Where water is life, many on the Pine Ridge Reservation go thirsty
July 11, 2019 9:14 AM   Subscribe

A pipeline’s promise is fulfilled for white ranchers while tribal communities are left waiting.

Up until late last year, Ella Coleman, a diminutive, soft-spoken Oglala Sioux grandmother who lives in one of the hundreds of mobile homes on the semi-arid plains of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, lacked running water.

Sometimes, she received water deliveries by truck. Other times, she drove to a community spigot, where she filled buckets and hauled them in her minivan. At home, she ladled water from the buckets for cooking and bathing.

posted by poffin boffin (4 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
posted by allthinky at 10:03 AM on July 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

The unfinished parts happen to be at the tribal ends of the pipeline and have become another example of unfulfilled promises by the federal government to Indigenous people.

Here is my surprised face. Also , my weary, bitter, and enraged face.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

(Without getting into historical causes), extreme poverty had long been commonplace for the people in US Reservations, at least until gambling casinos were allowed.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
"The reservation encompasses the entirety of Oglala Lakota County and Bennett County, the southern half of Jackson County, and a small section of Sheridan County.... Of the 3,142 counties in the United States, these are among the poorest. Only 84,000 acres (340 km2) of land are suitable for agriculture.... Pine Ridge is the eighth-largest reservation in the United States and it is the poorest.... Many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water, or sewage systems...."
The Pine Ridge situation is complex. Some of these services were not wanted by those people holding onto traditional culture. The reservation refused to accept a payment for its (stolen) land in the Black Hills, insisting on the return of those lands.

But those cultural outcomes can't explain many of the deprivations (and machinations) suffered there for two centuries.
posted by Twang at 4:30 PM on July 11, 2019

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