Wednesday, December 23, 2009
As we enter the new year i rejoice in the things i have and do not dwell on the thing's that i don't have. I started blogging because i felt the need to express myself and my tribe in a positive way along with the need to express my concerns. Little did i know blogging would lead to a education in my culture far beyond what i first thought, and a education in other Native Americans. Blogging makes you research and think!
I am a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi but i am drawn to the suffering of the Souix, even today the Souix struggles to survive. This is their story, not mine!
7,000 acres of land was auctioned off in South Dakota, land that was once the Soiuxs, now it's not, you see they owed about $3 million dollars in back taxes, penalties and interest for unpaid employment taxes. 11.1 square miles of land, gone forever. The land was appraised at $4.63 million dollars but sold for $2.57 million dollars. Usually Federally recognized tribes are not subject to taxes, the Fort Laramie treaty is suppose to prevent the tribe from being taxed, but the law is vague and easily interpreted differently from person to person. Crow Creek ran into problems by not paying employment taxes.
The average yearly income from this tribe is around $5,000 a year, can you imagine? Most of them can not afford running water or electricity. This winter is cold and many of these American Icons are literally freezing to death because their power gets shut off in the dead of winter. It does not matter if they require medical equipment to live that operates off power or that it is below freezing, to be able to die in America for owing a couple hundred dollars seems uncivilized to me. You see the same laws that protect you and me from this happening does not apply on reservation land because the lack of federal laws.
(Click on the title of this story for the Souix version)