This is not Street Art, but it is important.
I am concerned about what is happening right now at Pine Ridge after the blizzard and have been watching the blog of the relief organization I donate to closely. I'm going to scrape together another fifty dollars when I get paid. They have only raised three thousand and that can't go very far. According to the blog, it has already been spent on wood and gasoline to haul the wood into the rez.
"The Pine Ridge Reservation is the second largest reservation in the country, spanning 3,500 square miles. With a population of more than 60,000, it remains one of the poorest areas in the Western Hemisphere where 87% of the residents are unemployed and 90% live below the federal poverty level."
Donations to One Spirit are tax deductable and I always get a letter from them for the IRS. I have been sending One Spirit money to buy heaters for elders every winter for five years now. The heaters help cut costs by hundreds in savings, but are not much use with all the electric still out now.
I also found this letter on the blog today and it is very sad:
You have all been following the events happening at PRR. The following is a e-mail I sent to a company, I approached for desperately needed assistance this past week.
"Dear Ms. Butler,
My name is Edward Chandler and I stood before you this week looking for a bit of Corporate Charity, in the form of blankets, to warm the people of the Lakota Sioux Tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Earlier in the week, this area was hit with a extremely damaging blizzard, creating much havoc. The Lakota Sioux are accustomed to severe winters, but this particular storm had wind exceeding 70 miles an hour and brought down over 600 electrical poles. Areas at Pine Ridge are still without electricity as I write this e-mail.
While I left the foyer of the Northwest Woolen Mills, I felt a quiet rejection at failing in my mission. I had failed the Lakota Sioux and I had failed One Spirit, the organization I volunteer for. My mission was to see the opportunity for the Northwest Woolen Mills to receive thousands of dollars worth of advertizing in every Native American newspaper in North America. But I failed to get that point across, because I had to grovel in the foyer of your business. I wasn't even extended the courtesy of being taken to a meeting room to plead my cause. I didn't want, nor did I expect hundreds of blankets. If I had been offered 50 blankets, I'll have been elated. One Spirit had expended their emergency funding on fuel, because of this storm and even though, we had raised over $3,000.00 in a emergency plea, that too was expended, in supplying emergency aide to the reservation people.
I live in Blackstone less than a mile from Northwest Woolen Mills and have read in the Woonsocket Call, where Northwest Woolen Mills has donated thousands of blankets to victims in foreign countries over the years. I had hoped that you would have extended some of that same corporate courtesy to Native American's, freezing to death, right here in South Dakota. but alas.
I lost in my bid for assistance, but Northwest Woolen Mills lost on a opportunity to be brought to the attention of every single Native American Tribe in North America.
I ask of you, the next time someone approach's you and asks about blankets, you at least take the person to a meeting room, to ask the nature of their business. Please don't treat that person like a homeless vagrant as I felt I was.
Edward Broken Feather Chandler
If you wish to send this corporation an e-mail regarding your feelings, their web site is: http://www.northwestwoolen.com/ Please keep your comments cordial and in due regard to their situation, in this economic turmoil.