South Dakota

I spent a month near Porcupine, South Dakota, one of the few small towns scattered across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I had heard so many statistics and read about a failing society—but I discovered so much more in that place.
I was overcome by the wide-open spaces, the beautiful light, and the haunting, low sound of the prairie. Part of me was jealous. I wondered whether the natives of that land appreciated it, whether they noticed the beauty and depth of their surroundings.
But as I got to know some people, a few men from the Oglala Lakota tribe, I discovered that they were profoundly attached to that soil. They told me about the sacred Black Hills and their deep connection to the earth.
With that, I realized the similarities between me, as a Palestinian, and them, especially in our attachment to the land.