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Pine Ridge Student: Native American equal rights

"For me, equal rights has been a vague principle for my living situation. I am a 17-year-old Native American girl, and I live in one of the country's most poverty-stricken reservations.

Living on Pine Ridge Reservation is not always an example of equal rights. Equal rights means discrimination is prohibited, but on a daily basis myself and others are faced with slander and libel.

It has become an issue that Native American reservations get special privileges, because we get free medical care, free schooling, and we continue to get debit cards. They call it "favoritism," but I would say it is compensation for all the wrongs that have been done to our culture throughout history.

With all that, it still isn't the proper care we all desperately need.

People in other states, or maybe even our own state who have different ethnic backgrounds, seem to have an easier time getting basic things they need, such as electricity, heating and other home requirements. I have lived in these conditions long enough to say, 'Freedom isn't always free.'"

Get the Story:
Charlee Bad Wound: Native American tribe wants to show the world who they are (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 3/12)