Tag: Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge

“It is hard being poor” said Will Peters, a Lakota high school teacher born and raised on the reservation. “But I’m not leaving. I have two degrees, my wife has three. We could go anywhere. My home is here, our home is here. My ancestors are buried on this land. We are needed and no amount of hardship will make us cut and run. So we stay to ease the burden of poverty and oppression endured by so many. It is who we are.” A common question asked by those who visit Pine Ridge is, “Why don’t they just leave?” It’s simple. The Lakota are family born of a common history, a common spirit, a common pride. One does not leave this family, no matter the circumstance. There are NO orphans. This culture of poverty creates many obstacles to a life fulfilled, and many do not find it. But many…

Continue Reading

My Life has been Blessed

I have been anticipating the Solution’s trip to Pine Ridge since the first time I heard about it.  I knew that going into a new environment could potentially be out of my comfort zone but could be a whole new experience for me. In the past, I had gone to the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina with my church so I thought the experience would be similar. However, when I arrived at Pine Ridge I was overcome by the amount of poverty and division amongst the tribe; what I had read about could not describe what I saw.  I found myself feeling a mix of emotions for the reservation and the Lakota people. There was anger towards the history of the broken treaty and massacres, confusion as to how the People stood united, compassion towards the significant social issues (suicide, alcoholism, health issues, poverty) that they faced, and frustration as…

Continue Reading

Reflection from Pine Ridge

Solutions service trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was a very eye opening experience. Prior to going, I had been told of the ongoing issues faced by the local residents – poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic violence and suicide. However, it wasn’t until I spent time on the reservation that I really began to understand how rampant these issues are for the local tribe members. The poverty that exists on the reservation reminded me of third world countries. Many of the homes we visited were overcrowded with 3-4 generations of family members under one roof, and many didn’t have electricity, water or sewers – simple things that I take for granted on a daily basis. During my time on the reservation, I was actively involved in numerous activities to support the local community. Service work included helping to build a local garden, constructing and delivering bunk-beds to local children, and…

Continue Reading