Here are some pictures of the high water levels and the remains of areas where flood waters have left behind terrible destruction and debris.
As you can tell from these pictures, Standing Rock is a very rural Reservation with little access to regular amenities you find in big cities–including fast food, department stores, and even health care! Some women have to travel eight hours in either direction to get to the nearest Indian Health Service (IHS) facility. Even then, the facility isn’t always able to perform an examination because there aren’t enough trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner’s (SANE’s). Often women are transported to other facilities off the Reservation, forcing them to find and pay for their own way back home. The lack of adequate access to health care facilities continues to be a road block to justice for the women of Standing Rock. One can only imagine the number of women who will not be able to get to health facilities to be examined as a result of this flooding.
Fortunately, the winding road to Pretty Bird Woman House is still open, so I’ll be traveling there next to check in with shelter staff! Stay tuned….