Posts Tagged ‘Red Cloud Indian School’
The New York Times recently reported that sequestration cuts are hurting Native American communities, including the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where the Jesuits have served since 1888. Jesuit Father George Winzenburg, president of Pine Ridge’s Red Cloud Indian School, spoke to The New York Times about the sense of resignation that has set in on the reservation.
“It’s one more reminder that our relationship with the federal government is a series of broken promises,” Fr. Winzenburg said. “It’s a series of underfunded projects and initiatives that we were told would be funded to allow us to live at the quality of life that other Americans do.”
According to reservation officials and residents, the poverty trap that has plagued the reservation for generations will likely be exacerbated by recent developments in federal policy. When budget cuts went into effect on March 1, many programs were exempted that benefit low-income Americans, but virtually none of the programs aiding American Indians were included on that list, reported The New York Times.
“Imagine how people feel who can’t help themselves,” said Robert Brave Heart Sr., executive vice president of Red Cloud Indian School. “It’s a condition that a lot of people believe is the result of the federal government putting them in that position, a lot of people are set up for failure. People have no hope and no ability whatsoever to change their fate in life. You take resources that they have, that are taken away, it just adds to the misery.”
Read the full story at The New York Times website.
Thanksgiving is often spent in the company of family and friends, giving thanks for what we have and appreciating the littlest gifts. But on this day of thanks, we should also remember and pray for those who are struggling, be it physically, spiritually, financially or emotionally.
One such group are the Lakota Indians of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. On the reservation, which covers a 5,000 square foot swath of land in the southwestern corner of South Dakota, staggering poverty and an unemployment rate that hovers around 80% leave the children of the Pine Ridge facing an uphill struggle as they learn and grown up on the reservation. The Jesuits have been ministering to the Lakota of the Pine Ridge since the late 1800s, when they founded the Red Cloud Indian School.
20/20 recently profiled the Pine Ridge, and some of the young people who live on the reservation, including a few students from the Jesuit’s Red Cloud Indian School.
Jesuit Father Peter Klink is currently the school parish chaplain at the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Pine Ridge reservation of the Lakota Tribe covers a large, 5,000 square foot swath of land in the southwestern corner of South Dakota.
Here, Fr. Klink ministers to the Lakota’s communities three schools and in its parishes. He’s held many responsibilities during his 26 years of native ministry on the Pine Ridge, including 18 years as the school’s president.
Today, staggering poverty and an unemployment rate that hovers around 80% leave the children of the Pine Ridge facing an uphill struggle as they learn and grown up on the reservation. But, Klink endeavors to make sure the two elementary schools and the high school that make up the school system on the Pine Ridge are a beacon of hope for the possibility of a bright future for the Lakota and their families.
Recently, Klink took the time to speak with National Jesuit News by phone from the Red Cloud School for our monthly podcast series. You can listen to our interview with him below: