Article Responses, Articles/Information, Movements and Organizations

“Heating the Rez”: The Northern Plains are on the Brink.


Nationally, we have all been greatly affected by what is being called the “Polar Vortex.” Whether it is has been a flash-freeze, a Nor’easter, or the major drought on the West Coast, millions have been impacted by this memorable winter season.

Standing Rock Indian Reservation
Standing Rock Indian Reservation

On the Standing Rock Reservation, there has been a major propane shortage due to price inflation. This shortage has caused a lack of heat for reservation residents. In the past month, a death has occurred due to freezing temperatures in homes. Debbie Dogskin, 61, died while house-sitting, from what is believed to be hypothermia. When found, the home’s temperature was -1 degree Fahrenheit. Networks like ABC News covered this tragic story. However, the struggle still continues for those who cannot afford propane at the current prices that have doubled in price since the previous season.

The Standing Rock Sioux Nation has been in a state of emergency for almost a full month due to the brutal winter and propane issues.

Fundraisers such as “Heating the Rez” have been conducted on sites like Indiegogo for contributions to those in need on the reservation. The fundraiser will be continuing for the next 28 days, ending March 19. For donations and contributions you can visit http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/heating-the-rez.

The video above features Chase Iron Eye, a lawyer and founder of lastrealindians.com, a Native American media site for the preservation and advocacy of Native people, culture and news, has been in forefront for leading the Heating the Rez movement. Iron Eyes speaks about the loss of the member of the Standing Rock community and the fundraiser to heat the homes in the Northern Plains.

The fact that a woman has had to die and her relatives having to suffer from her loss, in order for this to get national media attention is a gross astonishment. For people in this country to suffer in their homes and communities due to lack of a basic need is a plague that needs to be taken care of.

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