Updated: Feb 10
Image: Eagle Butte sets in the background on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, in South Dakota.
When you travel to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, you may find that non-natives often run farms and cattle ranches. This is not a coincidence. The majority of enrolled native people of the tribe do not have enough education on livestock and farm production, agricultural loans, business loans, nor commercial planning, leading to a situation where non-natives have been managing crops and cattle for the tribe for centuries. This has led to a disproportionate weight given to white-driven propaganda, which has had severe consequences on the economic and demographic success of the tribe.
Why Native Americans are at a Disadvantage in Their Own Neighborhoods
Native Americans who reside in tribal neighborhoods are immediately placed at a disadvantage due to this lack of access to resources. Without access to things like education or loans, they simply don’t have enough support or knowledge to be able to compete with non-natives when it comes to running farms or cattle ranches. As a result, they can’t take advantage of any potential financial opportunities that may arise from owning these types of businesses. This is especially damaging for those living in poverty since their ability to break out of it is even further hindered by this dynamic.
The Tribal Council Needs To Step Up:
This issue needs to be addressed by the Tribal Council more than anyone else if the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe seeks true economic and demographic success. There needs to be an emphasis on education and training so that Native Americans can become empowered with knowledge and skills related to livestock and farm production as well as commercial planning. Furthermore, there needs to be increased access and availability of agricultural loans and business loans so that Native Americans can create their own businesses without relying on outside help from non-natives.
The unfortunate reality is that without proper planning and training from CRST Tribal Council actions, Native Americans living on tribal land will continue to be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to economic opportunities due to the overwhelming presence of non-natives running farms and cattle ranches in their own neighborhoods. The only way forward is through concerted effort from both sides—non-natives need to recognize their privilege here while also providing support towards more equitable practices; similarly, Native Americans must take ownership over their own education and training so that they may become self-sufficient in managing crops and cattle for themselves instead of relying on external help from non-native people. Only through these paths combined together will true progress be made towards achieving economic equality within tribal lands.
Bonus Writers Opinion:
Non-natives or white folks have always managed crops and cattle for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. At present, the majority of the enrolled native people of the tribe do not place a high enough value on planning, training, enough education on livestock and farm production, agricultural loans, business loans, and commercial planning. If you travel to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, you will see that white people often run the farms and cattle ranches there. When you enter a neighborhood, Native Americans who reside there are immediately at a disadvantage. You can also infer the source of the tribe's financial and demographic success. The people at large, and the Tribal Council more than anybody else, bears the brunt of the blame for the disproportionate weight given to white-driven propaganda.