In the Shadow of Wounded Knee | Photographer: Aaron Huey for National Geographic Magazine | Wounded Knee |

"On the Great Plains, hidden away on little traveled back roads, is American Prisoner of War Camp Number 334.  This is also known as Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Lakota Sioux.  They are the tribe that suffered the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre, in December of 1890, in which an estimated 350 Lakota were killed.  Among the dead were over one hundred unarmed women and children.  Since that day Wounded Knee, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, have been a symbol of the wrongs inflicted on Native Americans by the descendants of Europeans. Pine Ridge is the quintessential example of the failures of the reservation system, with staggering statistics on everything from violent crime to education.  

Sadly, Pine Ridge continues to be the setting for an ongoing massacre within the tribe.  Gangs on the reservation are out of control, and the violence they live by grips even the smallest villages.  Unemployment on the reservation fluctuates between 85-90%, the housing office is unable to afford to build new structures, and existing structures are falling apart.  Many are homeless, and those with homes are packed into rotting buildings with up to five families.  Thirty-nine percent of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation have no electricity.  It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are infested with black mold, which causes an often-fatal condition with infants, children, and the elderly.  90% of the population lives below federal poverty levels."


Photos from National Geographic's article:

Aaron Huey is a freelance photographer based in Seattle, WA.


Via Photo report