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December 8, 2010

Do something good for Christmas this year.

I gave myself a Christmas present this year.

It took me a while to pick it out though. I hemmed and hawed, debated, tried to figure out if I could afford it, but then I sat down and decided to just do it.

Faced with poverty, starvation, high mortality rates, homelessness, and conditions worse than most third world countries, IN OUR OWN COUNTRY...can you help? My mother and I did.

  1. There is a group of people who have the shortest life expectancy of any group in the Western Hemisphere, outside of Haiti?
  2. Families, children and elders go without food on a regular basis?
  3. Families are often without heat during sub-zero temperatures?
  4. People are without employment opportunities or adequate medical facilities?

That is the plight of Lakota People living on reservations in South Dakota.

  1. Life Expectancy is 48 years for men and 52 years for women.
  2. Unemployment is estimated to be 87%
  3. 90% live below the Federal poverty level.
  4. The teenage suicide rate is 3 1/2 times higher than the national average.
  5. Infant mortality is five times higher than the national average
  6. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and malnutrition are epidemic.

Despite hardship and adversity, the Lakota maintain their cultural knowledge and traditions and preserve for their children and for the world, ancient wisdom that contributes to quality of life.

  1. About 1/3 of the population still speak the Lakota language.
  2. Almost all maintain their traditional spiritual and cultural beliefs.
  3. They are leaders in knowledge of environmental preservation.
  4. They are a sharing society - when one eats, they all eat - or they all do without.
  5. Their exquisite beadwork, quillwork, quilting, sewing, painting is art at its best.
  6. They wish to preserve their culture and find ways to be self-sufficient.

Please do what you can to help. You can donate one time or as many times as you want, or you can sponsor a child, a family, or an Elder.

You can read more at their website: http://www.nativeprogress.org/

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