Pine Ridge reservation Part I: Where despair meets hope
In this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks about her trip to Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, home to the Oglala Sioux tribe, a subset of the Lakota people and the second poorest county in the US. She first explores the notion of democratic governance by indigenous people centuries before western colonization and how the idea applies to the Lakota Sioux today. Then she features a report from BTS producer, Cody Snell, about the tribe’s vote to legalize alcohol on the reservation in August and the implications prohibition has right now for both Pine Ridge and Whiteclay, Nebraska, a border town profiting immensely from the ban. Abby then remarks on the legacy of Leonard Peltier, a Lakota activist given two life sentences for the murder of two federal agents, despite the lack of evidence connecting him to the crime. BTS wraps up the show with an interview with Yvonne ‘Tiny’ DeCory, coordinator for the BEAR program, a self-sufficient organization that builds children’s self-confidence through workshop and theater in an effort to spread awareness and combat the sky-high suicide rate plaguing Pine Ridge’s youth.