Getty Images
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota is home to Badlands National Park. But not far from the otherworldly beauty of the park is the harsh reality of life on the reservation. The estimated 29,000 to 40,000 residents of the reservation hold on to a rich cultural history but live amidst poverty that rivals the third world. Watch the full story Friday on 20/20 at 10 p.m. ET.
    Getty Images
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    The reservation is rich with history but much of it has been bloody. At the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, U.S. troops were sent to contain the Ghost Dance movement -- a ritual tied to a prophecy predicting an end to white American expansion. Some estimate more than 300 Native Americans were killed. In the photo above, bodies of Sioux Indians are piled into a mass grave hacked into the frozen soil.
    MPI/Getty Images
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    Sioux Chief Sitting Bull was known for his courage and for uniting the Lakota tribes. He was the leader of his tribe at the time of the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn -- also known as Custer's Last Stand. Worried that Sitting Bull would take part in the 1890 Ghost Dance movement at Pine Ridge, authorities tried to arrest him on another reservation. He was killed in the gunfight that ensued.
    AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    When settlers found gold in Montana, they began building what became known as the Bozeman Trail. In 1865, Sioux Chief Red Cloud led a war against white soldiers and settlers on the trail. In a treaty, the U.S. promised to abandon the trail and give the Sioux half of South Dakota and other land. Near the end of his life, Red Cloud berated the U.S. for forcing his people to live on unarable land.
    AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    In the Act of 1877, the U.S. government confiscated 7.7 million acres of the Sioux's sacred Black Hills.
    Getty Images
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Chief Noah Badwound of the Pine Ridge Reservation shakes hands with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and asks for drought relief in North and South Dakota, in Bismarck, N.D., Aug. 28, 1936. Between 1934 and 1945, the U.S. government created programs to improve the economic life of Native Americans.
    AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    Typical of homes of Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwest South Dakota on Feb. 28, 1956, was this log cabin with the tent alongside it. A construction boom began in Pine Ridge after President John F. Kennedy's pledge to fund public housing projects on American Indian reservations, but many of those housing units have since fallen into disrepair and are home to dangerous black mold.
    AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Alfred Pilsmore, an 84-year-old Oglala Sioux Indian, discusses tribe needs with Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy at the poverty-ridden Calico Indian village on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D., April 16, 1968. Kennedy drew attention to Pine Ridge's desperate straits in campaign stump speeches.
    AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Two Oglala Sioux tribe members man a check point in Wounded Knee at the Pine Ridge Reservation, March 5, 1973. Militant members of the American Indian Movement -- a group dedicated to Indian self-determination -- took over the reservation for 71 days. Clashes between AIM and U.S. authorities resulted in the deaths of two Indians. Two years later, two FBI agents were killed in a shootout with AIM.
    AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    This 1996 photo shows a rocket body that is embedded into the side of the badlands at the former Badlands Bombing Range on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D. The Army and Air Force dropped bombs on the 534-square-mile range from 1942 to about 1963.
    Courtesy of Emma Featherman-Sam/Oglala Sioux Tribe/AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    President Bill Clinton listens to Oglala Sioux Nation President Harold Salway at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, July 7, 1999. Clinton was on a four day, six-state tour to some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in America to tout his "New Markets" initiative. Clinton's visit marked the first visit by a president to Pine Ridge in 55 years.
    Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

    Alcohol posession is prohibited at Pine Ridge. But just 200 feet from the reservation's border lies White Clay, Neb. (population: 14), where vendors sold some 4 million cans of beer to Pine Ridge residents in 2010. In 2007, police detained Duane Martin Sr., pictured above, and two others who helped organize a blockade in an attempt to confiscate beer headed from White Clay to the reservation.
    Carson Walker/AP Photo
  • Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: Impoverished People, Rich History

    A dancer competes at the Oglala Sioux Nation Annual Pow Wow. A celebration of Native American culture, the pow wow is also known as the wacipi, which means dance in Lakota. Dancers move to the rhythm of the drumbeat, which represents the heart. Dancing competitions at the pow wow offer dancers an opportunity to earn cash prizes. Watch the full story on "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
    Elissa Stohler/ABC News
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus