Pine Ridge

Courtesy Wikipedia

A Nebraska commission is not renewing liquor licenses for stores along the South Dakota border near Pine Ridge. The town of Whiteclay has fewer than one dozen residents. Four businesses there sell millions of cans of beer each year. The liquor licenses expire at the end of the month, but the beer stores may stay open.

Native Americans from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota drink beer in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Witnesses say people who get drunk there urinate in public, assault others, and pass out on the streets.

Nebraska board members are weighing whether they should renew beer store liquor licenses in Whiteclay. The tiny unincorporated town is across the state line from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. People - often Native Americans - buy millions of cans of beer there each year. Thursday the panel heard testimony.

Courtesy “Embracing Our Children’s Health”

When two severely malnourished and abused girls were found on the Pine Ridge Reservation last November….community members near and far gathered to take action. The newly-formed “Embracing Our Children’s Health” group focuses on empowering, encouraging, assisting, and supporting existing programs and organizations... for children and families on the reservation.Founder, Patty Pourier, says members are determined to make the organization an “action based group.”  

Roger Dietrich/audubon.org

The 117th Christmas Bird Count is underway. The nationwide event is sponsored by the National Audubon Society, it gives bird enthusiasts the chance to get outside during the winter months to document avian species in their areas.

Volunteers monitor a fifteen mile radius to record bird species. Sometimes, the findings are unusual.

In South Dakota, around 20 bird counts are set to take place over the next couple of weeks, including one in Pine Ridge.

Milo Yellow Hair On The 30th Anniversary Of The Big Foot Ride

Dec 7, 2016

Oglala Lakota Milo Yellow Hair has the kind of deep belly laugh that is absolutely contagious.  He is a lifelong resident of the Pine Ridge Reservation and he is well versed the value of humor within Lakota culture.  He lights up when telling a funny story or a joke.   Yellow Hair also has a serious side,  he is one of the founders of the Big Foot Ride. 

Kent Osborne / SDPB

The SuAnne Big Crow center will remain the early voting location just outside of the village of Pine Ridge.

The state Democratic Party and some tribal officials asked county and state authorities to relocate the voting site due to road construction and a recent homicide that happened in the parking lot of the center.

The Oglala Lakota County commission voted unanimously to reject a request to move early voting out of the SuAnne Big Crow center.

Dakota Political Junkies Kevin Woster and Roger Whittle dig in to the 2016 ballot questions with an overview of  Constitutional Amendment R (relating to the authority of the Board of Regents.) Kevin Woster provides insight and comparisons regarding protests over oil pipelines in contrast to turnout for life and death issues in Pine Ridge. We conclude with a remembrance of SD Rep. Dan Dryden of Rapid City.

Roger Whittle is managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion. Kevin Woster is with KELO TV's Rapid City Bureau. 

Charles Michael Ray

Erik Bringswhite is a former Rapid City gang member who now works to stop meth use in South Dakota.  Bringswhite uses Lakota culture and spirituality to reach out to those who are struggling with addiction.

Bringswhite is a meth prevention coordinator with the Oglala Sioux Tribe.   He stopped by the Rapid City studio for an interview with a group of individuals working to curb the use of the addictive drug in the state.

Kaitlyn Wayman-Dodd

Artists from as far away as India are on the Pine Ridge Reservation as part of a 2-week program to teach Lakota youth alternative ways to express themselves. The initiative is intended as a way to combat the continuing suicide epidemic that has plagued one of the country’s poorest areas.

The Mitakupi – or “My People” Foundation – is hosting the "I am Sending a Voice" Summer Arts program. Organizers say the goal is to help lift Lakota youth out of the daily task of survival.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Federal lawmakers hope to create institutional change at the Indian Health Service with a bill meant to protect whistleblowers, increase oversite and implement leadership changes. The bill was discussed at length in Rapid City late last week.

