) was “shoddy and substandard.”  The report also states that 26% of the housing units on the Reservation are mobile homes, often purchased or obtained (through donations) as used, low-value units with negative-value equity.
  • Even though there is a large homeless population on the Reservation, most families never turn away a relative no matter how distant the blood relation. Consequently, many homes often have large numbers of people living in them.
  • In a recent case study, the Tribal Council estimated a need for at least 4,000 new homes in order to combat the homeless situation.
  • There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (a home which may only have two to three rooms).  Some larger homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them.
  • Over-all, 59% of the Reservation homes are substandard.
  • Over 33% of the Reservation homes lack basic water and sewage systems as well as electricity.
  • Many residents must carry (often contaminated) water from the local rivers daily for their personal needs.
  • Some Reservation families are forced to sleep on dirt floors.
  • Without basic insulation or central heating in their homes, many residents on the Pine Ridge Reservation use their ovens to heat their homes.
  • Many Reservation homes lack adequate insulation.  Even more homes lack central heating.
  • Periodically, Reservation residents are found dead from hypothermia (freezing).
  • It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation need to be burned to the ground and replaced with new housing due to infestation of the potentially-fatal Black Mold, Stachybotrys.  There is no insurance or government program to assist families in replacing their homes.
  • 39% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation have no electricity.
  • The most common form of heating fuel is propane.  Wood-burning is the second most common form of heating a home although wood supplies are often expensive or difficult to obtain.
  • Many Reservation homes lack basic furniture and appliances such as beds, refrigerators, and stoves.
  • 60% of Reservation families have no land-line telephone.  The Tribe has recently issued basic cell phones to the residents.  However, these cell phones (commonly called commodity phones) do not operate off the Reservation at all and are often inoperable in the rural areas on the Reservation or during storms or wind.
  • Computers and internet connections are very rare. [written in 2006]
  • Federal and tribal heat assistance programs (such as LLEAP) are limited by their funding.  In the winter of 2005-2006, the average one-time only payment to a family was said to be approximately $250-$300 to cover the entire winter.  For many, that amount did not even fill their propane heating tanks one time.

Life on the Reservation
  • Most Reservation families live in rural and often isolated areas.
  • The largest town on the Reservation is the village of Pine Ridge which has a population of approximately 5,720 people and is the administrative center for the Reservation.
  • There are few improved (paved) roads on the Reservation and most of the rural homes are inaccessible during times of rain or snow.
  • Weather is extreme on the Reservation.  Severe winds are always a factor.  Traditionally, summer temperatures reach well over 110°F and winters bring bitter cold with temperatures that can reach – 50°F or worse.  Flooding, tornados, or wildfires are always a risk.
  • The Pine Ridge Reservation still has no banks, discount stores, or movie theaters.  It has only one grocery store of any moderate size and it is located in the village of Pine Ridge on the Reservation.  A motel just opened in 2006 near the Oglala Lakota College at Kyle, South Dakota.  There are said to be about 8 Bed and Breakfast or campsite locations found across the Reservation but that number varies from time to time since most are part of a private home.
  • Several of the banks and lending institutions nearest to the Reservation have been targeted for investigation of fraudulent or predatory lending practices, with the citizens of the Pine Ridge Reservation as their victims.
  • There are no public libraries except one at the Oglala Lakota College.
  • There is 1 radio station on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  KILI 90.1FM is located near the town of Porcupine on the Reservation.


  • There is no public transportation available on the Reservation.
  • Only a minority of Reservation residents own an operable automobile.
  • Predominant form of travel for all ages on the Reservation is walking or hitchhiking.
  • There is one very small airport on the Reservation servicing both the Pine Ridge Reservation and Shannon County.  It’s longest, paved runway extends 4,969 feet.  There are no commercial flights available.  The majority of flights using the airport are Federal, State, or County Government-related.
  • The nearest commercial airport and/or commercial bus line is located in Rapid City, South Dakota (approximately 120 miles away).

