South Dakota

I spent a month near Porcupine, South Dakota, one of a few small towns scattered across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I had heard so many statistics, had read about a failing society - but I discovered so much more to that place. I was overcome by the wide-open space, the beautiful light, and the haunting, low sound of the prairie. Part of me was jealous. I wondered, did the natives of that land appreciate it, did they notice the beauty and depth of their surroundings? But I got to know some people, a few men from the Oglala Lakota tribe, and I discovered that they were profoundly attached to that soil; they told me about the sacred Black Hills and a deep connection to the earth. They told me the story of creation.