My Lakota friends have been telling me that they are hoping to move into a house they had lived in for a short time before. The house is owned by a family member of my friend’s husband. I’m not sure of the relationship. As I said, they had lived in the house before, “the little blue house in Yellow Bear Canyon.” But then the owner had decided to rent it out to make some money, so they had moved out (and back in with other relatives).
Now the house was empty again and they were hoping to get back there. My friend called me the day they went out to look at the place. Apparently the prior tenants had trashed the place. There were holes in the walls, broken windows, even the doors had been stolen! It was filthy, too. Still, it would be a place of their own, where they could live with just their girls, instead of 8-10 other people.
They set about trying to get help from the tribe to put doors on and do some of the most pressing repairs. I got an e-mail from my friend yesterday. I had asked her to try to send me some pictures of the house and she had managed to borrow a camera to take some. I eagerly opened the file — and then sat staring at the photos with my mouth open and tears in my eyes.
I couldn’t believe that my friend was going to live there. Hell, I couldn’t believe anyone could live there. I’m putting those photos at the end of this post so you can all see what some people have to endure.
I am only one person and I know I can’t solve the problems of the Oglala Lakota people on the Pine Ridge Reservation. But I can sure as hell let the rest of you know what life there is like!! I’ll let the photos take the place of my words today.
This is a sin in the United States. We take care of all kinds of people in need in other countries around the globe but we allow some of the original citizens of our great nation to live in this kind of poverty. It is a sin.