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DT: time is a face on the water
Posted on 2006.03.12 at 00:00
where am I: here in my room
How I feel about it all: sadsaddened
Soundtrack: nada
Tags: , ,
If you're looking to make any kind of donation for the winter holiday(s), or any day, Lakota Aid is a good place to do it.

The Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation are the ancestors of the people who died at Wounded Knee. Because their ancestors were forced from their homes and onto reservations, they have lost the ability to live off the land that sustained them for time out of mind. Their reservation is the poorest in the country. It's a third world environment in the middle of the richest country on the planet.


According to Lakota Aid:
On the reservation:

  • There is no industry, technology, or commercial infrastructure on the reservation to provide employment
  • Life expectancy for women is 48 years and 52 for men.
  • Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
  • Infant mortality is 300% higher than the U.S. national average. This makes it the highest IMR on the continent, in the wealthiest nation on the planet (and, ranking 43rd in the world, the US national average on the whole isn't very good in the first place).
  • The rate of diabetes is 800% higher than the U.S national average. 50% of the adults over the age of 40 are diabetics.
  • Alcoholism affects 8 out of 10 families and the death rate from alcohol related problems is 300% higher than the remaining
  • Tuberculosis is approx 800% higher than the U.S national average.
  • 35% of the population is under sixteen.
  • Each winter, reservation Elders are found dead from hypothermia.
  • At least 60% of the homes on the reservation are infested with Black Mold, Strachybotrys, which infests the lungs and causes fatalities in infants, children, those with damaged immune systems, lung and pulmonary conditions. Exposure to this mold can also cause haemorrhaging of the lungs and brain, as well as cancer.
  • Many people live in old shacks, old trailers, or dilapidated mobile homes. There is vast overcrowding among these families; most families never turn away a relative no matter how distant a blood relation, and as a result some homes built for 6-8 people, have 30 living in them.
  • Many residents live without proper healthcare due to vast travel distances and involved in accessing that care.
  • 60% of families have no telephones.
  • 33% of homes lack basic water and sewage systems, as well as electricity.
  • 59% of the reservation homes are substandard.
  • Many homes lack basic insulation, heating, stoves, refrigerators, beds, basic furniture etc. With extremes of temperatures from over 100 degrees in the summer, to minus 20-40 below freezing in the winder, the hardships are unimaginable.

    On top of all this, Pine Ridge residents are likely being poisoned by radiation from abandoned uranium mines. Thirteen stillborn babies were born in the span of two months, because of radiation in the water. South Dakota Public Broadcasting has an audio program about the mines and the higher incidences of cancer in the area.

    More about the Pine Ridge Lakota is here.

    Brenda Aplin, who runs Lakota Aid is English, not American, and she still lives in England, and from what I see runs it out of pure dedication to the people. Her organisation raises money for direct aid to Pine Ridge: essentials such as propane tanks at a cost of £550 (about $1,090 USD or $1250 CAD) for a 500-gallon tank, or ambulances that would be lifesaving for some of the reservation's diabetics who need dialysis (one of the Elders trying to set up the ambulance project is Ester Black Elk, the granddaughter of Lakota holy man Black Elk).

    Also needed are funds to provide job training, housing, and a lot of other things that most of us take for granted.

    Mrs. Aplin and two filmmakers have produced a half-hour documentary about the reservation. If you go to Lakota Voices and make a $20 donation (about £12 GBP or $23 CAD, including shipping), they'll send you a copy of the DVD. .

    You can go here for other ways to help. Also take a look at lakota_support. Spreading the word helps, too, so posting something in your blog or journal isn't such a bad idea. :)

    I first saw this posted at alfirin_kirinki's LJ, and a lot of the info comes from there.

    ETA: Did I mention how much I hate the term "Native American"? It doesn't make sense. The ancestors of indigenous peoples were here before there ever was a country called America (and there never really has been a country called "America", but that's another rant entirely).

Comments:


Smelly
topaz7 at 2006-12-03 08:23 (UTC) ()
My god, that's horrible. I will donate. I've talked about our local bands. They have problems too. But this one has got to be the worst I've ever seen. All the first nations issues, but on top of that, black mould and farking RADIATION poisoning. Just unbelievable.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-03 09:32 (UTC) ()
I'm completely appalled. I think it is the worst, at least it's the worst I've heard of.

on top of that, black mould and farking RADIATION poisoning. Just unbelievable.

There's more about Stachybotrys here. It's awful.

Apparently there's been some attempt at cleaning up the uranium mess, but I have no idea how long a process that is, and getting it out of the water table has got to be a big job.
Rosie
rosiedoes at 2006-12-03 13:19 (UTC) ()
Thanks for this, hon.

