Could you survive on $250 a month? What if it suddenly disappeared? Welcome to the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA where the BIA is on the job–or are they?

What would you do if you were totally dependent upon a single monthly check of $250 to cover all your living expenses from rent, heat, electricity to food and then your check suddenly ceased arriving in your mail box without any explanation? What if you live on a reservation where there is 80-85% unemployment and your tribe is $60 million in debt? Add to the context the highest rates per population of child suicide in the world. Now imagine what goes through your mind when your single source of income becomes “invisible” and you already know you don’t have the gas to drive off the reservation to search for employment, you have no funds to find housing off the reservation, and you are the sole adult caretaker for your grandchildren.  What is now going through your mind at this point?

The following information is directly from Anne Fields who has been in direct contact with people on Pine Ridge Reservation who are currently in precisely the situation presented above.

Anne Fields:

There is a new situation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota (and presumably on other reservations) that is very dire and perhaps life threatening.

I am a white grandmother who has spent a total of 18 months on the reservation, including four months teaching in the Early Head Start program.  I have friends who are directly affected by the problem and who are growing more desperate each day.  So far my efforts to find information or help for them have been unsuccessful.

Each month the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been providing General Assistance grants (see below) to many residents who are desperately needy.  On Pine Ridge approximately 940 people receive monthly checks of up to $250.  These checks are often their only source of income and their lifeline.

In December 2012 no checks came.  I spent several hours on the phone with officials at the local, regional, and national levels trying to find out what had happened.  Eventually I ended up at the BIA Division of Human Services in Washington where I spoke with Bevette Hern at 202-513-7608.  She told me that there had been new software which had a glitch that was holding things up. She said it was now fixed and that the Treasury would get a file transfer shortly and that the Agencies should have the money by the end of that week.  This did indeed happen.

But then in March 2013 again no checks ever came and there were no notifications to the recipients.  The Post Offices were besieged by people looking for their money.  No checks have arrived for April 2013 and folks are seriously cold and hungry.  They do not know if the money will ever come again. They have had no information from the BIA.

In an effort to try to get some information regarding these crucial funds, I tried to call Bevette to see if this is a permanent situation, only to find that she is no longer working there (even though her answering machine still uses her name).  I spoke with someone who would only give her name as “Roberta” and who said that she knew nothing about the details, only that the money available for “Welfare” has been cut back.  She told me that I needed to talk to the BIA Great Plains Social Services in Aberdeen, SD.  I called them at 605-226-7351 and spoke with “Patti.”  She told me that Central Office has not received any funds so they have nothing to give out.  She recommended that I talk to the folks in Washington–the same people who directed me to call her office.

I have written to South Dakota Congresswoman Noem and Senators Johnson and Thune for clarification, but as of now I have heard nothing back from any of them.

BIA Human Services handles 6 components of Financial Assistance, which consist of:

1. General Assistance

a) An applicant must meet the criteria contained in 25 CFR 20.300 (Who qualifies for Direct Assistance)
b) Apply concurrently for financial assistance from other state, tribal, county, local, or other federal agency programs for which he/she is eligible;
c) Not receive any comparable public assistance, and
d) Develop and sign an employment strategy in the ISP with the assistance of the social service

worker to meet the goal of employment through specific action steps including job readiness and job search activities.

source: http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/RegionalOffices/GreatPlains

So, what should Anne Fields and these 940 people on Pine Ridge Reservation DO to get some information from the BIA and/or the Federal Government?  Any suggestions? Even if you have no notions about how to deal with this continuing situation, please take a moment to send this information via your favorite internet social network sharing options.

Namaste.

Protect Mother Earth, Stop SB 2109, Protect Sacred Sites, No Racism, No Foreclosures, et. al. March Rally Flagstaff, AZ April 28, 2012, 3 pm

Click poster for more images at Navajo Truth SB 2109 on facebook.

Now this is what an alliance looks like. Take note of all the interconnected issues and groups involved in this event. Some people are getting together for mutual support. Something tells me this sort of bridge building is not taught in The Huppenthal Mind Control School Plan. But taking an axe to the Ethnic Studies programs in the state of Arizona sure might have thrown some serious fuel on this bonfire. Protecting Mother Earth is everyone’s common ground. Unless, of course, you’re McCain, Kyl, a Bush, BP, Shell, Chevron, Trans-Canada, Canadian PM Harper, Kinder-Morgan, Enbridge, Palin — whatever will it take to wake these folks up? Oil spills inside their homes? Mandatory gas masks for everyone? Water rationing?
Not in Arizona? Then spread the news cause I don’t think this rally will be aired on CNN, ABC, NBC or Fox news unless it’s a 5 second soundbite IF the police crack open some pepper spray.

Occupy Confused? Not on Dame Street–or in Philly either.

A continuing complaint about the Occupy Movement is lack of focus and vague demands. Apparently some folks are hearing impaired and have serious trouble reading. Maybe that’s due to the lackluster education system in America? Or is it selective hearing and intellectual denial? Indeed none of this fits well into 30 second mainstream news coverage soundbites.  Probably because the issues are too big and complex and hence mainstream news mentality FAILS dramatically with anything requiring their attention beyond 5 minutes viewing span.  It’s clear many people still think this movement is a ‘joke’ that will vanish with winter snows and freezing temperatures.  Well, even if the symbolic tents do disappear via snow or police action–the people involved have not and they will not be invisible nor silent — even if corporate controlled mainstream media continues their puppet plays.

