About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Images of Pine Ridge Reservation

I put this video up on the Pine Ridge blog but I also thought I would put it here for two reasons, (1) it's something I put together and reveals my heart, and (2) I love the idea that God is with the poor and the disenfranchised... the idea of "the least of these".


nakedpastor said...

beautiful and well-done video. thanks for sharing that. did you shoot all the footage?

Amber said...

Thanks for the nice words. No, I didn't shoot the footage. It came from various documentaries/movies/and some of our mission team's video or pics.

Brian Buriff said...

This video is one of your best. Really well done. Lots of symbolism in it as well. I like the eagle's vantage point and the symbolism there. I hope that others will find it to be a tool to motivate, educate and inspire. Well done!

nakedpastor said...

then your skill as an editor is excellent!

nakedpastor said...

oh, and thanks for the link. blessings!

BarBarA said...

THAT WAS SO GOOD! WOW! I agree with nakedpastor and Brian. You should start a video business doing stuff like this. Seriously, you have a talent in this area!!! This was so well done - I felt like I was there seeing it firsthand, the music was perfect, you captured the feel of it so well. What beautiful little children.

Amber said...

Thanks for watching and for the compliments. I don't really think I'm all that good at it but it's fun to work on. I do wish my computer could handle it better. Once I download all the files I need to put a video together my computer freezes up. I made this to show our newbies on the mission team. It's nice to have some idea of what a place looks like when you're planning to go there.

David Cho said...

Wow, very powerful. Very well done.

It is nothing like the reservations around here. Here, you see majestic casinos and hotels, and homes around them are quite nice.

What you have looks more like an Indian reservation I've seen in movies - very desolate and poor. Here I am thinking that Indians have gone past all that.

There is a scene where four men are crawling into what looks like a cave. What is that about? And there is smoke around it.

Amber said...

David, yes it is very desolate and poor. The thing I can never get used to out there is the fact that there is NOTHING there. They are truly stuck out in the middle of nowhere with nothing.

Pine Ridge rez is the poorest place in America. There are very few jobs there so unemployment is around 85%. The nearest city of any size (Rapid City) is 2 hours away.

The houses are government housing and don't look too bad at first but there may be 15 people living in one of those little houses.

The depression there seems so thick you can cut it. You can see the hoplessness in the people's eyes. Many teens drop out of school because, "what's the use?" - it's not like their going to get a job anyway.

The suicide rate is much higher than the rest of the country.

So is the murder rate. In the 70's, a very tense time on the rez, PR had the higest murder rate per capita of any place in America.

Life expectancy is not great on the rez. I read somewhere that Haiti is the only place in the Western Hemisphere that has a lower life expectancy.

Yet, they maintain a great sense of humor - one of the things that I love about them.

The thing that looks like a cave is a sweat lodge. The sweat lodge is one of their religious ceremonies. It is constructed of willow limbs and covered with blankets (in the past buffalo skins were used). There are hot rocks in the middle that give off heat and steam.

The purpose of the ceremony is spiritual cleansing. They crawl in to symbolize humility. It can also symbolize their spiritual walk - just as a child you must crawl before you can learn to walk. Once inside they pray to "the Great Mystery" (not a bad title for Him huh?). Inside it is dark which symbolizes our daily lives that are full of negativity.

When they leave the sweat lodge they again crawl out symbolizing rebirth (coming out of the womb of Mother Earth) and as they crawl out they begin a spiritual rebirth having been cleansed of guilt and burdens.