your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Victor D. Swallow: Stories of hardship on the Pine Ridge Reservation

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota, victor swallow

The Pine Ridge Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Photo: James Pendleton / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dancing Indian and picking potatoes
By Victor D. Swallow
Native Sun News Today Columnist

These two stories are about life in the late 1920s to early 1930s. Both stories are during the depression when money was scarce, people bartered for their necessities, and hard work was a part of everyday life.

My mother told me that some people from Pine Ridge and others were from Red Shirt Table would go to Deadwood’s Annual Celebration where they would be paid for their performance. The agreement of payment for their services was money and a fat cow. My mom said after they had got settled in several riders came driving down the road with a bony old milk cow. She said the spokesman representing them was name Jake White Cow Killer.

He told them, “You promised us a fat beef, so take that boney cow away and bring us what you promised or all of us will go home.” So they took the old milk cow away and brought a fat cow to replace it.

Hearing this story my mother told me makes me think about how deceit and wrong doing has been going on for over 500 years and will continue in the future. I would hope people would live by the “Golden Rule” like I was taught to treat others the way you want to be treated. But I am a Realist and that don’t seem realistic, not in today’s world. It seems like some people are willing to do other people wrong just to get ahead.

This next story is about potato picking and about a man with a good heart. People from Red Shirt had gone to Scottsbluff-Gering area in Nebraska to harvest produce. They would get paid and also get some produce to take home with them. Mother said it was during the Depression and the farmer said he was taking a load of potatoes to town and he would be back to pay them. When he came back mother said he had tears in his eyes and he told them he didn’t get very much money. He said he would give them half of the money he got because his wife needed some things but they could have all the potatoes and beans they wanted.

They took what they could carry and went back to Red Shirt. Mom said her cousin Amos Iron Plume was there and had $20, she didn’t know where they got it. They hired a truck and went back to Nebraska and got 800 lbs. of potatoes and 200 lbs. of beans. They had something to eat all winter.

Stories like these need to be told on how life was after reservations were created and the hardships they endured. Most of the Indians were humble and happy and didn’t dwell on their mistreatment and the lies the Federal Government told them. It was a Government with no conscience, guilt or shame. This is coming from a realist with no bitterness, just based on facts and who did OK in life.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Dancing Indian and picking potatoes

(Victor D. Swallow was born in 1939, Oglala Lakota, U. S. Navy Veteran, 50 year member of Bricklayers Union, Optimistic realist and fair. Victor can be reached at his daughter’s email address at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

Trump administration rolls out first rule under historic trust reform law
Interior Department sends out another $13.1M in Cobell buy-back offers
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs headed to New Mexico for hearing
House committee again leaves out Indian Country in hearing on Interior
Mark Maxey: Oklahoma tries to crush Native protesters with new law
Carletta Tilousi: Havasupai Tribe threatened by uranium development
Opinion: Don't be fooled by Jimmie Durham's claims of Cherokee heritage
Opinion: Economic development for Indian Country in upcoming farm bill
Government worker suspended after calling Native principal a 'rabid s----'
Kiowa citizen Tristan Ahtone to report on tribes for High Country News
New York Times features Dina Gilio-Whitaker in editorial on health care
Tribes break ground on monument to their history in Virginia's capitol
Warm Springs Tribes battle large wildfire that broke out behind casino
Spokane Tribe casino doesn't bother Air Force despite claims in lawsuit
Tribes in for long haul as oil continues to flow through Dakota Access
Mark Trahant: Don't plan on getting sick if you're from Indian Country
Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow
Director of Office of Indian Energy deletes offensive Twitter account
States cheer decision on grizzly bears amid tribal concerns about hunts
Washington asks high court to overturn Yakama Nation treaty victory
New York Times editorial board reconsiders stance on racist trademarks
Colville Tribes remove council member a week before citizens go to polls
Marijuana firm promises big investments with help of ex-Seminole chair
Lumbee Tribe ordered to release voter list to opponents of chairman
National Indian Gaming Association chooses David Bean as vice chair
Eastern Cherokee citizen promoted to vice president of casino marketing
Tribes in Connecticut waiting on governor to sign bill for new casino
Secretary Zinke removes protections for grizzlies over tribal objections
Court sets final deadline for remaining payments from Cobell settlement
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act strengthens our families
Peter d'Errico: Navajo authors offer fresh perspective on sovereignty
Native woman was jailed and forced to ride with assailant during trial
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe challenges new permit for uranium operation
Montana tribes get new member of Congress who pleaded to assault
Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
Ramapough Lunaape Nation wins reversal of ruling on prayer camp
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waits on casino ruling from Trump team
Another former leader of Winnebago Tribe pleads in gaming theft case
Supreme Court ruling poses hurdle for opponents of racist NFL mascot
Change the Mascot campaign responds to negative Supreme Court ruling
Secretary Zinke set for another hearing on Interior Department budget
Mark Trahant: Republicans write health reform bill behind closed doors
Jeff Grubbe: Agua Caliente Band focuses on protecting our groundwater
>>> more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.