The Pine Ridge Reservation: Roughest Place In America

  • Pine Ridge Reservation faces severe social issues: high unemployment, alcoholism, drug addiction, and violence.
  • 90% unemployment rate, 80% alcoholism rate, 70% high school dropout rate, and high diabetes rates.
  • Extreme poverty and lack of infrastructure: no banks or hotels, limited grocery stores, many homes without electricity or sanitation.
  • Alcoholism is widespread despite being a dry county; bootlegging and homemade alcohol are rampant.
  • Meth use is pervasive, with local efforts to combat it through grassroots harm reduction and detox programs.
  • Historical context: systemic oppression and broken treaties by the U.S. government have led to current conditions.
  • Efforts from local leaders to preserve culture and support youth, including education and community projects like skate parks.
  • Personal stories of residents struggling with addiction, violence, and the legacy of historical trauma.
The Pine Ridge Reservation: Roughest Place In America
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