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tv   Breaking the Set  RT  January 7, 2014 6:00pm-6:31pm EST

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the the the. polo world i'm having martin in this is breaking the set while we're back in our ridiculously cold winter slumber at a very special program for the first show of the year last week i had the great privilege of spending several days at the pine ridge reservation in south dakota ridge is the eighth largest native american reservation in the u.s. and its home of the two one of the seven the sub tribes of the code of people approximately forty thousand and all the tribe members live across two point one million acres with gorgeous rolling hills and untamed wilderness it's no wonder why pine ridge is held so sacred to the tribe that inhabits the land despite the multitude of problems facing a community that depends on federal funding to survive many tribe members have
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taken it upon themselves to empower the lakota people to secure a brighter future for the people there were hugely inspiring and we love pine ridge greatly humbled by their stories over the next two days i'll share some of those stories with you to shed light on one of the most unreported and neglected issues in america today the abysmal failure by the federal government to provide adequate social services up hold centuries old treaties and to allow the sovereignty of native american communities to prosper so stick around because we're going to break in a set that should have been broken a long time ago. in the past. it was a. very hard to take. that had sex with that hurt their.
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it might surprise you to learn that the founding fathers were far from the first people to introduce democratic rule in america native american tribal governments existed long before colonial settlers began to establish the so-called new world in fact the ideas of fair representation equality and justice for all were in large part borrowed from native americans and since the great genocide of these communities there been longstanding treaties that of violated time and again by the federal government so to find out what the concept of sovereignty means and now
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today while the sioux i sat down with three representatives from the tribal council pine ridge reservation. that we should be able to work as a nation here and. to the state and to the government as nation to nation to me i don't see that you know we're always saying we have sovereignty and stuff but yet we depend on the federal government for this and we depend on you know all these things so i don't really see us exercising our sovereignty being one of the first nations where the tribes the nation the you know there should also be some respect you know if you think about it. respect anyway but the bottom line is i think one of us not you can take with all the call through the races it's about mankind womankind people.
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are. high and ridge reservation is a place journalist chris hedges identifies as one of capitalism sacrifice sounds it's an area that's paid dearly for the centuries of this country's greed and less capitals expansion and mass commercialization of natural resources when it comes to pine ridge the said to sticks are mind boggling and more in line with third world countries than the so-called richest nation on earth there is an unemployment rate of around eighty percent an annual per capita income of four thousand dollars eight times the rate of diabetes the national average two times the rate of heart disease and three times the rate of infant mortality they are global sue face perhaps no bigger threat to their livelihood and alcohol despite the fact that pine ridge is the last dry reservation in south dakota a substance is widely prevalent throughout the community and the underlying causes so many of these problems in the separatists are cody snell has a story. from an eighty percent unemployment rate to an average life expectancy of
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fifty years old. to a pine ridge reservation in south dakota say some of the most harrowing statistics in the united states but behind these numbers are silent and of me that's decimating families and threatening the oglala way of life alcohol for the vast majority of the reservations one hundred twenty five year history alcohol has been banned despite this ban pine ridge is alcoholism rate is estimated to be as high as eighty percent alcohol is infiltrating the tribe from a border town just two miles away only about twelve people live here in whiteclay nebraska but in two thousand and twelve the four stores located right next to pine ridge sold over one hundred sixty thousand cases of beer and that beer is generating a normas profits for both store owners and the state of nebraska. any where from. three to five million dollars being made every year but she leaves in the country
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none of white clay store owners would talk to us on camera but it's clear that this i popping revenue in an economically distressed area is why tribe members voted this past august to finally allow alcohol on the reservation but the decision to legalize only passed by a four percent margin and continues to generate deeply divided opinions among the people of pine ridge a lot of people drink they're going to find it somewhere even though they don't legalize it and don't make alcohol when you live along the reservation because we have enough problems when it's not illegal at least the government can start being more self-sufficient monks or selves. by legalizing. me this gives us one more step to grow no although the referendum was passed by a majority vote five months ago pine ridge is tribal government a council consisting of nineteen representatives has final say on if and how the
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new law is implemented robin tapio a representative from the village of pine ridge and an advocate of alcohol legalization believes this potential revenue is the only way to turn the tide when it comes to preventative health i don't ever see the federal government coming up with the resources to help us build treatment centers to help us build a detox to help us build a homeless shelter another council member burning shot with arrow who opposes the referendum worries that more alcohol on the reservation will lead to more crime and wording on law enforcement so if it does get legal either it's going to be it's going to be worse not to mention the difficulties police officers already have in responding to alcohol related crime. thirty officers and probably someone sometime this reservations the size of rhode island so you figure that's not enough when there's like forty thousand people or both tapio and shot with arrows concerns are well justified considering that two hundred twenty million