  • Alcoholism affects 8 out of 10 families on the Reservation.
  • The death rate from alcohol-related problems on the Reservation is 300% higher than the remaining US population.
  • The Oglala Lakota Nation has prohibited the sale and possession of alcohol on the Pine Ridge Reservation since the early 1970’s.  However, the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska (which sits 400 yards off the Reservation border in a contested “buffer” zone) has approximately 14 residents and four liquor stores which sell over 4,100,000 cans of beer each year resulting in a $3,000,000 annual trade.  Unlike other Nebraska communities, Whiteclay exists only to sell liquor and make money. It has no schools, no churches, no civic organizations, no parks, no benches, no public bathrooms, no fire service and no law enforcement.  Tribal officials have repeatedly pleaded with the State of Nebraska to close these liquor stores or enforce the State laws regulating liquor stores but have been consistently refused.

Water and Aquifer Contamination
  • Many wells and much of the water and land on the Reservation is contaminated with pesticides and other poisons from farming, mining, open dumps, and commercial and governmental mining operations outside the Reservation.  A further source of contamination is buried ordnance and hazardous materials from closed U.S. military bombing ranges on the Reservation.
  • Scientific studies show that the High Plains/Oglala Aquifer which begins underneath the Pine Ridge Reservation is predicted to run dry in less than 30 years due to commercial interest use and dryland farming in numerous states south of the Reservation.  This critical North American underground water resource is not renewable at anything near the present consumption rate.  The recent years of drought have simply accelerated the problem.
  • Scientific studies show that much of the High Plains/Oglala Aquifer has been contaminated with farming pesticides and commercial, factory, mining, and industrial contaminants in the States of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Sovereignty and Tribal Government
  • By Treaty, the Tribal nations are considered to have sovereign governmental status.  They have a special government to government relationship with the United States.  Interactions with the U.S. Government and the Department of Interior (and its Bureau of Indian Affairs) are supposed to be through Treaty negotiations and most Federal programs (such as Indian Health Services) were purchased by the Tribal nations (usually with land) and guaranteed by Treaty.  This is specifically true for the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Nation of the Pine Ridge Reservation.
  • The Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribal government operates under a constitution consistent with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and approved by the Tribal membership and Tribal Council of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe. The Tribe is governed by an elected body consisting of a 5 member Executive Committee and an 18 member Tribal Council, all of whom serve a two year term.

  • Currently, there are various efforts underway to implement innovative techniques and solutions to Reservation problems.  These projects include community volunteer groups, alternative education programs, wind or water energy initiatives, substance abuse programs, cultural and language programs, employment opportunities, cottage industries, promotion of artists and musicians, small co-op businesses, etc.  However, funding for these programs is highly limited.
  • There are several very small projects now working to help with the housing shortage.  Some of these involve using donated mobile homes, community-built sod housing, other community-built housing (such as Habitat for Humanity), exploring possible use of unused FEMA mobile homes, and other alternate solutions.  Unfortunately, funding is highly limited.
  • The Tribal Council Housing Authority is working as hard as it can to build new homes and repair existing structures but it is limited by the small, limited amount of funding available.
  • There are a few reputable small non-profit organizations attempting to sincerely assist the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in their efforts to resolve and mitigate existing problems.  However, funding for these programs is currently highly limited.
  • There is one small independent (non-IHS) clinic on the Reservation at the community of Porcupine.  It was founded and is controlled by the Lakota community.  It just recently obtained its first dialysis machine and runs an aggressive program to combat diabetes.  However, funding is very limited and is obtained locally and through grants.
  • The Oglala Lakota are a determined, intelligent, and proud People who are working hard to over-come their Reservation problems.  Against all odds, with minimal resources, they are slowly working to re-claim their self-sufficiency, their culture, and their life.

These statistics concerning the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Reservation were compiled from Political, Educational, Government, Non-Profit, and Tribal Publications.  An earlier version was published by the same author in 2002 entitled, Hidden Away, in the Land of Plenty.

By Stephanie M. Schwartz,

Freelance Writer and Native Village advisor

Member, Native American Journalists Association

© October 15, 2006   Brighton, Colorado

H/T cacamp’s (Carter Camp)comment deserves a whole diary.

