101 of Pine Ridge Rez

Things to Bring on Mission Trips

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Here are some typical things to be equipped with out here on the Rez:

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/deodorant/hand sanitizer/wet wipes for your rear

  • Bottled Water and compass

  • AT@T Cellphone (only carrier and only network that picks up)

  • Ball-cap/sun glasses and good work boots

  • Avoid cash, bring debit/credit (ATM at Sioux Nation, Shell, and Taco Johns)

  • Tools for vehicle repair, no auto shops out here or major parts

  • Layers of clothing for winter (gloves, beanie, heavy coat, insulated boots, etc.)

  • Tobacco for only elders, given as sign of friendship

  • Sleeping bag, pillow, sturdy tent (if plans on camping out on the land)

  • Bible/Knife/First Aid Kit

Reacting to the Homelessness

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Most know the problem of homelessness that once plagued White Clay, NE due to the selling of alcohol. Well now, these groups of homeless people have moved to the center of Pine Ridge since the ban of alcohol, hanging outside of Sioux Nation and Big Bat’s convenient store begging for money. The best advice for anyone coming onto the reservation is to never give out money!!! We have been out here long enough to see the hustles that go on everyday out here. If you want to help, give out clothes and food, never money. Money only enables the homeless to get more dope or booze. Do not be taken advantage of by some of the “off the wall” stories of why they need money. They will come up with anything to get what they want from you and they have been doing this scheme for a long time. I’m not saying don’t help, but only help in ways that will be positive to their growth and meeting their needs, not wants.

Conveniences on the Reservation for Mission Teams

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Most that have never come onto a reservation think that there isn’t any modern conveniences, but I beg to differ. There might not be a huge variety of options, but Pine Ridge for example has two gas stations (Big Bat’s and Yellow Birds) and a super market (Sioux Nation). It might be a bit more expensive, but you can find your hygiene items, gas, food, etc. This will save you space in your travel bags and give you the ability to minimize weight for carrying things on your mission trip. Minimize all you can, it makes for good travel!