Several hours of testimony and hearings on what it’s like to receive care from IHS hospitals was meant to give lawmakers an idea of the culture at several Great Plains area hospitals.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The Executive Director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association is retiring at the end of the next school year.  Wayne Carney has been with the association since 2001, after a coaching career in three state school districts.  One of the most contentious issues in his time as executive director was the switching of the girls volleyball and basketball seasons.  At one time, girls played basketball at the start of the school year, with volleyball going on in the winter months.

Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

Rolling Rez Arts, a bus that has a bank, business center and art classroom, is gearing up for a busy summer. The bus crisscrosses the Pine Ridge Reservation, stopping in each community. This week it made a stop in Rapid City.

 

Gus Yellow hair is an artist and also bus driver for Rolling Rez Arts. Today on the bus, he’s joined by his granddaughter.  

“My t'akója her Lakota name is (speaking Lakota), Growling Bear Woman, she carries the name of her grandmother, who has since passed on,” says Yellow Hair.

Crazy Horse School is receiving a federal grant worth $107,631 to help students cope with suicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This is the third grant from the US Department of Education to Pine Ridge schools after tribal leaders declared a state of emergency following a string of suicides.

Project SERV grants target schools where kids experience significant violent or traumatic events. The latest funding adds two counselors at Crazy Horse School in Wanblee to help restore the learning environment.

Secretary John King leads the US Department of Education.

Courtesy Red Cloud School

The Red Cloud Heritage Center’s “Our Community Story” project has ended with screenings of students’ interviews of elders, artists and professionals from the Pine Ridge Reservation. We  visited with Lakota parents to see what they thought about the months’ long school assignment and its benefits to their children.

Photo by Jim Kent

The Full Circle Martial Arts Academy of Rapid City has expanded its circle to include the Pine Ridge Reservation. We visited Oglala Lakota College for a martial arts demonstration by Lakota youth who are finding a path toward defending themselves, staying in shape and gaining more confidence in themselves and everything they do.

It’s a cold, windy, overcast Saturday afternoon on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Snow or rain is in the air.

Pine Ridge Students Develop Film Project

Apr 12, 2016
Courtesy Red Cloud School

Students from two Pine Ridge Reservation schools are taking part in a film project aimed at exploring and preserving Lakota storytelling as a sacred form of communication.

Lakota elders have used oral tradition – or storytelling – to pass on the history and culture of their people for thousands of years.

With support from the Better Way Foundation and the Indian Mission School Network, fourth-graders from the Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes Schools launched the “Our Community Story” project.

Courtesy The Mitakupi Foundation

A non-profit group focused on reducing suicides on the Pine Ridge Reservation is sponsoring a monthly art competition for Lakota youth who live there.    

The group’s goal is to offer hope and support to children and teens in an area that often reflects the same challenges as those in Third-World countries.

Giago Starts Non-Profit To Buy Wounded Knee Site

Jan 26, 2016

An Oglala Lakota newspaper publisher has started a campaign to buy 40 acres of private land near the Wounded Knee Massacre site.

The land is held by a non-native owner who is asking nearly $4-million for the property.   Those backing the plan to buy the land say it needs to be held by the Lakota people and used in a positive way.

Newspaper publisher Tim Giago says he wants to see a museum and arts and trade center built on the property once it’s acquired.

Chynna Lockett

In 2015 tribal officials declared a state of emergency on Pine Ridge following a sharp increase in the number of suicides. Officials say last year there were more than 20 young people who took their own lives on Pine Ridge.

The Bear Program is a grassroots group on the front lines of the suicide epidemic.   The volunteer group takes part in both direct crisis intervention and in powerful staged performances that address suicide head on.  

Senate Approves Reforms To No Child Left Behind

Dec 10, 2015
John Thune

The Senate has passed an education reform bill that changes the No Child Left Behind Law. Congressional Officials say that some reforms are expected help prevent youth suicide in Indian Country.

South Dakota Senator John Thune says changes to No Child Left behind will give more control to teachers, parents, states and school boards.  Thune added two amendments to the bill that he says will help address the youth suicide epidemic in Indian Country. 

