Mostly unknown or forgotten by mainstream society, the average United States resident knows little, if anything, about the true history and current state of the Native American Indians. Yet, hidden away in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, lies an entire Native American population living in conditions equivalent to those found among the poorest third world countries.
To combat this devastation and raise awareness about the conditions in which the Lakota Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge Reservation are forced to live, Twila True founded True Sioux Hope Foundation. With staggering statistics like an average life expectancy of 47 years for men, the media has started to take notice of the Lakota Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and has helped increase awareness that True Sioux Hope is on the way.
Rapid City Journal, a daily newspaper published for residents of Rapid City, South Dakota and the surrounding areas, was one of the first media outlets to take note of the living conditions and the need for change for the Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Rapid City Journal’s business reporter had a strong interest in the True Sioux Hope Foundation and was shocked to learn about conditions of extreme poverty taking place in the newspaper’s own backyard. Comparing statistics to an article he wrote previously discussing the average life expectancy of an Afghanistan male, he quoted, "Pine Ridge having living conditions comparable to a war torn nation is pretty astonishing."
In response to the Rapid City Journal’s front-page article on Twila True and True Sioux Hope Foundation, the story continued to spread throughout the United States after being picked up by the Associated Press, an international news organization offering news for 1,700 newspapers and 5,000 radio and television outlets throughout the United States. With an increased awareness of the challenges faced by the Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation, the support began to pour in with inquiries about how to facilitate progress toward change for this endangered community and how to help send the message that True Sioux Hope is on the way.
Responses to the Rapid City Journal article included, "I am personally thrilled to see this! The plight of fairness and truth of history concerning Native America is paramount in my every day life!! Many Blessing's Twila True" and "That is awesome! A nice positive woman who can show our Lakota people how to rise above the poverty and above the stereotypes that bother us Lakota people who no longer live on the reservation.”
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received thus far and look forward to working alongside each and every one of you as we continue our mission to facilitate positive, permanent and unprecedented change for the Sioux Tribe on Pine Ridge Reservation. True Sioux Hope Foundation, with the help of the media and people just like you, will continue to raise awareness of the conditions in Pine Ridge and help create new opportunities to make an impactful change cultivating a life of self-respect and self-sufficiency. To see additional press coverage of True Sioux Hope Foundation, visit http://www.truesiouxhope.org