STRONG HEART NEWS ALERT
Friday, January 21, 2016
Immediate Release – Please share widely!
UNCARING OST OFFICIALS HOLD ELDERLY MEALS PLANNING MEETING WHILE COMMUNITY MOURNS DEATHS
Porcupine District, Pine Ridge Reservation – Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Official Faith Two Eagles is currently holding a planning meeting for new Elderly Meals Site Director Buster Apple in flagrant violation of Lakota cultural values that prioritizes the mourning and honoring of the newly dead. Wakes for Val High Hawk and Micheal Whiting are planned for today. Porcupine elders are furious that a meeting regarding their elderly meals program has been scheduled while their hearts and attention are with the families of the deceased. This is not the Lakota way!
This meeting marks the first time the Porcupine Meals for the Elderly Site has been open in 45 days. Elders are constantly excluded from meetings about their programs but then invited when there is a death in the community and cannot attend.
Mr. Apple is the selected replacement for former Director and Cook Mary Felicia who was illegally fired in early November 2015 as a consequence of her vocal support, and support by, outspoken Porcupine elders. Since Mrs. Felicia’s firing, Porcupine elders have faced delayed, denied, and unhealthy meals to disabled elders, including elderly with diabetes and heart disease during winter months when the temperature is regularly below zero. Three elderly men have died since November.
Grassroots Lakota elders in the Porcupine District of Pine Ridge Reservation have signed a letter demanding the United States Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice investigate the unlawful corruption and inhuman abuses in the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) Meals for the Elderly Program on Pine Ridge. Porcupine District officials have recently announced plans to transfer their Community Action Program (CAP) office to the Elderly Meals Site putting the program in limbo and causing deep concern among district elders.