Looking for a few good “stocking caps.” Yeah, those things that warm heads in winter.

Hi folks. What’s your weather doing today? Yes, I really want to know. If you’re inclined please drop a link to your weather conditions in the comments. If you’re living on a nice clean beach near clean water then color me green with envy.  As for mine, it’s thinking about stretching to a chilly 29 degrees C.

While doing this post the temperature at Pine Ridge, South Dakota is 21 degrees, C.  A little nippy to be outdoors without a hat or coat (more about coats coming up).  If you share a stocking cap consider yourself well thanked.

Definition: A close-fitting knitted  cap.

 

Yeah, these things.

One Spirit could use a few of these for the Future Generations Riders.

So, if you care to share a stocking cap, visit One Spirit http://www.nativeprogress.com/index.php/en/

To see other clothing needs check the Okini List  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ApTAXFy5cfA_dG9sQ2RNMHRXVFE0Tk84VnNFLVRzdmc&single=true&gid=0&output=html

Share soon because the long cold ride to Wounded Knee begins Dec. 23, 2012.

Got Wood? ‘One Spirit’ Needs It on Pine Ridge Reservation for HEAT — Yesterday!

What heats your home? Propane? Electricity? Wood?

It’s the midst of the season of shopping till everyone is dropping and yet there are people who need wood heat to survive a winter in South Dakota. One Spirit tries to meet this need–along with food and clothing needs all year round.

One Spirit is a federally registered non profit IRC 501 (c) (3) organization which provides direct assistance to the Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  They’re a Top Rated Non-Profit for 2012.

One Spirit, PO Box 3209, Rapid City, SD  57709

Visit their website —>>> http://nativeprogress.org/  to donate things, money for food,  and clothing items needed by people –including those participating in the “Future Generations Ride” formerly known as the Big Foot Memorial Ride. There’s a link on the site to the Okini List which provides specific information regarding who needs what.  The 191 mile Ride begins on Dec. 23 on the Standing Rock Reservation and ends on Dec. 29 at Wounded Knee/Cemetery Hill on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Ride image from One Spirit Site. http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/upcoming-events/big-foot-ride

One Spirit also runs a food program for over 1,000 people who live on an average income of $6,ooo a year.

http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/programs/food-program-145

Sixty dollars will provide a family with a box containing: Sweet potatoes, onions,  potatoes, squash, apples, oranges, carrots, sausage, ham and turkey. Thirteen dollars and seventy-five cents will provide some toilet paper (2), shampoo (1) and Era (52 ounces). Any amount of donation is appreciated.

From One Spirit Food Program newsletter:

A ten-year old girl lives with her grandmother. Her mother died 2 years ago after being hit by a car driven by someone who had been drinking. Her father is in jail. She comes to the New Warrior camp because as she says “horses are her happiness.” Grandmother is caring for this young girl and her siblings. Often there is not enough food and also often not heat. This young girl tells us that being hungry is going to sleep so you can forget about the pains in your stomach.
An elder called the other day and asked if he could be put on the food program. He has a heart condition, can’t work, and is not expected to live too long. Whenever we have extra food on distribution day, Bamm tries to be sure something is given to him.
An elderly couple are caring for their grandchildren. The log cabin  they live in is far from town and nestled in  the woods, with no running water, bathroom or electric. The home is heated by a wood stove. The grandfather, being an elder, has trouble finding wood and carting it to the cabin. The children come home at night and have trouble doing their homework because the cabin is so dark. There are other people  living in the cabin. For privacy the family has to dress outside in an outhouse. They have very little money and often run short of  wood, food and other essentials.
These are not unusual stories – they are what we hear every day. One Spirit, with your help, tries to get food to as many people as possible. This month we have more than 100 families on our waiting list. With your help, every one of them will get food.
Oh yeah–don’t forget the WOOD. Everyone needs heat. I sincerely doubt that BP or Shell Oil will be donating any propane gas to those in need. Nor does everyone have a tank for propane.  Yes, this America. People do freeze to death inside their homes on the reservations.  People go hungry in the Land of the Overfeeder at the Golden Arches.
One Spirit is on the book of faces too–>> http://www.facebook.com/OneSpiritSDakota#!/OneSpiritSDakota
Thank you.
Namaste.
We are all related.
Yep, even us and the wolves.

Why did a child commit suicide by train?

Clicking on the image above will take you to One Spirit and information regarding an ongoing effort to support a safe house for Lakota children.

