My Level 5 class at American Language Academy in Greensboro, NC has been studying North American Native tribes' histories and some of their plights today. Through research, study, and brainstorming we have devised a proposal to help the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota become become a more functional and productive place to live.
Our class examined some of the key issues impeding quality of life and progress on the reservation. We narrowed them down to three main points: sense of hopelessness, poverty, and alcoholism. We conceived a plan to end tribal corruption and more fairly distribute revenues by limiting each individual's term on the tribal council to one year. Meetings and policies should be openly shared, along with agendas and budgets. We propose to diminish poverty and unemployment by transforming Pine Ridge to a center for cultural learning, horse activities and conservation, and indigenous and ecologically inspired tourism. We support the concept of shaman inspired and supported alcohol treatments, in combination with modern rehabilitation techniques. We believe that Lakota Sioux should step up and take a leadership role in environmental stewardship and bison and wolf conservation as their ancestors did.