Contact

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Spirit Horse Connection

8110 Cedar Lake Road

Pinckney, MI 48169

Tel: 734 - 648 - 0016

chris@spirithorseconnection.org

Learn More about Native Communities

Due to colonization, many Native American Nations have been removed from their original homelands, forced to live on reservations, and taken away from their traditional educational structures, sacred places, life ways, and languages. This has impacted their quality of life significantly. 

Currently, the community and families that our programs benefit the most are located on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Here are some statistcis to help show the need and the obstacles that they are facing:

ABOUT

Pine Ridge is the poorest community in the country, with 97% living below the federal poverty line, 92% unemployment and 60% without running water.

PINE RIDGE CONDITIONS

Faced by nearly-insurmountable conditions, few resources, and against unbelievable odds, Indigenous people are struggling hard to overcome decades of neglect, discrimination and destruction of their traditional cultures to achieve a life of self-respect and self-sufficiency.

BRIEF STATISTICS

  • 97% of the population at Pine Ridge Reservation lives below federal poverty line.

  • The unemployment rate vacillates from 85% to 95% on the Reservation.

  • Death due to Heart Disease: Twice the national average.

  • The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and is about 300% higher than the U.S. national average.

  • Elderly die each winter from hypothermia (freezing).

  • Recent reports point out that the median income on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately $2,600 to $3,500 per year.

  • At least 60% of the homes are severely substandard, without water, electricity, adequate insulation, and sewage systems.

  • Recent reports state the average life expectancy is 45 years old while others state that it is 48 years old for men and 52 years old for women. With either set of figures, that’s the shortest life expectancy for any community in the Western Hemisphere outside Haiti, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Today, efforts are being made to help recreate these sustainable ways of living, and bring prosperity and healing back to these communities in a respectful manner.

LINKS & ARTICLES

Important scholarly articles and links related to the work we do. 

PhD: The Relationship Between the Indigenous People of the Americas and the Horse: Deconstructing a Eurocentric Myth

By Yvette Running Horse Collin, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

The Historic Nokota Horses, Descendants of Sitting Bull's Herd

By: Patrician N. Saffran

HISTORICAL RESOURCES

Please visit these organization, school, and network pages to learn more about the history of Pine Ridge Reservation and surrounding lands.