There does not seem to be any delicate way to broach this topic. So right up front, this attempt to raise some awareness is not intended as an insult or affront to the people most concerned. There is no intention to pick at open wounds. This is reality–it’s not nice, it’s not comfortable, it’s not a feel good topic.  But the only way anyone might get any assistance is by meeting the issues head on. Have to face reality in order to deal with it. So–in spite all my brainstorming writing efforts I’ve yet to come up with an opening besides this:  Native American children have the HIGHEST rates of suicide in the entire USA–and possibly the world.

 Why does a 10 year old commit suicide? Why did a group of Native American children aged 8 to 16 carry out a suicide pact of killing themselves? Why would 20 Indian children at one school attempt suicide in one year? Why did 8 children commit suicide in the last two months on Pine Ridge?

Perhaps the bottom line is a lack of hope due to all the longstanding economic and cultural-social problems that have been rampant in Native American communities/reservations ever since the 1880s. Yes, the 1880s.  The legacy of genocide, forced assimilation–Indian Commissioner T.J. Morgan once wrote that Indians “Must submit or die.” — boarding schools, and cultural destruction has deep historical roots. 

News today from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana–six children took their lives this year one by gun, four by hanging–one by train.  For more visit the Indianz.com news coverage link->

                         http://64.38.12.138/News/2010/022577.asp

From Native American Times–>

http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4416:principal-under-fire-in-school-stung-by-suicides&catid=50&Itemid=26

The following  selection of videos serve only to introduce the topic.  Posting other videos and links to news coverage and other information  is encouraged.   This issue is not the sole provence of the Pine Ridge Reservation–child suicide is rampant across Indian Country and Alaska.

http://www.nativeamericansuicideprevention.org/

namaste

What will this winter bring to Pine Ridge?

Many of you have read and viewed the photographs posted from a 1922 Social Survey done on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.  I’ve repeatedly stated my purpose of informing and educating others about the living conditions on the reservation in 1922.  A variety of images and texts have motivated comments about this ‘history.’  Well this ‘history’ is ongoing, it has not ended as a some of you have noted via the Cheyenne River Youth Project links and posts.  Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart-Jordan has written extensively about the ongoing consequences of historical events upon Lakota people. In “Return to the Sacred Path” she outlined her theory of intergenerational unresolved trauma and continuous grief within Lakota culture. She also created and implemented a culturally centered method to attempt to effectively address these ongoing issues. But the breadth and depth of the issues involved is vast and there are no quick fixes.  

Today I’d like to share the ‘scribblings’  of a friend currently living on Pine Ridge.  What follows is a small portion of shared current experiences from a caring individual with no agenda for any personal gain.

J’s  “Scribblings”:    

Accidents involving loose animals are very common on the rez.  “John” once totaled a car when he hit and killed a horse sending its blood and guts through the broken windshield all over him.  Do I make you feel that you would like to visit me???!!  Why am I so drawn to this place with all its problems?  All I know is that I am and that I will try my hardest to make a difference if and when I can.

Last week I discovered that a Lakota friend was about to have her electricity cut off.  She had just returned to work after months of recovering from an accident in which her leg was run over by a car and fractured badly.  There was no sick leave or unemployment benefit.  She has children at home and also takes care of several young grandchildren, two of whom require electric nebulizers to help them breathe.  I heard her on the phone trying and failing to get help.  Lacreek, the white-owned electricity company, is notorious for its unwillingness to work with people and the tribal groups she contacted said they had no resources to help her.  I already knew that her partner had died in her arms during an asthma attack a few weeks ago.  She had given him CPR, but when she called 911 the ambulance was responding to another emergency and did not make it to her house in time.  Eventually I got up the courage to ask her what was happening and she was willing to talk.  She told me that she owed money, but had had no income while recuperating in order  to pay that and other bills.  I spent the next day contacting non-profits and foundations and managed to get her power bill paid by two groups and a promise to fill her empty propane tank from another.  What is really sad is that I know she is only the tip of an iceberg and there are many others in dire need that have already been cut off.  And winter hasn’t even begun yet!

 Yesterday I found out that my friend’s  propane tank was still empty.  She had called the company (white-owned again) repeatedly and the customer service person insisted that there was no payment on record.  This was entirely untrue as money had been sent electronically.  After a lot of back and forth the president of the non-profit finally got someone on the phone who agreed that the money had been received and said that they would deliver the gas later in the day.  I will have to check today that it actually happened.  Apparently the charity has had this problem with the Lakota Plains Propane Company on several occasions.  What is wrong with everyone here?  There is no choice for utility providers and no-one at the existing ones seems to care at all.

My Lakota friend asked if the charities could also help also her relative.  It turns out that her relative has had no power for seven months.  The children are having to stay with their grandparents as the house is too cold.

