Beauty and Injustice in Lakota Land

The Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) reservation lies hard against the South Dakota badlands to the north and just east of the Black Hills to the west. It is a land of harsh and stunning extremes. Brutal winter blizzards with hauntingly howling winds and bitter cold temperatures followed by oppressive, sweltering hot summers. Oglala Lakota county (formerly Shannon County) is among the two or three poorest counties in America, including Appalachia, and it has the low life expectancy and extreme high unemployment rate that is to be expected in such a place. There is currently a teen suicide epidemic that is both tragic and of course deeply hurtful to the Oglala people.

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