User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


71° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Business

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Propane Costs Lead To Reservation Heating Crisis

January 31, 2014, 8:04 PM by Kevin Woster

Propane Costs Lead To Reservation Heating Crisis
RAPID CITY, SD -

On each cold winter evening, residents of Red Shirt go to bed wondering how long their propane will last.

The painfully poor community on the northwest edge of the Pine Ridge Reservation reflects a dangerous reality across Indian Country, one that brought leaders from seven tribes to Rapid City this week in search of solutions.

Paul Iron Cloud, a former president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe now working on reservation housing issues, coordinated the meeting with aides to Sens. Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Sen. John Thune, R-SD, and a regional representative from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Heating problems have piled up quickly during a winter of cold temperatures and high winds, Iron Cloud said.

"First of all, the propane went sky high," he said. "No way in heck can our people with their salaries pay for all of that. Lot of them is on fixed incomes so they either buy food or buy propane And you know, they need the food."

Iron Cloud said many on the reservation face that hard choice during a winter marked by stretches of below-zero gales. Oglala Tribal Council members have been flooded by calls for heating assistance. And council members are especially worried about children.

"One of the calls I got was from an elderly lady that lives in Pine Ridge," says councilman Larry Eagle Bull of the Pine Ridge District. "She was crying on the phone. She said, 'You know, this isn't for me. This is for my takosias, grandchildren. They're the ones that are cold.'"

The tribe provided some heating assistance but exhaused available funds. It also got help from the tribal casino. With tribal resources exhausted and federal heat assistance limited, reservation leaders are seeking help from federal officials -- but with a practical attitude.

"They're not going to meet all of our needs right now," Oglala Tribe President Bryan Brewer says. "And I think the tribal council, we need to sit down and try to come up with another solution. What are we going to do? How are we going to make it through the next couple of months?"

It's a question being asked each night in chilly homes across the reservation.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View business

You may also like

First DTSF Incubator Store Open For Business

7/23/2014 6:30 AM

605 Running Co., 124 S. Phillips Avenue, just opened its doors on Friday. It's a big grand opening for the store, but also for Downtown ...

Full Story | Watch
Sioux Falls No Longer Best Small City

7/25/2014 11:12 AM

Sioux Falls is no longer the nation's best small city for business and careers.

Full Story
Iowa Town Bracing For Closure Of Tyson Foods Plant

7/27/2014 3:31 PM

One small northwest Iowa town is preparing to deal with the loss of 450 jobs this fall when the Tyson Foods plant in Cherokee closes, and business own...

Full Story
Third Walmart Preparing To Open In Sioux Falls

7/22/2014 6:10 PM

Sioux Falls latest Walmart store is preparing to open in just a few weeks.

Full Story
Simply Mac Coming To Sioux Falls

7/28/2014 1:12 PM

Apple users will soon have another option for sales and service support.

Full Story


Events