Several people have asked me how they can help.  A number of charities purporting to support Native Americans are actually only self-serving and get very bad ratings on the independent watchdog service www.charitynavigator.com.  One of these is National Relief Charities.  It operates under several different entities, most notably American Indian Relief Council and American Indian Education Fund (I think the latter is its correct title).  This organization has fantastic sob-story marketing and sends out massive quantities of worthwhile sounding appeals, but more than 50% of its $20 million plus annual income is spent on fundraising, the executive staff salaries are very high, and only a tiny fraction actually makes it to fund their programs.  It is not right that they and other similar groups attract people who want to help relieve this crippling poverty and then misuse their donations.  The wasted money is desperately needed by those simply trying to survive in conditions that should be totally unacceptable in modern America .

 The two groups that helped my Lakota friend are ONE Spirit (www.nativeprogress.org) and Hearts of the Sacred Spirit (www.heartsofthesacredspirit.org).  Both are 501(c)(3) organizations and donations to them are tax-deductible.  Neither is large – in fact the latter is run by a husband and wife out of their home.  Both are all volunteer groups and no-one gets paid a salary.  Both work only on the Pine Ridge Reservation and have contacts here that inform them of the local needs.  Money goes directly to the needy without red tape or delays.

There is another organization that lists many Lakota-run groups and the reservation schools and runs donation drives for their specific needs.  (www.friendsofpineridgereservation.org.  It does an amazing job of providing school supplies, clothing, books, sewing supplies, etc., etc.

A big organization that is very active on this and other reservations is Running Strong for American Indian Youth, which has a top rating from BBB.  Their spokesman is Billy Mills, a Lakota man who won an Olympic gold medal in long distance running.  I saw him and met a number of the group’s officials at a community garden run by Roots and Shoots a couple of months ago.  They were visiting the reservation to check on the programs that they fund.

Life is uncertain from day to day.  I love the children that I work with and try to give them the attention that they crave.  People (especially teenagers) commit suicide at an alarming rate and desperately need jobs and hope.  Both are in very short supply.  Change must come from within, but those trying to improve the situation (and I have come across a number of them) need help and support (without religious or other outside agendas attached) so that they can implement the good ideas that they have.

Clicking on the photograph will take you to the Eagle Nest Center’s website for more information about Pine Ridge.

For another persepective consider viewing the work of Aaron Huey.

Aaron Huey is a photographer who has worked extensively on Pine Ridge. His work can be viewed at: http://www.aaronhuey.com/#/photo-galleries-1/pine-ridge/PR_web001

Grist

Working toward a planet that doesn’t burn, a future that doesn’t suck

RevolutionResource.org

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~

Deceleration

Adaptation. Mitigation. Justice.

Lgambill48's Blog

a place for reflective expression.

Shechaim's News of the Day

The #MeToo movement?

Free Alabama Movement

National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery

Books Can Save A Life

"Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." Barry Lopez

The Greenery

Ideas That Grow and Bloom

The Case for Global Film

Films from everywhere and every era

LRInspire

Wellness Leadership Education

Tales from the Conspiratum

Warning: This site may contain conspiracies

Make No Bones About It

The Quest for the Truth

Beyond Extreme Energy

No new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure. Renewable energy NOW.

Mugilan Raju

Prime my subconscious, one hint at a time

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Editor in Northern California. Interested in tiny things, nineties nostalgia, old jungle mixtapes, punctuation, and my cats. Not to be fed after midnight.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Reviews of Vintage Science Fiction (1950s to mid-1980s)

Cynthia Reyes

The blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes

1EarthUnited

Uniting the world, One Love at a time. :D

The Stay-at-home Scientist

Science, Gardening, Work-Life Balance

People Powered Machines

Our business is committed to saving energy, reducing emmissions and waste.

drwilda

Just another WordPress.com site

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

Army at Wounded Knee

A blog dedicated to documenting through primary sources, the Army's actions at Wounded Knee

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Ekostories

Essays and stories by Isaac Yuen

Red Wolf Journal

A literary compass for finding your voice..."You turn toward me, your lips move, wanting to speak."--Stephen Dobyns, "Wolves In The Street"

poet4justicedotwordpressdotcom

The poet can reach where the sun cannot. -HINDU PROVERBThe greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

"OUR WORLD"

Working together to make the world a better place to live! A fine WordPress.com site

Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

Rezinate's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Through the Peacock's Eyes

Insights for Spiritual Living

Heila

Living Mental Health Rehab in Israel

the zen space

a space for zen words

We Write Poems

a community of people reading & writing poems, moving words

shelbycourtland

Bringing Social Issues To The Forefront

R. L. Culpeper

Sapere Aude

THE ONENESS of HUMANITY

For Peace On Earth In This Generation

InkPaperPen

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

Eléctrica in the Desert

News, photos, stories, and trouble from the borderland