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dollars was slashed just last year from the indian health service a nearly five percent cut due to the sequester the decrease in money is actually illegal and stands in violation of longstanding treaties between the u.s. government and native american communities but government cutbacks and broken promises aren't the only hurdles facing the lakota nation the inner corruption within the council itself is of concern when it comes to the allocation of funds if this were to pass we would like the alcohol revenues to be set in a separate account not come into the chives general because the tribe has something called the general fund and the general fund is pretty much money that's spent where there's you can't really tag it or track it. you know i mean they call it the black hole only time will tell if legalization is the right course of action for a community devastated by alcoholism but more importantly is whether the tribal council will spend these potential funds in a way that can build
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a sustainable future for generations to come in pine ridge south dakota cody snell r t. having just spent time at pine ridge reservation in south dakota and hearing about the tales of the wounded knee i can't help but bring attention to leonard. perhaps the most famous native american political prisoner well relatively recent his case is just one ruling in a long chain of injustices against first nations people dating back centuries of course it all began with the seizure of the lands belonging to look to indians by european settlers and the subsequent genocide that followed in eight hundred sixty eight at pine ridge near an area known as the black hills the us government guaranteed sovereignty to the first nation residents there when gold was discovered the government seized the land in the struggle over ownership of the black hills
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continued on the summer twenty eight eighteen nineteen u.s. army massacred over one hundred forty five native american men women and children at wounded knee creek in pine ridge which is why paul da along with other activists from the american indian movement shows the symbolic place to stage an occupation at a time where tribal tensions over treaty negotiations around hi guys these are the days of cointelpro of course the f.b.i. was on the case what resulted was a seventy one day arm the standoff between activists and u.s. law enforcement the end of the occupation marked the beginning of a three year long period of violence between supporters and opponents of the tribal government. who are working with the f.b.i. to fight the activist movement there at the height of the unrest yet another conflict broke out known as the pine ridge should out when the gun smoke cleared two federal agents lay dead along with one native american three members of the
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pine ridge reservation were arrested in connection with the shooting and while two of the men were tried and acquitted fled to canada before being extradited back to be us and given a separate trial. although a multitude of evidence was withheld during the trial including a ballistics test proving the deadly shell casing didn't come from his gun held today was found guilty of killing both f.b.i. agents and sentenced to consecutive life terms in prison in one nine hundred seventy seven since then more evidence has surfaced that makes the case even more contentious. days requests for a new trial has been repeatedly denied this injustice against is just a microcosm of the centuries of maltreatment of the indigenous population of this country look at square and he's a political prisoner being held as a symbol to send a stark message to all first nations people in america justice is reserved for the
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colonial elite so don't you dare step out of line. stick around for an interview with an activist turning around the deadliest trend of suicides sorry at pine ridge . i've got a quote for you. that's pretty tough to. say where it's a story. let's give this guy like you would be your stead of working for the people old tissues the beach. for each other right on stage. it's. think. everybody. should you know the price is the only industry specifically mention in the constitution and the concept that's because a free and open press is critical to our democracy trade albus. in
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fact the single biggest threat facing our nation today is the corporate takeover of our government and oppressive a girl we've been a hydrangea why a handful of transnational corporations will profit by destroying what our founding fathers but once it's all just my job market it on this show we reveal the big picture of what's actually going on in the world we go beyond identifying the problem to try and rational debate in a real discussion critical issues facing america if i ever feel ready to join the movement then walk a good pick. the but. the. reality is bleak at pine ridge reservation in south dakota
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a state of helplessness there is led to astronomical rates of alcoholism depression and suicide back in two thousand and nine ridges tribal council called for a state of emergency regarding the skyrocketing suicide rate and try it right now native americans are about three times more likely to kill themselves than any other demographic in the u.s. but the attempts are most likely to happen at the poorest reservations including pine ridge located in the second most economically distraught county in america one woman is gravely turning this epidemic around her name is yvonne tiny decore which is a tribe member an activist who started an organization called the bear program thirteen years ago it's the first fully self-sufficient preventative health organization on the reservation today tony's work helps build children self-confidence their workshops and theatre in an effort to spread awareness and prevent the spread of suicide among pine ridge youth i sat down with tiny for an in-depth interview about
