Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On a soapbox again.

I saw this on one of the knitting charities I'm involved with, and I wanted to post it here.

Our native peoples get less press about their situation, and right now it's pretty dire. I'm only posting part of the message here as I'm waiting to get permission to post the parts with phone numbers, etc.

Cambridge – Native American Caucus students at the Harvard Kennedy School are taking action in response to the inadequate national response to the crisis on Indian reservations in the Dakotas due to severe ice storms and freezing temperatures. Last weekend, a powerful snow and ice storm ripped through the region, felling power lines, and cutting off power and water to thousands of South Dakotans, many of them on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Indian Reservations. When full power and water will be restored remains in question.
The ice storms cut off electricity in an area about the size of Connecticut . With no electricity, no heat, no running water, and a wind chill below zero, a crisis is mounting. The Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has declared a state of emergency for his community and is calling for immediate assistance.
The tribes are working hard to bring families in out of the cold into shelters. The South Dakota National Guard, the State’s Department of Public Safety as well as the Army Corps of Engineers have come to the reservation and supplied some emergency generators. Help also is coming in the Red Cross and other tribes. But even with this assistance these tribes, among the poorest communities in the United States , are not able to meet the overwhelming needs of their communities.
Outside the frozen plains of the Dakotas , this human crisis has received little attention. The Native American Caucus student organization at Harvard Kennedy School would be grateful to American citizens to give the spotlight to their fellow Native American citizens. They are in great need of your help and aid. The American People need to be aware of this emergency situation.
To assist the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Tribes, contact Stacy LaCompte at Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place at (605) 280-8588.
MEDICAL NEEDS: Dialysis Patients/Glucose Strips/Financial Support for Hotels
The dialysis patients have all been evacuated three hours away to Rapid City , SD. They are staying in hotels for at least a week and half, probably longer. Financial contributions are needed to help the families pay for their hotel expenses and food. An account has been set up at Wells Fargo to help with these expenses. You can contribute at any Wells Fargo or send to the Rapid City branch.

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