The conditions described above are from 2006 but they haven’t changed much. They are most likely worse due to two more years of Repub cutbacks and contributed to the tribal emergency declaration of 12/09. It’s important to remember what we are dealing with when we try to make things better for our reservations. Many of them are in almost the same condition as Pine Ridge. In addition to the teen problem of suicide there is also the gang problem.

Our team at Native American Netroots wants to focus on the section above about Hope but to begin that journey we need to understand the demographics.

Eagle Feather

Native American Netroots Summary of Our Efforts Since Feb. 1, 2010



  • The majority of the online donations above benefit only one tribe.
  • LIHEAP assistance for northern states was cut so southern states (including Puerto Rico) could receive help. This terrible decision was based on unemployment levels. South Dakota’s unemployment rate is 5%. This decision ignores the 85% unemployment rate on many reservations.

    Already, lawmakers from northern states are lobbying for the remaining $100 million in emergency funding.

    Next winter’s funding is also being reduced. See ACTION links below.

  • You and I have to watch and make sure that any promised funding actually makes it to the reservations.
  • We are still waiting to hear from the producer Keith sent to South Dakota. I hope this isn’t the end of his coverage. We are sending positive energy in Keith’s direction to give him strength to deal with his father’s illness.
  • Many reservations across our nation need assistance with heat right now.

While the author above is not making a plea for charity, I am.


Leave me a comment if you telephone and make a donation during this week, we are keeping track of matching funds.

I feel like I’ve tapped you guys out regarding emergency propane deliveries to Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. We need someone big to step in and give all our reservations some immediate assistance with heat. The problem will be on going until the warmer weather arrives in May or so. Our team is going to divide up and prod the large charities to release their funding STAT to help with heating resources. We need your help in putting pressure on government to increase LIHEAP funding for next winter, not reduce it as is planned for our reservations. Unemployment levels on reservations are often much higher than state levels.

Carter Camp has also mentioned that there is a huge need for a massive housing effort, one like the Marshall Plan that rebuilt parts of Europe after WWII. We are going to work on smaller plans like Habitat for Humanity but also the larger effort that Carter describes.


Contact Information for State and Local Officials

Federal Agency Contacts

Media Contacts

Special thanks to our new group of researchers, advisors and diarists who make up NATIVE AMERICAN NETROOTS:

4Freedom, Aji, bablhous, Bill in MD, Chris Rodda, Deep Harm, exmearden, KentuckyKat, Kimberley, Kitsap River, Land of Enchantment, No Way Lack of Brain, Oke, ParkRanger, Richard Cranium, Soothsayer99, swampus, TiaRachel, tlemon, translatorpro, Diogenes2008, birdbrain64, lexalou, marthature, meralda.


Rosebud Reservation




Pine Ridge Reservation Photobucket

Autumn Two Bulls

Kevin Killer, State Rep. Pine Ridge SD Dist. 27


Native American Netroots Web BadgeCross Posted at Native American Netroots

 An ongoing series sponsored by the Native American Netroots team focusing on the current issues faced by American Indian Tribes and current solutions to those issues.


Criticizing Indian Affairs: SD Winter Storms

Keith Olbermann tells us (quoted in navajo’s “Dakota’s Rezs Winter Heating Funds Ran Out In December”)

“If anybody wants to go further, the chairman of the tribe tells us the consciousness of politicians is as important as donations right now.

FEMA has yet to declare the region a disaster area, and there’s something else that could kill about 40 birds with one stone there: They’ve patched much of the water and power infrastructure back together but they really need an overhaul and something in the jobs bill, or some stimulus money, could not only protect power, heat and water there, it could also put some of the thousands of unemployed Native Americans to work in their own communities. So you could call, write, or e-mail your congressmen and or senator.

