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  • The picture is from Scenic, South Dakota located just to the north of the Pine Ridge Reservation in the Badlands. It is similar to the No Blacks Allowed and the reminder this is not the country most of us remember. Times have changed but mentalities are difficult to give up. I often do not care if people do not like me, I just do not want to be treated like an Indian. I have been called a "dirty Indian" but when I learned of my ancestors breaking ice to bathe I realize it is not the "dirty Indian" that bothers me because I have taken showers almost everyday of my life, it is the way people use the term like I am an outcast, or that I am a "thieving Indian".

    The Picture of the Longhorn Saloon is important because it brings to mind two ideas for me. The first idea is people were racist and this is wrong. Indians were not allowed in some places and white people were the culprits. I already told you Indian or Lakota people broke the ice to bathe because they were clean people. In the 19th Century you would find cowboys and others bathing once a month. Perfumes and powders were used to cover the smell. As an Indian I can be very oily so I need to bathe everyday or shower so I realize our people were concerned with their personal hygene.

    The second idea of stealing, most people do not realize the Pine Ridge Reservation does not have rails or a line for trains. Scenic was home to a rail station and the government would send cattle to Pine Ridge using the train for transport. When the cattle were shipped to Pine Ridge the white ranchers would offload the good cattle before the dropoff and then send the sickly cows to Pine Ridge. Many century old ranches were started with stolen beef. I find it difficult to share these truths in fear I may sound racist but I believe it is important to share what has been done here in South Dakota, or to some the Mississippi of the North. I do not choose to hate White People but I hope to not be treated like an Indian!
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