Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION The lack of rain during this summer's heat wave has hit the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Yesterday, Oglala Sioux Tribe President John Yellow Bird Steele issued an Emergency Drought Disaster Proclamation, which in essence declares a State of Emergency.
State of Emergency Calls on the Interior Department to
Protect the Needs of the Oglala Sioux People.
The severe drought has caused an immediate need for drinking water for cattle and horses.
"These drought conditions have reached historic levels and now pose an imminent threat to public health, property and the economy of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation the dry conditions on the reservation have increased the threat to ranchers and farmers across the reservation by limiting hay and water supplies,"
reads a portion of the Proclamation.
The State of Emergency calls on the Bureau of Indian Affairs to provide immediate assistance with fans and/or air conditioners to the needy and elderly; financial aid to the Tribal Government so that it can assist with public safety concerns, water delivery to reservation ranchers and farmers; and financial aid and other assistance to Indian ranchers and farmers on the reservation regarding the loss of their 2012 hay crop due to the drought.
President Steels also calls upon various federal departments and the Governor of South Dakota to assist the Tribe in dealing with the drought conditions through financial aid and water.
President Steele cites the responsibility of the United States Government through the Tribe's 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, 15 Stat. 635, and other legal documents to protect the needs of the Oglala Sioux people.
photo credit Jennifer Baker;
posted July 19, 2012 8:50 am edt