To reiterate, “The consciousness of politicians is as important as donations right now.”…

Indian Affairs Committee

Address: 838 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-2251   Fax: (202) 228-2589


Web site:

Committee Chair


Byron L. Dorgan (DEM-ND)

Ranking Member


John Barrasso (REP-WY)

Democrats (9)

Sen. Daniel Inouye (DEM-HI)

Sen. Kent Conrad (DEM-ND)

Sen. Daniel Akaka (DEM-HI)

Sen. Tim Johnson (DEM-SD)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (DEM-WA)

Sen. Jon Tester (DEM-MT)

Sen. Tom Udall (DEM-NM)

Sen. Al Franken (DEM-MN)

Republicans (6)

Sen. John McCain (REP-AZ)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (REP-AK)

Sen. Tom Coburn (REP-OK)

Sen. Mike Crapo (REP-ID)

Sen. Mike Johanns (REP-NE)

So, let us begin enlightening “the consciousness of politicians” with some required reading from the Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report, which “The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), in coordination with the Western Shoshone Defense Project, submitted a Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) on January 6th, 2008.”

III. Indian Reservation Apartheid

“Apartheid” is certainly a strong word. And certainly, there are recognized tribes in the U.S. that are now achieving certain levels of relative prosperity primarily due to federal law allowing them to operate casinos, But the data contained in this section as well as others in this report (see, e.g., Violence Against Women, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health) reflect what only can be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations, where Indigenous people are warehoused in poverty and neglect. By purpose or effect, their only option is forced assimilation, the abandonment of their land, families, language and cultures in search of a better life.

The Shadow Report Outlines the following: critical things the U.S. Periodic Report omitted that were supposed to have been reported to the Human Rights Committee; Un – recognized Indigenous Peoples of which “many have waited decades” for recognition; the “Indian Reservation Apartheid;” the “Life Expectancy on the Indian Reservation” with its “high rate of infant mortality, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease;” poverty and unemployment, overall problems with justice;  “Racially Discriminatory Constitutional Foundations;” religious freedom as it relates to access to sacred lands; “Environmental Racism and  its effects on Indigenous Human Rights,” that “you cannot damage the land without damaging those who live upon it;” “The Denial of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, or any Other Field of Public Life;”  “Racist Science and the Collective Right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent;” “Articles 6 and 7,” which mention the devastation of Indian Boarding Schools and “Racist Sports Mascots and Logos;” and finally, “The United States and its Transnational Companies and Violations of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples Abroad.”

Continuing with enlightening “the consciousness of politicians” in this most current example wherein “FEMA has yet to declare the region a disaster area,” let’s focus on “But the data contained in this section as well as others in this report (see, e.g., Violence Against Women, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health) reflect what only can be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations, where Indigenous people are warehoused in poverty and neglect.” What are the enlightening questions?

Why has “FEMA has yet to declare the region a disaster area” in a location(s) where “Life Expectancy on the Indian Reservation” is:

Mortality rates and life expectancy on the reservation are not reported by the US in their Periodic Report. Neither is comprehensive data collected for Indians on Reservations. The grossly disproportionate poverty that Indigenous Peoples experience in the United States is accompanied by disturbingly low life expectancy as demonstrated by the few scattered statistics available. Recent research on diverse racial-geographic population groupings in the United States has shown “disparities in mortality experiences” to be “enormous.”[10] Among those found to be most disadvantaged in this major national study were American Indians who live on or near reservation lands.

For that matter, why hasn’t John McCain of the Indian Affairs Committee done anything?

McCain(was) Instrumental in Removing Dine(h)-Navajo Tribe

A public research website: has brought together diverse historical elements of factual proof that Senator John McCain’s was the key “point man” introducing, enacting and enforcing law that removed Dineh-Navajo Families from their reservation on the Black Mesa in Arizona.

Perhaps the reason why McCain hasn’t, is that it’s not over yet.

Although there’s been a recent victory against the reopening of the Black Mesa Complex, the Kayenta mine is still operating and elders on the front lines fighting the continued impacts of coal mining and forced relocation efforts are still requesting support.

When “the consciousness of politicians” allows for “…the largest forced relocation of U.S. citizens since the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II,” then they needn’t be sought for help, but helped to the Hague. So what might be pragmatic?

Obama can make the apology he signed public with an actual statement.

“I am concerned about people doing political calculations in the White House, looking at it that way,” Brownback said regarding an apology resolution Obama quietly signed Dec. 19 – to no fanfare.

