Poverty, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Fall 2007 Photojournalism Depth Report

Shannon County, South Dakota, is the home of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - the ancestral home of the Oglala Lakota, the native tribe that wiped out George Custer at the Little Bighorn and had their hearts buried at Wounded Knee. It is also home to the poorest people in the United States, a people who have a life expectancy about one-half the national average, a fetal alcohol rate about four times the national average and a suicide rate about five times the national average. Pine Ridge is a community of 20,000 spread across the second-largest reservation in the nation - a tragic collision of grinding, generational poverty and hopelessness played out across a landscape of haunting grandeur and beauty. Professors Bruce Thorson and Joe Starita.

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Pine Ridge Indian Reservation