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The Modern Lakota Warrior

The Modern Lakota Warrior

Few places in the United States can match South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation when it comes to challenges for a father to raise his kids. Soaring unemployment, alcoholism and isolation are all omnipresent for many of the Oglala Sioux families on Pine Ridge. The officially reported poverty rate for American Indians living on Pine Ridge is nearly 54 percent. Unemployment hovers around 80 percent. The average life expectancy for women on the reservation is 55 years old, and for men it’s 47. 

But George Apple refuses to give in. As the father of three daughters and grandfather to 12 grandchildren, Apple has worked tirelessly to connect the younger generations on Pine Ridge with the traditions and history of their ancestors, hoping that an appreciation for the community's history will one day save the future. 

On this episode of Paternal, Apple discusses his challenges as a father, why he embraced the traditions of his ancestors, and why the future of his family is so closely connected with the past.

  • Learn more about the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation here.
  • Read about the challenges facing children on Pine Ridge here.

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