What would that do for “The consciousness of politicians?” As much as this apology did in 2000.

“This agency participated in the ethnic cleansing that befell the Western tribes,” Gover said. “It must be acknowledged that the deliberate spread of disease, the decimation of the mighty bison herds, the use of the poison alcohol to destroy mind and body, and the cowardly killing of women and children made for tragedy on a scale so ghastly that it cannot be dismissed as merely the inevitable consequence of the clash of competing ways of life.”

Concluding, while the “consciousness of politicians” motivates them to ignore the devastation that winter storms have brought to many Tribal Nations, I have but one question for them – “”What does it mean to be civilized?”…


Olbermann: Sen. Comm. Indian Affairs Worst Person (S. Dakota Winter Storms)

Thank you Mr. Olbermann, just thank you.

But our winner, the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Where are you guys? Three major Native American reservations in South Dakota, particularly the Cheyenne River Reservation, have been buried under snow and ice with major power failures, for two weeks.

Power lines down, thousands of other Lakota and other tribes people, already face 75 to 85% unemployment, before a blizzard and an ice storm that added six inches of ice weight to utility poles – hit. Two weeks since those lines were knocked down and most of the electricity went with it. They managed to get the water turned back on at Cheyenne River, unfortunately most of the water goes into a pipe system that failed during the storm. The pipes are broken. With the wind chill it was minus 19 there today. What we find out about this on the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs – some means of donating to the affected tribes, means of underwriting the energy companies now distributing propane tanks by hand? An emergency hearing on a crisis there? Nothing. There’s a committee meeting Thursday to discuss regular business. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs – AWOL. Today’s worst persons in the world.

Mr. Olbermann, I wrote you a letter a long time ago after your Special Comment about the Military Commissions Act, that maybe you were the next Edward Murrow. Since that time, I definitely say yes, with your own style and voice. The ironic thing is, after the MCA passed I was scared and a lot of others were too. Speaking for myself, I needed someone to have the courage to speak out about it.  What’s different about this is, while the Democratic Party was bullied into the MCA that was “redrafted” at the last minute, the primary culprit here is apathy, not fear.

Where else could they get by with this?

The planned uranium mine site in the southern Black Hills can impact four aquifers. Powertech, Inc. USA plans to begin uranium extraction in 2011 and operate for 15 years in the permit area of 10,580 acres located in Dewey and Burdock Counties, north of Edgemont, SD.

Or this?


On Dec. 4 an action was taken against Crow Creek tribal land near my district that shook the absolute foundations of Indian law all the way back to the 1800s. Yet, few people were in the small room in Highmore, S.D. to see this monumental action and few other tribes even know it has taken place. Any tribe with land should shutter with the magnitude of what this precedent could mean for themselves or their individual tribal members. The Internal Revenue Service collected against 7,100 acres – 11 square miles – of Indian owned land in Hyde County, S.D. This particular parcel was part of the original Crow Creek treaty boundaries, but the treaty was subsequently broken and this land was sold to LeMaster. Interestingly enough, our tribe was able to use settlement money from another federal land taking to purchase this land back in 1998.

I don’t want to speculate any more on as you so said, “There’s a committee meeting Thursday to discuss regular business.” However, sadly this is “business as usual” from my point of view. What isn’t, is your covering it with conviction and integrity. Thank you Mr. Olbermann, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If the people get some more help, they can better fight for their land.

Thank You Mr. Olbermann (Steele: “Honest injun on that”)

( – promoted by navajo)

Mr. Olbermann,

I was pretty exhausted from moving again for the third time in six months for good reasons, although I had to sweep a few streets till I got the job I moved for. Pictures weren’t hung up yet when this racial utterance came out of Steele’s mouth.

Normally Mr. Olbermann, Republicans and their political allies say and do things like that that aren’t even mentioned in the main media. I’ve gotten used to it, where these issues being ignored feel normal. Makes you feel invisible sometimes.  But you didn’t do that afterwards, you mentioned it after Steele said it. I was sitting on my couch I hadn’t sat on for a half year with boxes all around and almost cried I was so grateful. So I just wanted to say thank you. Mr. Olbermann, thank you for that and all the great work you do.

