During the last four years, the ThinLine Lakota project has taken on more dimensions than just
trying to provide employment for Sioux artists to make horse tack. Concentrating on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, South Dakota, home to the Oglala Sioux, the most impoverished area of the United States, ThinLine seeks to help restore hope to the citizens there.
The reservation retains 85% unemployment, an average lifespan of 47 years for men and 52 for women, and schools that rank in the bottom 10% of American funding,
ThinLine has made a commitment to help through educational and employment assistance. It was noticed that the Wounded Knee elementary school, serving the most impoverished area of the reservation, was severely lacking in library materials. When the book drive began, the school had fewer than 300 books in their entire library.
Within the ThinLine Lakota book drive, over 1,500 books and 20 computers have been donated to what is clearly the neediest school in America.
The Wounded Knee school has done its part, providing an evening reading program where parents and students can read together. Increased reading ability today means a more literate future work force to attract future employment to the reservation and break the prevailing cycle of despair. Additionally, the elementary school has opened the library to the entire reservation. ThinLine originally went to the reservation simply seeking artists who could make American Indian tack for us. We have found a much higher calling, and would appreciate any assistance that can be provided.
ThinLine began this journey with Jim Warson, a notable neurosurgeon, author and Comanche Indian (Tahka Pui). As horsemen and manufacturers of equine products it was our Desire to find a way for this noble Nation to stem the poverty, depression and apathy seen on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2010.
After centuries of broken treaties, massacres such as Wounded Knee, and ever decreasing amounts of land on which to hunt, farm and sustain a lifestyle, the Lakota, most well known for their great horsemanship, began to turn on each other.
What to do for a people with so much suffering? And people who are the original horsemen. The Lakota were such great horse trainers that all the Plains Indians bought their horses from this tribe. But today, isolated in the Black Hills, no such commerce exists.
ThinLine has set forth to change this unacceptable condition, and needs your help. You can make a purchase, continuing to support opportunity within this community. Products are available at https://www.thinlineglobal.com/native-american-horse-tack/