Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Today, I’m going to switch gears a little (or a lot).

My heart hurts for the Lakota at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

If you’ve never seen this 20/20 episode that aired last year, I highly recommend it.

The piece by 20/20 is fairly well done.  But they leave you with the feeling that things are looking up for these kids.  We know the aunt of Robert Looks Twice’s and can tell you that his mom is back to drinking heavily.  The picture you get from 20/20 is not the reality.

Not only that, but you don’t hear what the main problem is on Reservation.  I don’t entirely blame the producers, because they have a target audience to cater to.  Still there is a blaring problem that is not mentioned once during the show.

First let me tell you that we live less than an hour from this Reservation and have been friends with and loving on a Lakota family for about 2 years. We’ve ministered to them and seen their ups and downs throughout this time.


We have received calls from them telling us that their 13 year old niece killed herself, then another niece, then a nephew.  Multiple attempts at suicide.  Tears over getting drunk again and admission to addiction to prescription pain medications. Demon oppression & possession (yes it is true I don’t care who you are or your lack of “experience” with it). Our own frustrations with the times they struggled or finding out that money we gave them for gas was really for pot. We’ve prayed and cried with this family.

But the problem that 20/20 can’t share is that the sexual abuse is very normal and begins at a young age for so many of the Lakota on the Reservation. Many grow up, and in turn, do the same thing. This is just how it is. It is heart-wrenching to know what goes on.


This evil is what we have come to believe it is one of the biggest contributors to the sucicide and alcohol problems on Pine Ridge. There is no hope of ever escaping the abuse.  Add to that, the shame and embarrassment that comes along as baggage.

To the Lakota, if you leave the Reservation and make something of yourself, you are betraying your people. You are an apple, red on the outside but all white inside. “You are no better than anyone else so stop trying to be.”


Three families have set aside Saturday to go and do church with them. They invite their family and extended family. Several souls have committed their lives to Jesus but there are obvious ups and downs as these babes in Christ learn who they really are.  They are 100% Lakota, no doubt about it, but the alcohol, drugs, & abuse have ruined their culture.   Christ redeems them and their culture from what is destroying them.

We’d covet your prayers as we love on this family.









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  1. Definitely praying for you

  2. Oh, this is heartbreaking!!!! I have not had an organized prayer life for a long time, but FOUR things came up yesterday that I think God wants me to pray for long-term. This is one of them. (So I am writing it down on an index card to go in my Bible.) I want to pray for these dear people, that God would break the chains of demonic oppression/possession, alcoholism, etc. That God would show them the power of His forgiveness that we ALL need. That God would heal and do a mighty work in redeeming the culture. That God would bless and guide you as you love on them. Please keep me (us) updated if you can.

  3. Ramiro blaCk wolf says:

    Your prayers are not working. Your God is not healing the spirits. The evil you speak of was organized and developed by Columbus and the following bands of thugs that have chosen to wage a war of oppression on our people, our land and our culture and way of life. You pray for a form of government that recognizes sovereignty of our nations, honors treaties made and respects our people. Good luck with that prayer sister. Listen to John Trudell and if you don’t understand what he is saying pray on it! The light will turn on in your head hopefully.

    • I do not profess to understand all that the Native Americans have gone through, my knowledge is VERY limited. But I assure you, my heart is grieved over what the Native Americans are going through. I think time and time again, our government has harmed the Native population and it is continuing to so. I don’t believe the answer to the problems is the government…more times than not, they ARE the problem. My prayer isn’t for any government but instead that Natives would be set free.

  4. I agree with Ramiro Black Wolf…..the first nations had their societies, their families, their governments and their ways of life before the Europeans came to do one thing….make way for THEIR way of life….they used force and religion to commit total genocide on a people. The United States Government from its earliest inception planned to eliminate the first nations in order to promote their own. How many people living in today’s communities would stand by as an armed force entered their communities and began murdering the occupants at will? Religion in the form of Christianity was used by the church and the government to attain this end…Today, many First Nations are returning to their own faith in the Creator and raising their children in that faith. What does it matter what you call the creator? Your ways are not the ways of all….live and let live.

  5. Ninakita says:

    I saw a documentary about Robert Looks Twice. He is a smart dignified young man. I am glad that the documentary didn’t pry too much or reveal too much of the trials of his personal life. That is not for me to know because how can I help him?
    The government already knows that when they came in and destroyed the foundation of the Native American culture not only through genocide but by introducing alcohol; a substance that is deadly to native americans as they do not naturally possess the enzyme it takes to break it down in their systems. (They have no resistance to the power and danger of alcohol)- the government knows that they owe a great debt to the native americans- to help heal the wounds of the past and to fix the subsequent problems of the present day within the reservations and among their people.
    The poverty and infrastructural neglect is one aspect that can be helped by government funding but the key to helping to heal such a damaged people and to return to them their natural dignity rooted in a most beautiful culture, is through psychological therapy. I am not a psychologist but I have read enough to know that the issues you mention in this blog can only be solved through serious and specialized counselling and psychotherapy.
    So many facets to the problems of the native American people yet so many of these problems can be directly attributed to the colonial past where they were driven from a healthy balanced way of life to one of unnatural incarceration, poisoned by alcohol.
    Your use of the word ‘demon’ in this context is bizarre, highly inappropriate and wholly unhelpful.
    If you examine the long history that has brought the native americans to where they are today. In those areas of poverty and deprivation, the substance abuse and sexual abuse.. there are causes to be identified and solutions to be found and healing to begin. The collapse of a society from within can always be attributed to the flaws of a society without.

  6. Marie Nail Goodrich says:

    My family comes from cherokee, irish, and Portuguese blood. Father is from Oklahoma, mother from Georgia. I am proud of all my family ties. When I was in grade school (I am age 53now). I was so upset over the way “the white man” treated native Americans that at first, I cried, then I got mad, then I wrote a very LONG REPORT about the abuse and destruction that was done to the various tribes. My soul still cries and I get angry but that won’t accomplish anything. Actions to change things is the answer. Be smarter, figure out a way to get your land back like the descendants of black slaves did. They formed NAACP, they sent their own to become attorneys, an effective tool to find the loopholes in the laws and advance their cause. They still preserve their heritage in story, song, dance, books, cooking, and keeping records of family trees. I got an A- on my report but was shunned at school for months because I had verbalized the obvious. I know first hand that we have a propensity for alcohol and tobacco. Also, health wise, we are prone to diabetes, obesity, and all that comes with it. That is why when I saw that special on 20/20 last year, my heart soared in the fact that a new warrior for the times, youngblood, Robert Looks Twice had a dream to be President one day. It is a possibility, look at Obama. That is why my husband and I drove 3,500 miles to meet that young man and tell him in person that we would vote for him. We are sitting under a tree at Kmart in Spearfish this very moment. Robert, please let us know where you are before we have to head back home. P.S. we are traveling with our two chihuahuas Elvis Buddha, and psycho Roadie. Peace Out.

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