The Pine Ridge Reservation serves as the home to an entire Native American population living in conditions equivalent to those found among the poorest third world countries. Left in the wake of a terrible absence of resources, members of the Lakota Sioux Tribe are left feeling broken, hopeless and unimportant. Mostly unknown or forgotten by mainstream society, the average U.S. resident knows little, if anything, about the true history and current state of the Native American Indians. The below statistics and facts chronicle just one nation, the Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
- The population of the Pine Ridge Reservation is 18,834.
- At 11,000-square miles, the Pine Ridge Reservation is the second largest Native American Reservation in the U.S.
- Alcoholism affects eight out of 10 families, contributing to a death rate that is 300 percent higher than the remaining U.S. population.
- 97 percent of the population lives far below the U.S. federal poverty line with a median household income ranging between $2,600 and $3,500 per year.
- Pine Ridge Reservation has no industry, technology or commercial infrastructure to provide employment for its residents, contributing to its 90 percent unemployment rate.
- There is a 70 percent high school dropout rate.
- The average life expectancy on the Reservation is 47 years for men and 52 years for women.
- The teenage suicide rate is 150 percent higher than the U.S. national average.
- The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent, and about 300 percent higher than the U.S. national average.
- Nearly 50 percent of the adults on the Reservation over the age of 40 have diabetes.
- The tuberculosis rate on the Reservation is approximately 800 percent higher than the national average, with cervical cancer not far behind at 500 percent higher than average.
- There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home, a home that may only have two to three rooms.
- There are no banks, motels, discount stores or movie theaters and the one grocery store of moderate size is tasked with providing for the entire community.
- Over 33 percent of homes have no electricity or basic water and sewage systems, forcing many to carry (often contaminated) water from local rivers daily for their personal needs.
- At least 60 percent of homes on the Reservation need to be demolished and replaced due to infestation of potentially fatal black mold, however, there are no insurance or government programs to assist families in replacing their homes.
True Sioux Hope Foundation plans to inspire unprecedented, permanent, positive change for the Sioux Tribe in South Dakota by providing much-needed funding to deliver the life-saving resources needed for the Sioux nation to not only survive, but thrive.
Facilitating progress toward change for this endangered community is as simple as making a donation. Please join us in sending the message that True Sioux Hope is on the way.
Sources: http://www.sdtribalrelations.com/new/tribalstatprofiles/oststatprofile2011.pdf and http://www.4aihf.org/id40.html