Tag Archives: Pine Ridge Reservation

Stuck in ‘Food Desert,’ Pine Ridge Locals Look to Subway to Meet Nutrition Needs

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Two Subway restaurants on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are thriving.

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From ABC News.Com
Oct. 14, 2011

When entering the vast 2.2 million acre expanse of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, it’s hard to miss the picturesque surroundings of windswept plains and sharply eroded foothills. But go deeper and prairieland too arid for farming and poverty that rivals that of the third world becomes apparent.

There is not a single mall, nor a movie theater, a big business, nor a bank on the South Dakota reservation. But in downtown Pine Ridge, a Subway restaurant franchise is busy all day long.

“We focused on Subway mainly because of the opportunity it offered in healthy eating,” said owner Bob Ecoffey, who opened his business in 2008.

Get Involved: How to Help the Children of the Plains

An area the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, the reservation is considered a “food desert,” defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a low-income community without ready access to healthy and affordable food. Ecoffey, who is also the Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent for the Pine Ridge Agency, tells ABC News that healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are unavailable because of what he says are limited resources.

“The opportunity just doesn’t exist for many people across the reservation,” he said.

Ecoffey said Subway offers that opportunity.

Tashina Banks, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, is the hiring manager at the Pine Ridge Subway. She shared with ABC News the story of an elder woman from the community who was moved to tears during the store’s grand opening week.

“She came in here and literally was crying because of what having this kind of a store or food restaurant in the community meant,” Banks said. “Not only because you see people investing in our own community, but also because, she said, ‘I haven’t eaten a cucumber in years because they’re so expensive.'”

There’s only one large supermarket and typically the price of staple items across the reservation are more expensive because of its remote location. read more…


Native American Reservation Customer Tech Support

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Originally published on July 26th, 2010.

Sioux Chief Red Cloud
Sioux Chief Red Cloud

Red Cloud (Lakota: Maȟpíya Lúta), (1822 – December 10, 1909) was a war leader of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

The other night I was watching one of those BIO channels on the tube, maybe it was The BIO channel or The History Channel, it doesn’t really matter.

Anyway, the show was about extreme poverty at the Pine Ridge Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The program also focused on gangs and gangsters on the reservation.

I got to thinking (sorry ’bout that “got to”) and some thoughts came into being. I might be late to the table and if this has already happened, so be it. I’d like to, at least, plant a seed and see if it blossoms.

Here’s the deal: I don’t really have anything against customer support East Indians or customer support people from other foreign countries, but I probably have a bias for our Native American Indians. Long story short: Why aren’t we utilizing Native Americans on the Reservations for outsourced Customer Support for American companies?

In other words, why doesn’t Microsoft, Bill Gates etal step up to the plate and outsource Customer Support work to the Native American Reservation peoples. I’m not aiming an arrow at Bill Gates and Microsoft, just using that example for obvious reasons.

The computer companies etc. could pay for the training, the government could kick in a few bucks and the Native Casinos could provide a few grants. The loop stays within the USA. How could this not be a WIN-WIN .

I’m not so naive as to think that I have come up with a totally new idea, but regardless of who thought of it first, I think it’s an idea that has to get some Etime. Please pass it on if you agree.

New York times article from December 13, 2009
Gang Violence Grows on an Indian Reservation
PINE RIDGE, S.D. — Richard Wilson has been a pallbearer for at least five of his “homeboys” in the North Side Tre Tre Gangster Crips, a Sioux imitation of a notorious Denver gang.

One 15-year-old member was mauled by rivals. A 17-year-old shot himself; another, on a cocaine binge and firing wildly, was shot by the police. One died in a drunken car wreck, and another, a founder of the gang named Gaylord, was stabbed to death at 27. read more from the Times

THE PALLBEARER Richard Wilson, left, has carried the coffins of five gang members from Pine Ridge, S.D. At right, his half-brother, Richard Lame.
THE PALLBEARER Richard Wilson, left, has carried the coffins of five gang members from Pine Ridge, S.D. At right, his half-brother, Richard Lame.

The photo of Chief Red Cloud was used to honor the past in general.

Make a donation to The Pine Ridge Reservation thru the Friends of Pine Ridge website.
Pine Ridge Chamber of Commerce Official Website.