Monday, November 17, 2008

State of Emergency largely ignored in Lakotah region of SD

I received a press release today from the Republic of Lakotah, reporting the inactivity of emergency aid via the Red Cross, in which ONE AID WORKER was dispatched to the region, and has departed in the midst of the emergency.

On the Pine Ridge Reservation - the Republic of Lakotah - 12 days of consecutive snow have fallen, which began as a one day snowfall of 4 feet, a blizzard which isolated many individuals in their homes. The continued snowfall has further isolated families across the reservation and local region where NO POWER or WATER are available.

The isolation has left the status of many Sioux Indians' lives unknown, per the press release. The text of that release is as follows:

Republic of Lakotah
RE: Twelfth Day of Snow Emergency
* Many hundreds of American Indians still snowbound and without electrical
power or water on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
* Sofia Romero, age 98, snowed in, no power, no water, food situation unknown.
* Emme Zimiga, age 96, snowed in, no power, no water, food situation unknown.
* Amanda Milk, age 80's, no legs, dialysis patient, snowed in, presumed dead.
* Hisle SD - 38 households (average of 17 persons per household on Reservation)
still snowed in with out power or water.
* Lost Dog Community - 5 families snowed in, no power, no water, food
situation unknown.
* Lacreek Electric Association reports that over 1,000 power distribution poles
broken by the storm have been replaced, but dozens more are still down, while
repair efforts have been diverted to the some of the main distribution lines still
partially inoperative.
* Red Cross Effort Vehemently Incompetent - As documented by Marion White
Mouse (605-462-6242), the American Red Cross sent a contingency of one
volunteer, Monica Turkleson who departed the Reservation prematurely on
Saturday, November 15th. Ms. Turkleson's “aide” consisted of nothing and her
behavior was reported as impatient, rude and racist. Russell Means suggests
that this organization change its name to the “White Cross.”
The Pine Ridge reservation is the poorest region within the borders of the United States. Most streets are unpaved, unnamed, and most homes are without power, running water, or telephones. The average life expectancy is 44 years - the lowest in the Western Hemisphere (including Haiti). The reservation is plagued with poverty (median income is $3000 annually), high rates of infant mortality (300% the US average), suicide, and general neglect.

Contact the Red Cross, or your local congressman to insist that emergency action be taken to assist the Lakotah.

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