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Old 08-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
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CNN - Life is bare bones on the Lakota reservation

CHERRY CREEK, South Dakota (CNN) -- The tiny one-room house rests on a hill; no electricity and no running water. A creaky metal cot and a rusting wood-burning stove is all the comfort Herbert Hale says he needs.

"All it is is logs, glue -- dirt and water put together -- then cement and the chicken string," Hale says of his home. "Long as the windows don't break, it's nice and warm in here."

The roof leaks a bit, and the floorboards are rotted in one corner, but Hale isn't one to complain.

"It's home," he says, almost under his breath, as he invites a visitor to have a look.

Firewood is stacked in one corner inside, and more outside as Hale uses the summer months to stockpile for prairie winters, where 20 below zero is not all that uncommon.

He also pulls bunches of long weeds in the prairie grass, to dry for use as a firestarter.

"I have to be careful," Hale says matter-of-factly as he pulls a few fistfuls. "Sometimes there are some snakes. Rattlesnakes. Nothing to mess around with."

He is 54 years old, a veteran of two Army combat tours in Vietnam, a member of the Lakota tribe and part of two stunning statistics, even as communities across America deal with the pain and challenges of recession:

Read more:
King: Life is bare bones on the Lakota reservation - CNN.com
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:55 PM   #2
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All across Indian America our people continue to live in squalor. The haters like to believe that tribes are flush with cash and prosperity due to our casinos. They have long desired that America stop funding Indian programs and all think that we truly deserve nothing more from the Federal government. The dreamers also believe that the corner on race relations has turned due to the election of Barack Obama. Then a news report like this appears. Will something like this change the minds of these people? Of course not, blind eyes and deaf ears continue to be turned. After all it's the mainstream news media, everyone knows how they slant these reports.
The Florida legislation or just a few of the legislators in Florida, depends upon who you believe, are angry that the Seminoles are receiving stimulus funds. According to them, we are just taking money from their programs which need it more. This is just an example of the type of accusations going on. The success of our tribal enterprises makes these poeple believe that we do not deserve any more funding. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A few years ago I was the manager of the Cherokee DOT in western North Carolina. I spent four years looking for additional funding to maintain or complete construction on the roads and bridges on the rez. Our funding, guaranteed to us, had been systematically diminished and re-appropriated by the Feds to whatever pet projects that the Congress had a need for. You'll notice that in a listing of "pork" projects published for the states none involves any projects on Indian reservations. I looked and saw none.
I doubt that many saw this CNN report. I've been seein' 'em for years.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billthepill469 View Post
All across Indian America our people continue to live in squalor. The haters like to believe that tribes are flush with cash and prosperity due to our casinos. They have long desired that America stop funding Indian programs and all think that we truly deserve nothing more from the Federal government.
1. Whose fault is that, today?
2. Why aren't we?
3. Why do we?

Our issues are no longer caused by the Great White Father.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
He is 54 years old, a veteran of two Army combat tours in Vietnam, a member of the Lakota tribe and part of two stunning statistics, even as communities across America deal with the pain and challenges of recession:
I'm more interested in how a 54 year old could have done two tours in Vietnam. US involvement ended in 1975. He would have been 16 at that point. (minimum age for overseas deployment in the US is 18. On the actual battle front of the US Army, the last American combat soldiers left South Vietnam, in March 1973 though military advisors and Marines, who are protecting U.S. installations, remained. For the United States, the war was officially over. That would have made him 14 at that point.)

Either the reporter is getting their info wrong (or can't add or subtract)or something else is skewed.
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Last edited by yaahl; 10-24-2012 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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Article Correction (as posted on the link above)
Herbert Hale was identified as a veteran who served two combat tours in Vietnam. That description was based on information provided by Mr. Hale and several friends. In subsequent reporting, however, three government sources told CNN that while Mr. Hale served overseas in the Vietnam era, he did not serve in Vietnam.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyo_rose View Post
Article Correction (as posted on the link above)
Herbert Hale was identified as a veteran who served two combat tours in Vietnam. That description was based on information provided by Mr. Hale and several friends. In subsequent reporting, however, three government sources told CNN that while Mr. Hale served overseas in the Vietnam era, he did not serve in Vietnam.
Nice research.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
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I must state that the article correction posted above came from the same source. I did no research other than to check back on the article and found the correction posted there.

...better late than....never...
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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It was a good article...kinda slanted to pull at the heart strings and made me think this rez is helpless. But that's not the case is it?

I guess I don't know. The only people I know from Eagle Butte are all on the powwow trail and when they go back to South Dakota, they usually go to Rapid City to see family. Otherwise I keep my happy butt in Oklahoma. I don't really travel anymore.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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There are down-and-out people all over, on reservations or not. I have seen some people living pretty poor on the rezzes I've been to. Even here where I live, where I think things have really improved, very often I see someone roughing it.

And every case is different - there are some with substance abuse issues, mental issues, or just totally down on their luck. Some situations are temporary, some are transient and are just gonna take their situation with them somewhere else, and some are pretty much set for good.

It's tragic when someone loses their life, like freezing to death. But the most heart-wrenching thing is to see children living like this.

I wish I had funds to hire crews to go house to house down every road here...fixing whatever needs to be fixed on ALL the houses...regardless of income, who owns it, whether they "deserve" it or not.

IMHO everyone deserves to have proper shelter with running water, sanitation, and heat/cooling.
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