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Life on Pine Ridge Reservation.

 
  • Most Reservation families live in rural and often isolated areas.
  • The largest town on the Reservation is the village of Pine Ridge which has a population of approximately 5,720 people and is the administrative center for the Reservation.
  • There are few improved (paved) roads on the Reservation and most of the rural homes are inaccessible during times of rain or snow.
  • Weather is extreme on the Reservation.  Severe winds are always a factor.  Traditionally, summer temperatures reach well over 110*F and winters bring bitter cold with temperatures that can reach -50*F below zero or worse.  Flooding, tornados, or wildfires are always a risk.
  • The Pine Ridge Reservation still has no banks, discount stores, or movie theaters.  It has only one grocery store of any moderate size and it is located in the village of Pine Ridge on the Reservation.  A motel just opened in 2006 near the Oglala Lakota College at Kyle, South Dakota.  There are said to be about 8 Bed and Breakfast or campsite locations found across the Reservation but that number varies from time to time since most are part of a private home.
  • Several of the banks and lending institutions nearest to the Reservation have been targeted for investigation of fraudulent or predatory lending practices, with the citizens of the Pine Ridge Reservation as their victims.
  • There are no public libraries except one at the Oglala Lakota College.
  • There is one radio station on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  KILI 90.1FM is located near the town of Porcupine on the Reservation.
  • There is no public transportation available on the Reservation.
  • Only a minority of Reservation residents own an operable automobile.
  • Predominant form of travel for all ages on the Reservation is walking or hitchhiking.
  • There is one very small airport on the Reservation servicing both the Pine Ridge Reservation and Shannon County.  It's longest, paved runway extends 4,969 feet.  There are no commercial flights available.  The majority of flights using the airport are Federal, State, or County Government-related.
  • The nearest commercial airport and/or commercial bus line is located in Rapid City, South Dakota (approximately 120 miles away).

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