I'm going to add you on this journal, too.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-03 16:09 (UTC) ()
I've learned a lot from just the research for the post. I'm not too happy with my government just now, but that's not unusual for me, anyway. :/
Rosie
rosiedoes at 2006-12-03 16:10 (UTC) ()
Yeah, I know - neither am I!

I just got a newsletter email about a little boy with leukaemia, who Brenda is trying to raise money for (see my post).

I just... can't believe the world we live in.
Amy H. Sturgis
eldritchhobbit at 2006-12-03 13:41 (UTC) ()
Thank you for the links.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-03 16:10 (UTC) ()
You're welcome. Hopefully it'll help a little.

Did you make your icon? It's gorgeous.
Amy H. Sturgis
eldritchhobbit at 2006-12-04 00:04 (UTC) ()
Thanks, but I can't claim the honors. It's by the fabulous groovekittie.

(Incidentally, I hate the term "Indian," too, but that's a completely different rant... *g*)
Rebellious Jezebel
maggiesox at 2006-12-03 17:08 (UTC) ()
Jesus Christ.
Rosie
rosiedoes at 2006-12-03 23:08 (UTC) ()
If you want to help, you could re-post this info on your journal, and encourage others to do the same so more people can see it...

Or check out lakota_support

AK
the day you left was just my beginning
patchfire at 2006-12-03 17:19 (UTC) ()
I hate the term "Native American" too but at least it's better than *retch* "Indian."

I know in Canada it's what, First Nations? That's not a bad term. Or First Peoples. I know some prefer "American Indian" in that sort of reclaim-the-language thing, but to me that's just perpetuating the mistakes of Columbus.

Might I add I hate the idea of "Columbus Day?"
Rosie
rosiedoes at 2006-12-03 23:12 (UTC) ()
You could call them Indigenous or Native Peoples, or by the names of their respective Nations.

I've heard elders refer to themselves as Indians, though.

I guess it's a bit like gay people calling themselves 'queer' or black people calling themselves 'niggas' - as long as there's no malintent behind it, they're happy.

(And I'm both bi and part Native American, and I'll comfortably describe myself as a queer part Red Indian... *shrugs*)

The Blogger formerly known as alfirin_kirinki
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-04 00:13 (UTC) ()
I picked 'first peoples' for my tag, because 'first nations' would imply they're in Canada, Most Narragansetts (RI's indigenous people) call themselves Indians.

And I'm both bi and part Native American, and I'll comfortably describe myself as a queer part Red Indian...

I say I'm a two on Kinsey. I have a fantasy about changing my LJ name to 2_on_kinsey.

There's Narragansett in my ancestry, but not enough for me to to claim it, either officially or ancestrally.

Rosie
rosiedoes at 2006-12-04 00:21 (UTC) ()
It's really hard to say in my family, too. My great grandfather used to tell his kids and grandkids that he was Red Indian and if you look at the few pictures we have of him, he does have the right sort of features...

Around the time he was born, in the very early 1900s, Native Americans were brought to London to do circus acts - Long Wolf was buried in a London cemetery, and exhumed and returned to South Dakota (Pine Ridge) 105 years later. It had been his dying wish to go home...

I think we must have been part of Long Wolf's tribe - it certainly fits with what Pop used to tell the kids. He was Oglala Lakota, too.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-04 00:27 (UTC) ()
I'd have to go through some serious geneology research to find out just where in the line the Narragansett ancestry is. It has to be through my grandfather's father's side of the family, because his mother was from Nova Scotia (and if I research anything, it'll be her line), and he's the one who told us about the Narragansett (actually, he just said "Indian", but his family history is in RI way, way back, so it's likely).
Rosie
rosiedoes at 2006-12-04 00:28 (UTC) ()
It's amazing, isn't it, how many people seem to have Indian/Native American heritage...

Johnny Depp is Cherokee.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-04 00:55 (UTC) ()
Eric Schweig is Inuk and German. IIRC, Inuit and Métis aren't considered in the same ethnic group as First Nations, but I'm not sure how it's done. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Apparently he's played a lot of roles that are positive ones for indigenous peoples, and on top of that is a master carver. He's also not too shabby in the looks department. Always a plus. *g*
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-12-04 00:21 (UTC) ()
First Nations I like, but it's Canada's, and most people would associate the name with Canada (I guess. Would they?), so I'll go with First Peoples.

Also, I'm feeling yukky, so I don't know if I'll be around tonight much. I'll be around, but I dunno about on AIM, because I'll be doing a lot of basically feeling yukky. :/
the day you left was just my beginning
patchfire at 2006-12-04 00:30 (UTC) ()
Bleh on yukky.

I am going to attempt to go to bed early tonight - early meaning before 11 pm. We'll see. It's 7:30 pm now and my parents were here today and just now left. I want to read and get some other stuff done, so. Yeah. *sigh*
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