Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, July 7, 1999 Published at 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK


World: Americas

Clinton highlights Indian plight

President Clinton is on a tour of impoverished areas

Bill Clinton has become the first United States president for over 60 years to visit an Indian reservation.


The BBC's Graham Satchell: "President Clinton came with a message"
His trip to the Oglala Sioux's Pine Ridge Reservation, the second largest in the country, sought to highlight the deep poverty suffered by many native Americans.

It was timed to coincide with the announcement of a $1.5bn package to help those on reservations.

Unemployment among native Americans is rife, with housing a chronic problem, and income far below the national average.

President Clinton is currently on a four-day tour to highlight communities all over the US that have been bypassed by economic progress.

He says his tour is a mission to extend the country's economic upswing to its inner cities and rural areas.

Wounded Knee massacre

The Pine Ridge Reservation - one of the poorest parts of the country - was the site of the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, when US troops killed several hundred Sioux Indian men, women and children.

Spread over about 2m acres, the reservation was created in 1889 by an act of Congress.

According to statistics provided by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1.43m native Americans are still living on or near US reservations.

Bleak prospects

Less than two-thirds of native Americans are high school graduates. Some 29% are homeless, and more than half live in substandard housing.

More than a third of all native American children aged 6-11 live in poverty.

The government estimates that 50% of native Americans are unemployed, and at Pine Ridge the problem is even worse - 73% do not have jobs.

It is home to 38,000 people, but has no public transport network and only a few small native American-owned businesses such as cafes, video stores and petrol stations.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


Internet Links


US House of Representatives Internet Law Library

Centre for World Indigenous Studies

Aboriginal Law and Legislation

Information on the Oglala Sioux


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels