“Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a food desert, where many tribal members still do not have access to fresh produce and a nutritious diet. The Federal Commodity Foods Program serves food high in fat, sugar, and preservatives, causing Oglala Lakota people to suffer from epidemic levels of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Average life expectancy in Pine Ridge is 45 years old.
Sioux Nation is the only grocery store on the reservation and was caught selling spoiled food in 2012. Prices at Sioux Nation are gouged by a company in California, exploiting tribal members with a median income of $2,600 per year. The next closest grocery store is 120 miles away in Rapid City. With healthy food so scarce, Oglala Lakota people are in need of a revolution to reclaim food sovereignty.
Ota Au is an independent Lakota non-profit organization, with a vision of permaculture gardening, sustainable economy, renewable energy, and spiritual enlightenment. The first step of our strategy is to build a community garden on a family allotment in the foothills of Porcupine, South Dakota. We will provide fresh fruit and vegetables for at least 100 people, and the rest will be canned and used for wintertime feasts.
Ota Au needs funding to construct a rain harvesting system that will provide water for daily use and irrigation for the garden. The design is affordable by using gutters, filtering out debris, and connecting 55-gallon drums with PVC piping for storage. Well-water will be used as little as possible because the Oglala Aquifer will by dry within 30 years at the current rate of consumption. Water is life, and protecting sacred water for future generations is most important.”
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Thanks to Gail for this tip.