The Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota is the size of the state of Connecticut. Due to decades of abuse, corruption and colonial enforcement, Pine Ridge faces epidemic rates of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, elder abuse, and poverty. Life expectancy for Lakota men is below 40 years of age. Nearly ¾ of the Lakota people have lost their language, and the traditional language is on the verge of extinction in Pine Ridge. The reservation has one of the highest rates of unsolved murders. These unsolved deaths are widely attributed to violent retaliation against those seeking an end to corruption and assertion of traditional Lakota sovereignty.
Cante Tenza Okolakiciye also known as the Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Lakota Nation is an ancient Lakota warrior society as well as a broad-based civil rights movement that works to protect, enforce and restore treaty rights, civil rights, and sovereignty of Native people and their communities across Turtle Island. In addition to activist efforts to protect the land and people, each year Cante Tenza collects and freely distributes shoes, winter coats, school supplies, food, and other support to Oglala Lakota elders, children and families.
www.lakotaoyate.net | “Lakota Oyate” on Facebook