Feds designate Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as Promise Zone

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) - The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is among eight communities that the Obama administration has designated as a Promise Zone under a program that seeks to revitalize high-poverty areas.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the reservation’s designation Tuesday. The reservation in southwestern South Dakota is home to about 35,000 people and has a chronic housing shortage.

The federal program’s goals include increasing economic activity, improving health and reducing violent crime. The designation gives the impoverished communities a leg up in obtaining grants and other federal assistance.

The Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation will manage the implementation of the Promise Zone designation in Pine Ridge. Executive director Nick Tilsen says the grant writers that the community has gained through the designation will help the reservation tap into additional funding for various projects.

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