As for Steele, you need to not write books and read a few. Enough said.…

As in the progressive stages of annihilation outlined by Stannard, dehumanization preceded destruction. As David Stannard writes in American Holocaust, The Conquest of the New World, Indians were considered “Nothing more than a half-filled outline of humanity whose extermination was a logical and necessary solution to the problem.” European settlers described “Indians as ‘ugly, filthy and inhuman beasts, [and] newspapers commonly characterized them as swine, snakes, pigs, and baboons…”

In the Crockett Almanacs, Indians are called “red niggers…” “injun savages…”

Demonstrates the use of “injun” as a vehicle for humor, excluding any possible consideration for the Indian as human…


During a Jan. 4 appearance to promote his new book on the Sean Hannity Fox News cable program, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele discussed conservative principles, at one point insisting that the Republican Party does not need to modernize. He hit home the point with the words, “Honest injun on that.”

Within this animal metaphor, the “injuns” inability to be civilized confirmed the idea of their bestiality, which could thus be seen as fundamental, pernicious, and stubbornly resistant to improvement.

If someone can find the video of Olbermann mentioning it, please post, I couldn’t find it.

Sioux Scalp Needs Coverage by Olbermann

( – promoted by navajo)

If someone had told me that someone would be selling a Sioux scalp online on the 143rd Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre; I would have hoped, “Surely nobody would be that barbaric and seeped in genocide denial.” Right? Wrong.

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(Photos will be deleted after the scalp is in the proper tribal hands. For verification only)

Olbermann’s contact information

The situation has been this. Somebody attempted to make blood money off of the Great Indian Holocaust.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I discovered this by a bulletin.

(From a Mysace bulletin. Private citizens info. has been taken out. News organization info. is left intact throughout)

———– Bulletin Message —————–

Knowing the historical aspect that has happen to native people and the misconception of what “Scalping” mean is wrong… Scalping is what the Europeans’ brought to kill Native people — The policy by the U.S. Government was to “Scalp” Native for money as a form of genocide against native people… Yes… GENOCIDE!!!!  To decimate, destroy, demolish a group of people like they have done to other countries…. What is seen on Ebay is racist and wrong!!!!

Please write to Ebay and tell them if they would also sell “noose” because selling Scalps is just the same!!!!

(name removed)

RE: Native scalp for bid again on Ebay

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
—————– Bulletin Message —————–
Date: Nov 29, 2007 5:07 PM

I wanna puke and then kick ass.
(name removed)

Sioux Scalp on auction at EBAY

Hello everyone, I have received emails from various folks today about the scalp.

Hello everyone,

I have received emails from various folks today about the scalp on auction at EBAY.
So, I wanted to post some info and provide a update about this issue for you all.

Asking EBAY to remove this item, is a good step, however it doesn’t stop
Allard Auctions from selling it elsewhere. They can turn around and sell it
at one of the many auctions available throughout the country, there are
dozens of auction sites and different houses. If they sell it elsewhere,
then this scalp may never be returned to the proper place, back to the
Lakota people.

It is a violation of NAGPRA and federal offense to be in possession of human
remains of any kind.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1170 – Illegal Trafficking in Native
American Human Remains and Cultural Items: Prohibits the sale of the human
remains or cultural artifacts of Native Americans without the right of
possession of those items in accordance with the Native American Graves
Protection and Repatriation Act.

I have alerted the proper agencies and people at NAGPRA of this item, they
are going to take immediate action and will be proceeding in confiscating
this item, from these )(*&^%$#@!, that have this on auction. The auction
ends on Dec 2nd, so they are going to need to move very quickly on this,
which they stated they will. From what I was told, this Allard Auctions has
already had previous violations for attempting to sell illegal items, such
as this scalp. So, this should be interesting to see what consequences that
they receive for another violation. There could be a substantial fine
involved. Personally I hope that they take away their auction license, ban
them from EBAYall together, throw their sorry butts in the pen and throw
away the key. Somehow stiffer penalties and prison sentencing needs to be
enacted, to stop these grave robbers and collectors, instead of a slap on the
hand. The lack of enforcement and resources in each state is part of the
challenge with this issue. Unless it gets reported by someone, they usually
don’t get caught. I am sure glad that the person who did catch this, sent
out the plea request! This is a never endless battle.

