Shaun Higgins, a driver with Lakota Plains Propane, brings a propane hose back to the truck after filling up a tank outside of Manderson yesterday. (Kristina Barker/Rapid City Journal)
A sawyer with the Bear Mountain Hand Crew of the South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire Suppression cuts firewood from a large slash pile north of Hot Springs. (Brett Nachtigall/Hot Springs Star)
We’ve been posting about the dire conditions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where so many people are stranded or otherwise suffering as a result of the Christmas snowstorm that Oglala Sioux tribal President Theresa Two Bulls has declared a state of emergency.
Yesterday, Two Bulls announced that with $1.6 million in Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) funds nearly gone, the tribe has turned to its housing authority for funds and transportation to get fuel to stranded residents, the Rapid City Journal reports here
“Propane deliveries are going slow. We’re not completely plowed out yet,” Two Bulls tells the Journal’s Mary Garrigan. “We’re trying to deliver propane to everybody that doesn’t have it, and we’re delivering firewood as we have it.”
Brett Nachtigall reports here in the Hot Springs Star that wildland firefighters are cutting slash and loading firewood for people on Pine Ridge and other reservations who are running short of fuel. Yesterday, members from the Bear Mountain and Black Hat hand crews cut the wood and prepared it for National Guard crews, who took it to the reservations.
We also sought suggestions of how other people can help. Here are a couple, with the caveat that we have no direct experience with either group:
Facebook friend Dian Barreras recommends the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation site.
Friends of Pine Ridge provides information so that donors can send donations directly to schools and social service organizations on the reservation. Beware – the site warns of a recent phone scam soliciting donations on behalf of Pine Ridge, and specifies that it never makes telephone solicitations.
Meanwhile, we also found a suggestion from Richard Boyden, founder of Operation Morning Star that distributes aid on Pine Ridge.
His organization is launching projects to provide heat and emergency shelter. Details can be found on the group’s Web site. In this piece in Black Hills Today, Boyden also recommends contacting the tribe directly and provides the contact information.
Finally, Pine Ridge is not alone in being affected by the storm. The nearby Rosebud Reservation is experiencing similar problems, as are others around the region.
Tags: buffalo post, Christmas storm 2009, Native American news, Oglala Lakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire Supression