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A Prayer at Wounded Knee

Posted On: Aug 14, 2019   |   Posted By: Tablet Magazine

A Prayer at Wounded Knee

“Civilization in America,” Frederick Jackson Turner thundered in 1893, “has followed the arteries made by geology, pouring an ever richer tide through them, until at last the slender paths of aboriginal intercourse have been broadened and interwoven into the complex mazes of modern commercial lines; the wilderness has been interpenetrated by lines of civilization growing ever more numerous. It is like the steady growth of a complex nervous system for the originally simple, inert continent.”
The mazes of modern commerce are nowhere in sight on the Bureau of Indian Affairs Highway 27, a two-lane road on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the heart of South Dakota. There aren't a lot of cars here, or at least not the driving kind: There are no repair shops around, and even if there were, 97% of the people here live well below the federal poverty line, which means that once a jalopy breaks down, it's abandoned by the side of the road. But if you drive just slowly enough, and pay close attention, you'll see a small...

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