The first step will be, to get this item authenticated, confirm it’s what
they are saying it is. Then, once the scalp is confiscated from Allard,
NAGPRA will go thru the process of getting it repatriated back to the Tribe.
That of course can take some time, but at least it will happen eventually,
instead of it being sold to some other yahoo collector to put on display.

The other option would have been to contact these folks directly and attempt
to get them to donate the item back to the tribe, where it belongs. I
couldn’t see that happening, from the looks of their auction site, they are
greedy people making a buck off of selling various artifacts. If they were
just a private person, this was a one time deal, then maybe we would have
had a chance at the other way. I remember a couple years ago, there was a
full set of remains of a young ndn girl on auction at EBAY. I don’t
understand why EBAY can’t monitor these people somehow…..sheesh…….they
need a serious policy revamping I would think!

I am suppose to follow up with them on Tuesday for a update what has been
done, if I don’t hear from them prior to that.

Here is the direct link for the item on EBAY
And the link to report this to EBAY

Hope it helps………….I will do what I can with this one.

In peace & solidarity,
“Providing news and information about Native American Issues & Causes”
“Helping to make a difference for our people in Indian Country, one day at a time. What will you do today to help make a difference?”

“Our sacred lands are all that remain keeping us connected to our place on Mother Earth, to our spirituality, our heritage and our lands; what’s left of them. If they take it all away, what will remain except a vague memory of a past so forgotten?”

I then posted a quick diary about it here.

To the fantastic efforts of all involved, which touched my heart enormously, it was taken off eBay and Allard. However, this generally remains the case as far as I know,

They (Allard Auctions) can turn around and sell it at one of the many auctions available throughout the country, there are dozens of auction sites and different houses. If they sell it elsewhere, then this scalp may never be returned to the proper place…

while this specifically is the case today.
(another bulletin citing someone at

Steve Allard of Allard Auctions, Inc. returned my call this morning (Sat.) and stated to me that the Indian scalp had been pulled and other items from the auctions list to be sold. He also stated the FBI had been there checking all items that they had up for auction and they will most likely be at the auction to make sure any items that are not on the list are not sold at the event.

The auction starts today at 12:00 AZ. time and tomorrow at 10:00 (Sunday) at the Holiday Inn Mesa AZ. Steve also stated that this was a privet collection and part of a museum that is having financial problems, this also happen to a museum some years back in Flag Staff AZ. Steve stated that he had been contacted by tribal leaders about the scalp and they also plan to be at the auction, they are working with Steve to see that the scalp is return to a tribal nation. Tribal leaders will also be buying items to keep them out of the hands of privet collectors.

Allard Auctions, Inc.


(406) 745-0502


Steve Allard, President email:

Please don’t contact Allard, the information is for Keith Olbermann.

Keith Olbermann (email here)

Now, I’ve already written thatI Want Olbermann to Cover Pretty Bird Woman House,

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of the main television media ignoring American Indian issues in general, and I’m even more sick and tired of conservative personalities spewing their racist venom towards American Indians. I think Olbermann would cover the critical issue of Pretty Bird Woman House  if he were asked to by enough of us…

and many wrote letters after that request. Thankyou from my bottom of my heart. Furthermore, to my knowledge he hasn’t covered it yet.
So if I understand this correctly, today through Dec 2nd are crucial times to recover the scalp.

So come on Olbermann, what do you say?

I Want Olbermann to Cover Pretty Bird Woman House

( – promoted by navajo)

Olbermann’s contact information

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Artwork by Tigana.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of the main television media ignoring American Indian issues in general, and I’m even more sick and tired of conservative personalities spewing their racist venom towards American Indians. I think Olbermann would cover the critical issue of Pretty Bird Woman House if he were asked to by enough of us, but let’s look at some spewing of racist venom towards American Indians by conservative personalities first after a generalized observation of mine.

