Native Village 
Youth and Education News
May, 2013

Two Bedroom Home that Housed 13 on Pine Ridge Reservation at US Capitol
Condensed by Native Village

Washington DC:  One small sign posted on a house transported 1,500 miles from South Dakota to Washington, DC, speaks volumes about living conditions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It reads:

“A month ago,
 13 people
lived in this
2 bedroom,
1 bath home.”

“People stopped and asked if this was a real house,” said Kristy Bluebird from the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority.

The house is one of the original homes built at Pine Ridge Village. It was numbered #006 when it was erected in the 1960s as part of the low income funding made available then.

The house was brought to Washington by the "Trial of Hope for Indian Housing." Their mission was:

To show Congress and Americans the shameful housing conditions on Pine Ridge;

To press for emergency legislation to build new homes on the most seriously impacted reservations and Alaskan Native communities.

Organizers hoped to attract members of Congress to see the deplorable living conditions on Pine Ridge. However, the only member of Congress to attend the short program was Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D North Dakota, who sits on the US Committee on Indian Affairs.

The house was transported the nation's capital strapped on a trailer. The motorcade and demonstration were initiated by the Oglala Sioux tribe, the Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing Authority, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing. All funds for the trip were donated.

The house may have a home at the Smithsonian Institute. However, Smithsonian officials indicated they do not have room for the house at this time. In the meantime, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe of Maryland will store it while conversation continues with Smithsonian officials.

The family who lived in the home up to a month ago have received other living arrangements on Pine Ridge.

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