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education state of preventative health suicide and how the bear program is picked up by the federal government has failed. thanks how would you describe the state of education here brian ridge you see the statistics some say the native american high school dropout rate is like seventy percent while here on the plain ridge reservation it's runs pretty high when you have at one school school you may have one hundred fifty freshmen that enroll and they come to school and by the time that class is graduating you know four years down the road you're graduating maybe fifty sixty of those senior the seniors so you wonder you know where were they at you know so the high school dropout rate is still high. and what do we attribute that to as some of our kids still can't read the educational foundation is not as strong as it should be are we really preparing them to go out and are we
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are we preparing them to fail a lot of our kids and we do have a college here overall a quarter college but a lot of our students that register there they have to take remedial classes they take testing they do pre math testing then and they fall below the guidelines and so they're put into remedial classes and some of them feel what would you say. they're disappointed because they come out of high school with a's and b.'s and then they go their first year of college and they can't even they're not even up to par on general math so they have to start below that and how did you get involved with suicide prevention i have a reputation for just being in the communities a reputation for reaching out to families i knock on doors. i don't sit back and wait until they come to me i really believe in you know that outreach and and if you and if it's your you're building trust when you go when you reach out to the
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families that are that are hurting because they want to have a strong family they want things in life that everybody else has but because they're non-educated there are no jobs here our economic structure is not enough to put everybody to work so our unemployment rates are high that alcoholism is high our drug use is high i'm worried about the meth because that's resurfacing now and it's really bad here and you wonder why how do they manage to get money for their drugs they they're stealing they're stealing from their own families they're just doing whatever they have to do we have fifty four communities on the pine ridge reservation nine districts within those nine districts fifty four communities and each community has a powerful story to tell our young people all eight they have a powerful story to tell but if we all reach out to them and let them know that there is a better tomorrow what's going to happen to those young people and that's where i
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come in i just can't work with that child who has tried to harm himself or herself and not work with the family as well. because if i work with just a child then i end up sending sending that child back into the home with no change so what happens for reoccurrence of cutting a reoccurrence of the rope around the neck a reoccurrence of taking pills a reoccurrence of washing your pills down with clorox these are things that are happening in our communities so we've got to stop turning the other way and we've got to take it head on and say you know this is my responsibility suicide prevention is everybody's responsibility everybody why is it so different on the reservation here and why we're a small group of people compared to the outside world you come here it's like a third world country it you travel on dirt roads you will drive by homes that
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still have outhouses you will drive by homes that have a pump to pump their water out we still have that here but yet we still have technology we still have computers we can still have our i phones and our i pads and and i always say this to my young people and families technology has made the world smaller to us at really has it has connected us to the world. but it has hurt us in our parenting it has hurt us in communicating because we don't communicate we don't talk anymore we text we send e-mails and we don't talk and that is hurting our families what's the process when someone has been found attempting or contemplating suicide they're transported one hundred miles away from the pine ridge reservation to rapid city to scottsbluff it's a bit brasco our neighboring state which is probably one hundred thirty forty miles
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away depending on what they've done to themselves if they take an overdose and that overdose a lot of them are taken tylenol and it damages their liver and they're drinking alcohol with it are they're taken drink and clorox or whatever then they'll either go to scottsbluff where they have specialists that would deal with that or we life flight them to sioux falls if their liver stops functioning our parts of their kidney then and we sure that there's some damage then their go off to sioux falls and that's usually airplane ride and to dr sue falls is probably four and a half to five hours so there they go there to rapid city they can stay there anywhere from three to seven days and then they come home and that process isn't working why the indian health service lost a lot of money they too you know from the budget and right now if even if we just had safe houses it would help us because every time we send somebody to rapid city
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to sioux falls or scottsbluff that's thousands and thousands of dollars just the airplane ride alone from here to rapid city is going to run you thirteen thousand dollars just the airplane right and then by the time we get them there and the ambulance picks them up and get some to where they need to go it just it just adds up so you know financially it's really taken its toll on what we have to do to keep our kids alive do you think of the strong. action of native american culture and spirituality coupled with the advent of technology is responsible for some of these trends if you were me i mean if you could walk in my shoes and go into the homes that i go into and see how these people me you've got twenty five to thirty people living in one house and there's no propane and it's cold. and they're being raised by their great grandmother because mom's in jail because the drugs are dads in prison are they're dead because they're just no longer here and it
