> The Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Indian Reservation sits in Bennett, Jackson, and Shannon Counties and is located in the southwest corner of South Dakota, fifty miles east of the Wyoming border.
> The 11,000-square mile (over 2 million acres) Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation is the second-largest Native American Reservation within the United States. It is roughly the size of the State of Connecticut.
> According to the 1998 Bureau of Indian Affairs Census, the Pine Ridge Reservation is home to approximately 40,000 persons, 35% of which are under the age of 16. Approximately half the residents of the Reservation are registered tribal members of the Oglala Lakota Nation.
> The population is steadily rising, despite the severe conditions on the Reservation, as more and more Oglala Lakota return home from far-away cities in order to live within their societal values, be with their families, and assist with the revitalization of their culture and their Nation.
> Recent reports point out that the median income on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately $2,600 per year.
> The unemployment rate vacillates from 85% to 95% on the Reservation.
> There is no industry, technology, or commercial infrastructure on the Reservation to provide employment.
> The nearest town of size (which provides some jobs for those few persons able to travel the distance) is Rapid City, South Dakota with approximately 57,000 residents. It is located approximately 120 miles from the Reservation. The nearest large city to Pine Ridge is Denver, Colorado located about 350 miles away.
> Some figures state that the life expectancy on the Reservation is 48 years old for men and 52 for women. Other reports state that the average life expectancy on the Reservation is 45 years old. With either set of figures, that's the shortest life expectancy for a community anywhere in the Western Hemisphere outside Haiti, according to The Wall Street Journal.
> Teenage suicide rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is 150% higher than the U.S. national average for this age group.
> The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and is about 300% higher than the U.S. national average.
> More than half the Reservation's adults battle addiction and disease. Alcoholism, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and malnutrition are rampant.
> The rate of diabetes on the Reservation is reported to be 800% higher than the U.S. national average.
> Recent reports indicate that almost 50% of the adults on the Reservation over the age of 40 have diabetes.
> As a result of the high rate of diabetes on the Reservation, diabetic-related blindness, amputations, and kidney failure are common.
> The tuberculosis rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately 800% higher than the U.S. national average.
> Cervical cancer is 500% higher than the U.S. national average.
> Each winter, Reservation Elders are found dead from hypothermia (freezing).
> It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are infested with Black Mold, Stachybotrys. This infestation causes an often-fatal condition with infants, children, elderly, those with damaged immune systems, and those with lung and pulmonary conditions at the highest risk. Exposure to this mold can cause hemorrhaging of the lungs and brain as well as cancer.
> Many Reservation residents live without health care due to vast travel distances involved in accessing that care. Additional factors include under-funded, under-staffed medical facilities and outdated or non-existent medical equipment. There is little hope for increased funding for Indian health care.
> School drop-out rate is over 70%.
> According to a Bureau of Indian Affairs report, the Pine Ridge Reservation schools are in the bottom 10% of school funding by U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
> Teacher turnover is 800% that of the U.S. national average
> The small Tribal Housing Authority homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are so overcrowded and scarce that many homeless families often use tents or cars for shelter. Many families live in shacks, old trailers, or dilapidated mobile homes.
> There is a large homeless population on the Reservation, but most families never turn away a relative no matter how distant the blood relation. Consequently, many homes have large numbers of people living in them.
> There is an estimated average of 17 people living in each family home (a home which may only have two to three rooms). Some homes, built for 6 to 8 people, have up to 30 people living in them.
> 60% of Reservation families have no telephone.
> Over 33% of the Reservation homes lack basic water and sewage systems as well as electricity.
> Many residents must carry (often contaminated) water from the local rivers daily for their personal needs.
> 39% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation have no electricity.
> 59% of the Reservation homes are substandard.
> It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation need to be burned to the ground and replaced with new housing due to infestation of the potentially-fatal Black Mold, Stachybotrys. There is no insurance or government program to assist families in replacing their homes.
> Some Reservation families are forced to sleep on dirt floors.
> Many Reservation homes lack adequate insulation. Even more homes lack central heating.
> Without basic insulation or central heating in their homes, many residents on the Pine Ridge Reservation use their ovens to heat their homes.
> Many Reservation homes lack stoves, refrigerators, beds, and/or basic furniture.
> Most Reservation families live in rural and often isolated areas.
> The largest town on the Reservation is the town of Pine Ridge which has a population of approximately 5,720 people and is the administrative center for the Reservation.
> There are few improved roads on the Reservation and many of the homes are inaccessible during times of heavy snow or rain.
> Weather is extreme on the Reservation. Severe winds are always a factor. Traditionally, summer temperatures reach well over 110*F and winters bring bitter cold with temperatures that can reach -50*F below zero or worse. Flooding, tornados, or wildfires are always a risk.
> Many of the wells and much of the water and land on the Reservation is contaminated with pesticides and other poisons from farming, mining, open dumps, and commercial and governmental mining operations outside the Reservation. A further source of contamination is buried ordnance and hazardous materials from closed U.S. military bombing ranges on the Reservation.
> The Pine Ridge Reservation still has no banks, motels, discount stores, or movie theaters. It has only one grocery store of any moderate size and it is located in the town of Pine Ridge on the Reservation.
> Several of the banks and lending institutions nearest to the Reservation were recently targeted for investigation of fraudulent or predatory lending practices, with the citizens of the Pine Ridge Reservation as their victims.
> There are no public libraries except one at the Oglala Lakota College.
> There is no public transportation available on the Reservation.
> Ownership of operable automobiles by residents of the Reservation is highly limited.
> Predominate form of travel for all ages on the Reservation is walking or hitchhiking.