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CNN.com recently featured residents of Pine Ridge in their article, “Looming Trump budget cuts deepen distress on Pine Ridge” (Sun May 28, 2017). Like many stories about the reservation, this one also focused on what was going wrong on the reservation. What seems rarely shown are all of the things that are going right.

50%

of those over age 40 have diabetes due to poor diet.

 

80%

unemployment
rate

The fact that the Lakota have survived and maintained their culture for over 150 years under a system that has set them up for failure proves that there is more right with them than wrong. Today, you can see on CNN the story of Pine Ridge facing budget cuts. You can also see two clips from stories about One Spirit – bringing back indigenous food and providing wood for heat.

As the availability of government subsidies lessens, the Lakota are without food more often. Last month, we had to close the doors when we ran out of food – leaving grandmothers, children, elders standing outside. 

The indigenous foods begin with The Buffalo House. The Buffalo House is slated to open late summer/early fall in time for the harvesting season of buffalo, elk, deer. In addition to the meat, the Lakota are adding traditional foods grown wild – choke cherries, timpsila, teas, - and home made traditional foods like wojapi and gabubu bread.

 1/2

of the people on Pine Ridge are living below poverty level.

Billboard "Oglala Lakota Nation"

Although the recent CNN article talks about government support programs, the Lakota are working towards complete self-sufficiency. Once their own programs are fully operational, they plan to feed their people with the majority of food produced on the reservation. Not only do they want to be completely independent of government assistance, they hope to rely on what they can produce themselves. 

66

years average life expectancy in Pine Ridge

That’s why finishing the Buffalo House is so important. It will play a major role in achieving total self-reliance. The Lakota are bringing back the traditional foods that they survived on for millennia - food that existed long before government commodities and grocery stores. It is natural, fresh food from a time when diet-related disease was virtually non-existent.

The next step in the journey to self-reliance will be another center of operation for the food program in Porcupine, SD. Not only will it serve as a food pantry, it will also provide traditional food grown locally.

Filling boxes

 



We know that the Lakota are more than the negative statistics that are often shown in the media. They are on their way toward self-reliance. Supporting the Lakota means that we are extending a hand in friendship, and sending the message that we believe in them and share in their hope for the future.

 

"The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better." 

- Robert Kennedy

 

With your help now, we can buy food for those who are without.

Join us. We can make this happen.


Thank you for your compassion and generosity.