Ironically, conservative personalities seem to actually “mention” Indian issues more than non – Indian liberal ones by my observations alone. Take for example, Anne Coulter’s “The little

Injun that could.” Why?

I think it’s because conservative personalities such as Coulter, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly find American Indians to be easy targets towards which they can project their racism, having accepted the lies of colonialism.


Colonial Education

The process of colonization involves one nation or territory taking control of another nation or territory either through the use of force or by acquisition. As a by-product of colonization, the colonizing nation implements its own form of schooling within their colonies. Two scholars on colonial education, Gail P. Kelly and Philip G. Altbach, help define the process as an attempt “to assist in the consolidation of foreign rule” (Kelly and Altbach 1).

Coulter, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly all seem to have accepted the lies of colonialism by my estimations of them; consequently, Limbaugh spewed anti – Indian rhetoric, while O’Reilly didn’t know what hit him. We’ll address Limbaugh first.

What in the hell was the uncompassionate, climate – disintegrating – denying – bully Limbaugh thinking when he spewed his racist venom towards eighteen year old Cheryl Charlee Lockwood  ofSt. Michaels, Alaska?

(Bold and underline mine)

A crying shame: Rush Limbaugh adds Alaskan to polarizing efforts

The young woman, Cheryl Charlee Lockwood, 18, of St. Michaels was one of several young leaders to speak during the “Youth Leadership on Climate Change” hearing. It coincided with Power Shift 2007, a national youth summit involving thousands from across the nation on what the student organizers called “the climate crisis.”

– snip –

Mr. Limbaugh’s first-day reaction was to inaccurately and insultingly describe Ms. Lockwood as a 13-year-old Inupiat (she’s Yup’ik) girl from Alaska and cast her on par with the white actor who played the “crying Indian” during 1970s TV commercials aimed at littering. He decried her emotional testimony as a nauseating Democrat ploy.

– snip –

The coup de grace was Mr. Limbaugh laughing with a woman caller who claimed to be a former Alaska resident, now “a Texan by choice.” Of Ms. Lockwood’s testimony she said, “if they’re losing their way of life, that would probably mean the liquor store was closing.”

What a disgusting and vile expression of modern racism. Add that to the truths that at least in Tulsa, “American Indians are more likely to be regarded with prejudice than are other minorities by white TU students, a study shows,” and this racist remark that was spewed after the Oklahoma Centennial protest –

Indians mark centennial with protest march at state Capitol

To all my Indian brethren – for those who are unhappy with what the “imperialists” did to your culture – move to the panhandle, set up teepees, and hunt for your food. If that’s what you want to go back to, quit whining and protesting and JUST DO IT!

– and the picture of racism against American Indians just keeps becoming larger and more complete. So,  what was Limbaugh thinking?

He was thinking anti – Indian and racist thoughts. Glaringly obvious, he would never cover Pretty Bird Woman House, except in a racial and discriminatory manner. What about O’Reilly?

O’Reilly might still be in an emotional hangover from being put aptly in his place.


As it turned out, Bill O’Reilly himself was among those to see the video. Television’s angriest talking head was not pleased. O’Reilly responded to the video by airing it on his Fox News cable program and calling the Fairies “nutso” and “child abusers,” among other things, while suggesting that social services open a case to track down the little girl. Thankfully for the little girl, social services stayed away, but the attention did not. The video exploded across the blogosphere, and a million and a half hits and several death threats later, these child-abusing atheists became the 18th most subscribed-to band in the history of YouTube, right behind platinum-selling MC Mike Jones.

So, scratch racist, conservative, Bush Republicans off the list for possibly helping; I think Keith Olbermann (email here) is the one to contact, don’t you?

Please make a donation to the Pretty Bird Woman House if you can, and let’s get Keith Olbermann in on this.

Mr. Olbermann,

I respectfully request that you seriously consider covering the Pretty Bird Woman House in a future broadcast.

The vital information that you need to know is at the internet location listed below.


Thankyou for your time and consideration. Please help.