2010-02-02 / Front Page

OST Says ‘Stop the Scams’

PINE RIDGE, SD The Oyate (People) of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation recently expe rienced a series of harsh blizzards and extreme weather beginning in late De cember. Hundreds of families were ill prepared for the high winds, whiteouts and heavy snowfall that closed all roads and highways across the reservation. Many households eventually ran out of propane, firewood, food and medical supplies.

Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls immediately established a Command Post out of her officeand organized the Emergency Management Team to begin the task of assessing the situation. The team paid particular attention to tribal members with severe medical needs such as heart and dialysis patients. The Oglala (Sioux) Lakota Housing Author ity under the direction of Paul Iron Cloud; the Energy Assistance Director, Denise King Red Owl; Monica Terkild sen, Emergency Response; and David Kelly from the OST Transportation De partment; all provided the core guid ance to the agencies to ensure that all calls were addressed. Without the care and compassion of all resource agencies, the task of responding to the needs would have been next to impossible.

The disaster prompted other tribes, non profit corporation and individuals to respond with food, clothing and fi nancial assistance. Sadly, the disaster had also resulted in tribal members and outside organizations “scamming” for funding on the internet claiming to raise funds for the poor and needy on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. President Two Bulls advises the public that these Organizations have not received per mission from the Oglala Sioux Tribe to solicit funds on behalf of the Oglala tribal membership.

President Two Bulls requests that any Tribe, organization or individual who wish to donate for emergency assistance can send directly to the Oglala Sioux Tribe in care of Dean Patton, Treasurer, Oglala Sioux Tribe, P.O. Box 2070, Pine Ridge, South Dakota 57770. Mr. Patton has established an emergency fund for such donations. Funds will be used ex clusively for heating costs for electrical, propane, fuel oil and firewood needs. The Housing and Energy Assistance funds have been depleted.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is very grateful to the organizations, tribes and individ uals who have contacted President Two Bulls with generous outpouring of help for this ongoing need. President Two Bulls also expresses her sincere grati tude to all who have kept the Oglala Sioux Tribe in their prayers. She can be contacted via her direct line: (605)867 4021, or e mail: theresatb@oglala.org. Update: Due to the State of Emergency on the Cheyenne River Indian Reserva tion, the Oglala Sioux Tribe opened the doors at the Prairie Wind Casino Hotel to care for 25 dialysis patients and 10 supporting staff from Cheyenne River. According to media reports, electrical power will be restored in approximately 10 to 14 days.

For more information and updates, log on to the officialwebsite of the Oglala Sioux Tribe: www.oglalalakotanation.org.

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