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falls back on grandma our great grandma and they no longer want to be a burden to their grandma or their great grandma i had a young man didn't go to school for two days i went looking for him and i city you ruined your perfect attendance and he starts to cry and he says i don't have any shoes. and i said ok what happened he said well i came home and my grandma told me to put my shoes on the porch to aramark because my my feet stick my shoes were wet so i didn't the dog who broke one side away and he said i walked over the hill i walked in the quiet couldn't find him he's i can't go to school i mean these are the things that i see that's way you know the people i have so much trust in the people because i don't go in and i don't judge him i don't go in and start saying grandma you know better than that why can't you
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provide for this because she is so the little you know we go and we buy a smoosh use and i had one who ran his arm through a glass window to hopeful from his bleed to death. because he didn't want to be a burden anymore he says when my grandma once coffee and i have to take away from grandma's coffee or you know tea and whatnot because i need socks i don't want to do that anymore i'll be better off on the other side. and i have to see this. and i go into homes and i see so much and then i wonder you know this is why they don't believe that there's hope but i have to instill in these kids that you are the hope you are the life christmas time was the hardest and we lost a young girl a couple of nights ago to she hung herself i lost a twenty year two year old man the week before because they knew because he had a hard time with christmas come and no job and it's really tough and i tell the
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kids the best present that you can have as wife but you see all these ca t.v. commercials and everybody is opening up a new i pad and laptop and whatnot and you know i can't open up a pair of socks. but. we're going to get through it because there's a lot of positive things with these kids they're powerful they give me the strength to do what i have to do you know and they're going to have a better tomorrow they really are going to have a better. in our culture we have a law called the names and in our culture we believe that when we pass on the spirits are going to call us by our lock with the name not by our white christian name they're not going to say sally smith they're going to say you know we charge
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b. we starwoman our key mimi law we are butterfly woman you know hope sheila . e. eagle boy these are they're going to call them so they want that name but but it's it's changed so much that economics again people can afford to. to give their child to me because they want to do they want to provide a give away you give gifts to other people who come if we went back to the traditional way and i'm trying to do that were we just cook some buffalo soup and some bop on some. and. and then honor the children tithe the eagle feather tie the equal pull give them that name what's your response to people who say that native american culture is just not compatible with
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capitalism and that's why so many reservations are not able to sustain or prosper and the current system that's a tough one that's a tough one because it's going to go back to generational of what was done to the for to our people it's going to go it goes way back even to as we speak now on the kids that i work with you know their parents were in boarding schools and and are their grandparents great grandparents their hair was cut because they were had long hair and their miles was washed out with soap they dollars their hair with kerosene just for precautions so they wouldn't be bringing in any bugs and head lice when they came back to school you know and they kept them there for nine months and the missionaries were supposed to. bring us into their into their world to educate ocean to teach us the way that we're supposed to be and in turn they just kill tried to kill the culture the language so it goes back to generations generations of of grief for the native american people and that may never have that chance to
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really grieve what was done to them so you know and you're right i mean because we experience it here we see we experience corruption right within this building that you're in you know we have what we call a black hole where money goes and we lose it you know we're not accountable and we need to be more accountable so of course the world one else that is say. well we're not going to be able to pump some money into the reservation because we're not ready to give that up but we're ready we want the dollars we want the federal dollars you know we think that people us and i personally don't think anybody over me anything i'm going to work for what i have and that's why i try to tell my young people you know don't bank on people when you bank on what you're going to do to get out of the system thank you so much for sitting down with me tiny it was a great honor to talk to you. that's our show for today thanks so much for tuning
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in and be sure to watch the show again tomorrow night much more from our trip. had a great night. with. technology innovation all the latest developments in the round russia we. covered. all of the new. face you know.
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the pleasure to have you with us here on our t.v. today i roll researcher. oh my god. wait ok are you going to give me a second the big about this. or yeah i know a couple one who. three. for. by what i know about seven people a good man got to by the guys so yeah it is like a run through my fam but that's the close of my brothers i know about ten people who have died than all the my brightest and care every day i walk out my house the hour film directed no by six and people think yeah they all die before they even time seventeen as is almost natural aging those i'm about oh gosh i live you
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know nobody's sorrow is a. carrot and in my day the current day came to move on is bad enough. you to see somebody in a bed in the call way that i'm no bottom for the seed a need to send out of your gaze and explore my life's a lot of bands. first that they happen because of violence it was like you know the shadow but we came together. the second one it was our.

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