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SD Leads Nation In Native American Poverty Rate

Wade Two Charge, 30, relocated to Denver and also tried moves to Phoenix, Florida and California with hopes of finding steady unemployment. He's since returned to his home and family on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in south-central South Dakota.

Two Charge, who has a degree in business administration from the tribal college, said he has been unemployed since getting back to the reservation, except for some short construction stints.

"There are only so many projects going on on the reservation at a time â¿¿ so many buildings going down and going up," he said.

His most recent job, which involved construction of a new tribal jail and lasted about a year, ended last year. Another job he has coming up will only last about two months.

Two Charge, who lives in a trailer on a lot his family owns, doesn't have a car and relies on social gatherings and $200 in food stamps for food each month.

"There are avenues to help, but it's definitely a lot more difficult than other places," he said of his current surroundings. "In a city, you can just jump in a bus and go across town. The whole society is different and it's not the ghetto. Here, there are no buses. We rely a lot upon family members to help us out. I think that's where we're blessed to have an emphasis on respect for our elders."

He still thinks about leaving the reservation, but said he doesn't want to move away from his home and his people.


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Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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