Mission trip to Lakota - Pine Ridge, South Dakota, American Indians, June 9, 2003 to June 16, 2003 Adventures in Missions

Lakota - Pine Ridge, South Dakota
American Indians Mission Trip

June 9, 2003 to June 16, 2003
Age Group: Adults
Application Deadline: 4/10/2003
Status:  Past application deadline
Cost (US$): 695

Travel Information
Shots & Vaccinations: 
An updated Tetanus shot is Strongly Recommended for ALL projects.

Suggested Travel Agency:

Angie Lepley, CTC
Tangerine Travel, Ltd.
16017 Juanita Woodinville Way NE, #201
Bothell, WA 98011
Phone (800) 678-8202
Direct (425) 354-6910
Email Angie@tangerinetravel.com

Suggested Travel Insurance: 

We highly recommend all program participants have health insurance coverage for international trips. It is important to know that most regular health insurance plans do not cover you overseas. Health coverage is not a requirement for domestic trips, but still recommended.

Location Information
Location Description:

Located in South Dakota, Pine Ridge Reservation is southeast of the Black Hills. About half of Badlands National Park is located on the reservation. Only the Navajo Nation is larger.


Summer highs are in the low 80s, dropping to the low 50s at night. Summer precipitation averages three inches per month.

Area Attractions:

In addition to Badlands National Park, the Black Hills are to the northwest. Mount Rushmore is about a four-hour drive, just 26 miles from Rapid City, SD.
People, Culture and Religion
The Lakota Sioux originally lived in the forests of north-central Minnesota, where they subsisted on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Many moved to the central plains of South Dakota when French fur traders came to Minnesota in the early 1600s. Movement continued in the 1700s to large parts of five plains states as more white settlers pushed into Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Sioux became expert hunters, traders, and horsemen. Buffalo became a primary source of food.

By 1778, the Sioux had discovered the Black Hills in western South Dakota. They also divided into seven tribes at this time, one of which was called Oglala. The Black Hills were, and still are, the religious and spiritual center of the Sioux culture. Encroachment by miners and settlers into the Black Hills region precipitated the Red Cloud Wars in the 1860s. The Oglala Sioux lost most of these skirmishes, which resulted in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 and the creation of the Great Sioux Reservation. In 1889, after the federal government confiscated 7.7 million acres of the Sioux's sacred Black Hills, the Oglala were assigned to live on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

In 1890, over 300 Sioux were senselessly slaughtered by U.S. government troops near Wounded Knee Creek on the reservation. In the 20th century, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must pay the Oglala and other Sioux Nations tens of millions in compensation for illegally taking the Black Hills. To this day, the Oglala have refused to accept this settlement money as a matter of principle.
Government and Economy
Reservations are sovereign nations, and as such have their own tribal governments, clinics, schools, and police force. There are few jobs and widespread unemployment (84%). Many residents travel 120 miles to Rapid City to seek employment for most of the year. Economically, the Pine Ridge Reservation has been deemed the poorest area in the United States. Housing is a substantial problem: hundreds are homeless and thousands live in overcrowded and substandard housing. Funding for medical care is inadequate, and many residents do without health care because of travel distances.

17,775 - Pine Ridge Reservation
Poverty Rate:
69% - Pine Ridge Reservation
Literacy Rate:
97% USA
Average Annual Income:
$2,600 median per capita income -less than one-fifth of the national average