Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Review is the truth

The following is a review to my reservation from roughguides.com. Following that is my rebuttal to that review.

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Pine Ridge, the second largest Indian reservation in the United States (after Arizona's Navajo Nation), overlaps the southern Badlands. It is also located in one of the nation's poorest counties. Its prefab homes and beat-up trucks blend sadly and uneasily with the surrounding dry grasslands, rocky bluffs, and tree-lined creeks.
The largest town, also called PINE RIDGE, comprises a collection of shabby, paint-stripped structures. Though the emergence of the profitable Prairie Wind casino in Oglala has improved life here, in many ways the reservation towns are an even more bitter pill to swallow than places like the nearby site of the Wounded Knee massacre. This area posts the highest poverty- and alcohol-related death statistics on the continent, and the average lifespan is just 52 years.
Red Cloud Indian School, four miles north of Pine Ridge on US-18, is named after a former chief whose fight against the US forced the closure of military forts on Sioux hunting grounds. The school is doing its best to counteract the ill-effects of life on the reservation, and each summer it holds an Indian art show featuring work by tribes in the US and Canada; it also has a gift shop (daily summer 8am–5pm; winter Mon– Fri 9am–5pm; free). Red Cloud, who later signed a peace treaty with the US and invited Jesuits to teach his tribe "the ways of the white man," is buried in a cemetery on a nearby knoll. The Oglala Nation Fair, held over the first weekend in August, features a powwow and rodeo. For details, contact the Oglala Sioux Tribe, P.O. Box 2070, Pine Ridge, SD 57770 (605/867-6121). For news and both traditional Lakota Sioux and contemporary American music, tune in to KILI 90.1 FM, "the Voice of the Lakota Nation." If you want to stay on the reservation, the Wakpamni Bed & Breakfast (605/288-1800; www.wakpamni.com; $50–130), offers lovely guest rooms as well as accommodation in tepees; tours of the reservation or horseback rides with a Lakota guide can be arranged.


Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

As reviewed by Dana Lonehill, born and raised Lakota until the day the good Lord taketh her away, (yes I said Lord.)

If you have never been to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, you must do so in this lifetime. It is an experience you will never forget. The largest town, Pine Ridge consists of cluster housing neighborhoods whom, I might add are well protected by the Neighborhood Crime Watch. It says so on the signs upon entering each neighborhood. You can see this under the layer of gang grafitti on each sign and in between the bullet holes.

Although alcohol is illegal it can be found on and off the reservation. You can purchase only two miles away where we make people that live on the border of the reservation scorn and scoff at us while getting rich from our lager dollar. There you can also experience the best in Mixed Martial Arts, Grappling and Ultimate Street Fighting. You may also see UFC style fights or purchase alcohol in Combat Alley, near the only grocery store owned by bigwigs in California who price gouge the poorest in all the land.

Although many night hotspots have closed down due to increase in police force, such as Sattelites, The T, and Lover Lane, you can still kick it on Beer Can Hill. Just hire someone to watch out for the new BIA force in town. They don't take no crap and love arresting people for liquor violation, which is now $35 to get out, no more 8 hours in the tank, although they do provide you in the finest of clothing from the Dr. Seuss collection and 3 square meals a day. These cops don't crawl in your windows nor do they seize your unopened cans. Let's hear it for the BIA! But they still don't let you have a beer to Sunday football. BOO!

Let's hear it for the drug dealers. Maybe you can't work real jobs and get rich peddlin coke to tribal workers, but hey you made a good run at it and it took over a decade to catch you guys. Long enough to pass on that to your offspring and spawn. For those that didn't get caught, hey at least some of you still have your jobs, you know who you are.

Wait I was supposed to convince you why you should come, but I can't do it by honestly telling you that flute music plays, while wolves run beside children in buckskin and men ride horses bareback while women sit in tipi's on fur....no.

If you want to visit the reservation, don't look with the taste of sour grapes in your mouth, don't wear your rose colored glasses. instead look at my hometown with the understanding that these are a people that are still proud of who they are as a people, in spite of the fact that the economical situation they grew up in. In spite of the fact that they live in a country that is the land of opportunity....something went wrong here in this promised land. Generations of oppression led to generations of alcohol abuse which led the condition of our reservation.

We want change, then we have to make it happen. Not expect the government to step in and undo the wrong they did...as if. You want to visit? Do so, but don't do so with pity, with fear, or with scorn....for this is the home of a still proud people.

Like me.

For I am Lakota.

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