Tuesday, April 10, 2007


*above pic is Pine Ridge, where I live. Taken from the west.
My aunties were drinking at um , my uncles house the other day. Let me explain that. My mom has half-sisters by her mom that are twins and they are inseperable even at age 38. The guy's house they was at was my uncle (indian way) on my mom's dad's side. All very confusing, at any rate "We are all related." Anyway my aunties called me, they are some what gypsies so they asked if they can stay with me. Plus the place they were staying they packed all their food and had it with them.
I knew I could really use it, plus use their help, so I said yes. They asked me to come after the food because they didn't want to drive.
I walked in and the 3 of them were sitting at the table. My uncle gave me a hug and told me to have a beer with them. I told him just one because I ahd potatoes boiling at home. Through that one beer he told me different things about the reservation. We talked about how hard it was to live in "white society," but we also addressed that we wished the people here took care of this town.
We talked of how "Yes, we know and accept that we was booted from what was given to us. We was put here, some of the ugliest land here, but we still shouold appreciate it, take care of it."
This is something I felt a passion for for a long time. How some people don't care about how this town looks. They feel like it should be someone else cleaning it up. Because almost eveerything else in life is given to us....makes me wonder what soveriegnity is? I mean surely long time ago, we NEVER disrespected the land like we do now.
He said one thing to me that made sense "Dana, writing about something and doing something about it are different things." I mean I knew that but even though it is overwhelming I will make my kids pick trash.
I seen that when I was on my way to the casino one day. An elder unci (grandma) was on the side of the road picking trash and on the other side was a young couple. And they weren't picking recyclable stuff, just everything. How neat was that?

I have a few pictures I can post of the reservation just to show you. These are pictures I took back in January just north of town. Prett huh?


Now here are some pics I took in January in town.

This is a collasped trailer...just sitting there.

Don the street from me this is in a front yard.

This is the dump, I don't ever see them do anything with these bales of trash.

The reservation has it's share of problems. Statistically the county I live in has the lowest life expectancy in the US. Sometimes I wonder what the trahs around here contributes to that.
All I think is we are Lakota's...when did we lose respect for Mother Earth. Something has to be done, I just don't know what, but I will go pick the trash that blows in my yard.

Until next time...AKE. (pronounced ah-kay, meaning again. We don't have a word for good-bye)


Josie said...

To me, the reservation is a breathtakingly beautiful place - just as you show it in your pictures; I love driving there! I struggle too, to understand the trashing of our mother earth - not just there, but everywhere. If only people truly understood that what we do to her is ultimately killing us.

Tracy said...

Hi Dana: I was on the rez in August, & I agree with Josie, it's a breathtakingly beautiful place. Your pics show that. Pine Ridge village does need some work. I'm a social worker, & I think it's kinda like this: when individuals people get depressed, they let their own homes go, & even themselves. Maybe seeing the young ones like yours out picking trash will not only lift spirits (give hope for the future), but will also inspire people to pick up trash in their own yards & around their businesses (or to pick up trash in an elder's yard). Your spirit may move a mountain...of trash!

Dana L said...

Don't get me wrong, I think the reservation is beautiful too...what I meant by "ugliest land" was the fact the Black Hills were illegally taken from us and the fact that we were put on unfarmable land. I especially think Porcupine (God's Country") and Manderson are pretty....GOD that hurt to say that. (lol I have friends from Manderson and if they see me say that...oh well, yes guys it is beautiful out there.)