FEMA Housing Lands On Pine Ridge Following Disaster

Dec 9, 2015
Christopher Mardorf / FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is placing new mobile homes on Pine Ridge following spring  storms and flooding that destroyed and damaged buildings in Oglala Lakota County.

The storms made the already severe housing shortage on Pine Ridge worse.

On Wednesday, December 9th FEMA is opening the doors on one of the first mobile homes to be replaced following the disaster declaration.

Congressional Officials Meet With Pine Ridge Youth On Suicide

Nov 20, 2015
Chynna Lockett

Congresswoman Kristi Noem spent a day on Pine Ridge listening to the concerns of Lakota youth who are dealing with the tribes suicide epidemic.  Twelve Pine Ridge students have committed suicide this year.
 
Tribal officials are concerned that one key effort in combating suicide,  The Sweet Grass Program, is about to run out of funding.  
 
Tribal leaders praise Noem for her efforts to help the youth of Pine Ridge, but they say more much needs to be done.

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the South Dakota Department of Social Services for discriminatory hiring practices. The complaint was filed Tuesday, Nov. 3, in federal court in Rapid City. The Justice Department claims that DSS passes over qualified Native applicants for higher-paying jobs and hires less-qualified non-Indians.

Dakota Digest for October 30, 2015

Oct 30, 2015

 

On this week’s edition of Dakota Digest, the Blue Ribbon Task Force held it's final meeting this week, the Board of Regents is considering the sale of alcohol during university events, and Pine Ridge has a new multi-purpose business on wheels.

Be sure to follow South Dakota Public Broadcasting on social media by following our accounts on twitter: @SoDakPB, @SDPBNews, and @SDPBSports

Rolling Rez Arts: An Art Bus Bank On Pine Ridge

Oct 27, 2015
First Peoples Fund

Pine Ridge has a new bank, financial literacy hub, and art space and it’s all on wheels.
 
Rolling Rez Arts  is a mobile creative space, business training center and bank all in one bus that is crisscrossing Pine Ridge in part to help spur art based economic development.

SD Secretary of State

Efforts to improve tribal state relations and new economic development in Indian Country are continuing in South Dakota.  
 
The Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is reaching out to tribes and forming new memorandum of agreements that help tribal governments maintain commercial codes that are a foundation for economic development.
 
Tribal business leaders say they welcome the efforts but add that much more work is needed to boost tribal sovereignty, smooth state relations, and pave the way for improved economic development.

CO Based Organization Opens New Food Bank in Oglala

Sep 9, 2015

Residents of the Pine Ridge town of Oglala have a new food bank. The Boulder Colorado based organization Conscious Alliance has opened its second location on Pine Ridge.   Organizers say they’re focusing on food security for the youth.

O’Connell Trial Wraps Up Day One--Protest Follows

Jul 22, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

The trial of Trace O’Connell is underway in Rapid City this week.  
 
O’Connell is accused of disorderly conduct after a group of Lakota children from American Horse School were doused with beer at a hockey game in January.  
 
During the incident, the group of school kids and chaperones were allegedly told to “go back to the rez” by those in a corporate box seated above the stands. The school kids and chaperones left the game early.  
 
The city prosecutor made his case Wednesday, with the defense up Thursday.
 

Thunder Valley CDC Aims To Forge New Tribal Community

Jun 22, 2015
Chynna Lockett

An effort to build a new sustainable and energy self-sufficient community on Pine Ridge is underway.
 
The Thunder Valley CDC held a groundbreaking near Sharps Corner on Pine Ridge for the new housing development and community.   Hundreds of people including a number of federal and tribal dignitaries attended. The event comes with an announcement of major funding made available through the federal government for the project.

Thunder Valley Breaking The Mold To Break Ground

Jun 17, 2015

A new community is breaking ground on Pine Ridge on Monday.

Officials with the Thunder Valley Community say they are also breaking the mold for the way housing is developed in Indian Country.    

Nick Tilsen, an Oglala Lakota, is the Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation.  He says the project aims to not only address the critical housing shortage, but also to build economic development and a sustainable healthy community  on Pine Ridge.

Pages