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Old 08-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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In the Shadow of Wounded Knee

The new issue of National Geographic focuses on the Oglala Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It talks about how they are trying to survive while in desperate poverty and refusing to give up their traditional culture and beliefs. It's very interesting.

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And outside the tepee, against the restless Great Plains sky, bleak with heavy spring snow clouds, Martinez raised an American flag, union down. According to the Flag Code of the United States of America, the flag should never be displayed union down, except as a signal of dire distress or in instances of extreme danger to life or property. “That’s almost right,” Martinez said. “We’re in dire distress, but we don’t need anyone to come and save the Indian. When we honor our customs, and when we perform ceremonies, and when we listen to our ancestors, then we have everything we need to heal ourselves within ourselves.” Martinez thought for a moment, and then she added, “Write this: When the lights go out for good, my people will still be here. We have our ancient ways. We will remain.”
In the Shadow of Wounded Knee - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine

Just a heads up for anyone interested.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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I read that article. Very interesting indeed.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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Yeah, I remember hearing stories here and there in the paper when I lived in South Dakota, talking about some of the issues Native Americans are dealing with. It's sad to see them struggling so much.

Next time I'm at work I'll check that article out.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for the article. I've been fascinated with the Pine Ridge rez, and other places like it, for a few years now. Just started with the typical high-school white liberal idealist jerkoff interest in Native American cultures, but it became a lot more than that after reading Leonard Peltier's prison writings, a bunch of history books and enveloping myself in the different cultures of North America, past and modern. Most of the poorest counties in the US are on reservations, but other than the occasional mention of Pine Ridge (which is often related to the FBI shootings in the seventies) you never really hear much about it. Same problem here in Australia - third world conditions for a lot of indigenous communities, but, if you'd excuse me the pleasure of an angry blanket statement, the government doesn't give a shit and would rather just give out some lazy handouts, ignore massive cultural differences, and focus on things outside their own borders and other scapegoats. It's absolutely infuriating.

One thing not mentioned in the article is White Clay - a tiny town just over the border in Nebraska that practically entirely consists of bottle shops. The reservation is dry, of course, so the few permenant residents in White Clay make an extraordinary amount of money off of just a few shops. It's pretty scary.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:34 AM   #5
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Thank you so much for bringing this up. I thought people forgot about us. In their fight "to win America back from illegal immigrants" it pains me to see the behavior is being repeated. I'm half American Indian and proud of it, you can't ever take that away from me.
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