Greetings from Pine Ridge – Eugene V. Debs – Jan 11

Mitakuye Oyasin, comrades. As some of you know, I live in the occupied Lakotah soverign Oyate. Ever since 1877, when Tȟašúŋke Witkó was forced to surrender, the Lakotah people have lived in poverty and deprivation the likes of which you cannot even imagine. The statistics are truly disturbing.

Lakotah men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, lowest of any country in the World (excluding AIDS) including Haiti.
Lakotah death rate is the highest in the United States.
The Lakotah infant mortality rate is 300% more than the U.S. Average.
One out of every four Lakotah children born are fostered or adopted out to non-Indian homes.
Diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, etc. are present. Cancer is now at epidemic proportions!
Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
The Tuberculosis rate on Lakotah reservations is approx. 800% higher than the U.S national average.
Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S national average.
The rate of diabetes is 800% higher than the U.S national average.
Federal Commodity Food Program provides high sugar foods that kill Native people through diabetes and heart disease.
Median income is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year.
97% of our Lakotah people live below the poverty line.
Many families cannot afford heating oil, wood or propane and many residents use ovens to heat their homes.
Unemployment rates on our reservations are 80% or higher.
Government funding for job creation is lost through cronyism and corruption.
Hundreds of elderly and children die each winter from hypothermia (freezing).
1/3 of the homes lack basic clean water and sewage while 40% lack electricity.
60% of Reservation families have no telephone.
60% of housing is infected with potentially fatal black molds.
There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (many only have two to three rooms). Some homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them.
More than half the Reservation’s adults battle addiction and disease.
Alcoholism affects 9 in 10 families.
9 known methamphetamine labs allowed to continue operation.
Indian children incarceration rate 40% higher than whites.
In South Dakota, 21 percent of state prisoners are American Indians, yet they only make up 2% of the population.
Indians have the second largest state prison incarceration rate in the nation.
Most Indians live on federal reservations. Less than 2% of Indians live where the state has jurisdiction!
Only 14% of the Lakotah population can speak the Lakotah language.
The language is not being shared inter-generationally. Today, the average age of a fluent Lakotah speaker is 65 years.
Our Lakotah language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction.
Our Lakotah language is not allowed to be taught in the U.S. Government schools.

Adding to this, very rich reserves of uranium have recently been found on sovereign Lakotah territory, and despite huge opposition by the Lakotah people, the state government is going ahead with hydraulic mining operations anyway. These, of course, are the same operations which have lead to contaminated ground water and cancer epidemics nearly everywhere they have been done, but the lives of the Lakotah people are cheap in the eyes of the oppressors.

Corruption is an epidemic. Most Lakotah lack the means to vote (They are consistently denied absentee ballots, as well, despite numerous court cases) and even out of those that do, the options are slim. Any money for social programs is embezzled quickly, and political opponents of the wealthy families end up mysteriously dead on a regular basis.

The police are terribly undermanned, with only 6 police in an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. The judicial system is so overloaded that rapists and violent criminals are allowed to walk free because the tribe lacks the resources for speedy trial. This is, of course, assuming they are even caught by the sparse and incredibly corrupt police, who openly take bribes.

There have been resistance movements in the past, most notably the American Indian Movement (AIM) but they were utterly crushed by the FBI and their death squads, who’s reign of terror is still remembered by any Lakotah lucky enough to survive it. The Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs) were trained by the FBI in Nicaragua, armed with military grade weapons and given carte blanche to do whatever they wanted, so long as it hurt the AIM.

They operated like latter day mongols, filling their pickups with as much beer and ammo as they could, then cruised around, raping, murdering and beating thousands and burning what little infrastructure the reservation had.

Now, crushed and demoralized, the Lakotah people exist in a suicidal spiral of poverty, substance abuse and extreme deprivation. They see their situation as hopeless, as the state continues to cast them aside like garbage.

This is your legacy, white america.


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