One shouldn't need to recount the history of the conquest of this continent, and how mostly nomadic peoples were hunted down like animals, subjected to the horrors of biological warfare, repeatedly lied to, repeatedly made to suffer from broken promises and shredded treaties, herded like animals into narrow confines on mostly harsh and barren lands, their cultures and their languages stripped from them, and remaining now only due to perseverance, tenacity, courage, strength and grace. One shouldn't need to be reminded that the modern residents of Rosebud are the descendents of the survivors of attempted genocide.
It would be nice if the collective capabilities and potentials that are national and state governments acted on a fundamental ethos of mutual responsibility, but far too often that's not how it works. We don't, as a nation, as a rule, take care of one another. There are exceptions, both collectively and in various forms of individual and group efforts, but on so many basic measures of humanity we, the people, fail. But we, as individuals and as a community, need not fail. We can do what we can do. We must do what we can do.
Too many of the People of Rosebud are in danger of freezing in their homes, in the dire poverty and brutal climate that more than a century ago was with great disdain handed to them as their only allowed birthright. There are so many ways in which this nation must do better by them, but few could be as simple and as obvious as helping people in need so that they don't freeze through marrow-cracking winter.
As liberals and progressives, as Democrats, as Americans, and as human beings it is our responsibility to help those in need. As much for who we are as for who they are. They are not all liberals or progressives or Democrats, but they are all Americans and human beings. This shouldn't require much consideration or deliberation. There are people in need. Those of us who can help them must help them.
Since winter 2009-2010, thanks to the efforts of navajo, Native American Netroots and other Kossacks, low-income Indians at three Indian reservations have received propane and heaters to deal with the often-brutal winters of South Dakota. This is our fourth season of fund raising for this project, which literally saves lives because it catches people who fall through the cracks. Some have asked why we don't run this project through a regular charity. The reason is that our contacts on the reservations say they don't see the money when there is a middleman involved. That is why this is a unique project. You can learn more about the situation at the Rosebud Reservation, read some personal stories and see photos in Aji's post here.
Here is how you can help buy propane: The fastest way to help is to pick up the phone and call with your credit-card information. A family will get propane delivered either the same day or the next day.
ROSEBUD RESERVATION CONTACT:
Telephone St. Francis Energy Co. at:Of course, all the propane in the world won't do you any good without a heater. Many families don't even have working heaters—or ones that work safely. Every year, there are house fires as a result of malfunctioning heaters that people can't afford to repair. So if you're flush or you have a few friends who can put your dollars together, a heater would be really welcome this Thanksgiving season.
11 AM-6 PM MST EVERY DAY
Ask for Sherry or her mom Patsy, but others can help you also. Normally a minimum order is $150, but they have an account to accumulate small donations until they get enough for an full delivery. Credit cards welcome, and they are the only Indian-owned fuel company on the Rosebud. If you'd like to mail a check, make it payable to:
St. Francis Energy Co.
Attn: Sherry or Patsy
St. Francis Energy Co./Valandra's II
P.O. Box 140
St. Francis, South Dakota 57572
PLEASE NOTE: NOT A 501c3, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR TAX PREPARER.
You can order a heater and the necessary accessories from Northern Tool HERE and have it shipped to:INTERNATIONAL DONORS:
St. Francis Energy Co.
120 N. Main Street
Saint Francis, SD 57572
Here's what you'll be sending:
• Mr. Heater Big Buddy™ Indoor/Outdoor Propane Heater—18,000 BTU, Model# MH18B
You also need to include these accessories:
• Mr. Heater AC Power Adapter for Big Buddy Heaters—6 Volt, Model# F276127
• Mr. Heater 12-Ft. Hose with Regulator for Item# 173635
• Mr. Heater Fuel Filter for Buddy™ Heaters, Model# F273699
Order Total of $235.85 (includes shipping)
If you live out of the country, please use our PayPal link at Native American Netroots. The donation button is in the middle right of the page. This process takes about two weeks for the funds to hit the reservation, so telephoning the propane companies directly is definitely the fastest way to help.