While much protest music has come from the past, for example, John Lennon’s “Imagine”, there are new songs being written too.

Recorded LIVE at Occupy Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland    December 10, 2011  “Foreign Lands” by Matthew.  Thanks to Liam of The Fingals channel, for the video.

 

To protest the recent Budget Cuts on the backs of the people who did not create the continually swelling economic disaster The Spectacle of Defiance and Hope filled Dame Street with scarlet in many forms–including spoken word.

Spectacle march and proclamation

 

Temper Mental Miss Elayneous  held nothing back on December 3, 2011.

 

Confused? Maybe  Curly can help clear up a concept or two.

 

If that doesn’t work maybe Peadar  O hlci ‘s  song “Occupy Public Spaces”  will do the trick.

 

Recently a “pigeon” delivered a letter of Solidarity to Occupy Dame Street from Occupy Philly.  So it seems fitting to connect this post about Occupy Dame Street with a tip of the tubes to Occupy Philly with their fierce Foreclosure of Wells Fargo on November 18, 2011.  If this action had aired LIVE on any television station in Philly as it did on Livestream—how could anyone who suffered foreclosure in Philly not have joined Occupy Philly at Wells Fargo?

Oh yeah, they stayed!    And look who WAS watching:

That’s not an American accent, is it?  O my, Occupy unites the world?

 

 

 

Occupy Dame Street Kettles Central Bank in Dublin–with tents not orange mesh. No pepper sprayed.

All day, every day Occupy Dame Street kettles the Central Bank in Dublin, Ireland. The camp receives postal mail at Occupy Dame Street, Central Bank, Dame Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.  The garda help keep the drunks out of the occupy camp.  Sweeny’s Pub provides laptop charging. Other businesses donate food, including a steady stream of CAKE. Yes, you read that right, CAKE.  In case you thought occupy only occupies in America here is an introduction to an occupy in Ireland.  The Emerald Isle also has economic and environmental woes. Yes the Irish march and protest too.  Though you might not believe that if you trust your television news.

Occupy Dame Street Oct. 15, We are the 99%

Tours of Occupy Dame Street at the Central Bank

The Crazy Ones?

Kitchen chores

Occupy Dame Street Mic checks bank

Matthew sings Live

Folks old and young

Somethings Happening here….

Some mainstream media?

and the Irish Times

rte

Occupying the Dept of Agriculture on budget day

Fingals channel on the tubes of you   http://www.youtube.com/user/TheFingals

Dame Street Livestreams  at  http://www.livestream.com/occupydamestreet

Occupy Dame Street  site  http://www.occupydamestreet.org/

What’s Today? Tar Sands Day! — Surround the White House. Stop the Pipeline!

click logo to visit Tar Sands Action

It’s November 6, 2011 aka  Surround the White House Day to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from the Tar Sands. Join the people circling the White House today at 2pm ET by sending a message to President Obama. Apparently our public comments have been LOST. Yep, they’re MIA. Now that’s audacity on the part of whomever “lost” the public’s comments.  So don’t wait, use the nifty form on the Tar Sands Action site, call (202) 456-1111, or fax 202456-2461 to lend your voice to this protest of environmental destruction.

Will the mainstream media cover this event? Let’s not hold our breath considering the blackout of Oakland’s General Strike and the march of THOUSANDS of people who shut down the port on Nov. 2. If mainstream media has th gall to ignore that massive turnout they’ve definitely got no problem ignoring this Tar Sands Protest today.

The Indigenous Environmental Network offers great information on the Tar Sands, the pipelines and Indigenous work to save Mother Earth.  Connect with their network today.  November is Native American Heritage Month and Earth is common ground for all of us. Discover your place in the web of life.

Visit the Indigenous Environment Network by clicking here. 

Tar Sands Action Livestream : http://www.tarsandsaction.org/live-stream/

 

Democracy parades in Madison. No more “Walkers” allowed!

I do believe the working people of Wisconsin are giving  brand new meaning to the old slogan–“Workers of the World Unite!”    

Clearly this  is not the end but the beginning of a new worker movement as is evident from Facebook pages where Wisconsinites and their growing ranks of supporters organize boycotts of banks and Koch products  to recalls of right-wing Republican backstabbing politicians.

Beware the enemy inside the city capital gates.

Our times, “they are a changin'” big time.

14 Democractic State Senators with guts?  Who knew!?!  Super Glue!

Puppets for truth in funding.

One more for just for truth telling fun.

Love cheese? Milk a dairy farmer. Cheese = Wisconsin gold.

Cows outting big pictures.

Koch whore? Who? Walker? Say it ain’t so, Scotty! We dare you.

Dumb drug money.

Who needs a little red wagon when ya got a big red tractor?

Roots digging deeper day by day.

All photographs @ “Concerned Madison Parent” 2011

Much thanks to intrepid “Concerned Madison Parent” for this ground zero visual record of  the united ranks of Wisconsin’s working class people.

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