Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:49

November is Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month was first established in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. Since then, the month-long celebration has been reauthorized annually by each American president.

November offers everyone an opportunity to learn more about Native American histories and cultures. This November, take a few moments to learn more about the demographic characteristics of American Indians in South Dakota by perusing our infographic. 

For more information on Native Americans in South Dakota, visit our Native Data Series as well as our various charts and graphs on the South Dakota Dashboard. Download a full resolution version of this infographic at the bottom of this page. 

native american 26066743 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in News

A study of the Rapid City Police Department and the city's Native American community reports that 62.6 percent of the cases in which police used force, that force was carried out against Native Americans. That is a bit higher than the proportion of arrests for which Native Americans account -- 59.1 percent. It also is more than double the proportion of Native Americans the study concludes comprise Rapid City's total population -- roughly 25 percentDashboard.raceseries.logo3

Use of force ranges from the lowest level, a wrist hold, to intermediate levels such as use of a baton, to deadly force involving shooting a gun.

The report found that nearly 20 percent of all use of force cases took place without a primary crime or offense by a suspect/perpetrator. For Native Americans, that figure was 16 percent; for whites, 23.1 percent. 

Both whites and Native Americans experienced high rates of use of force for process-related offenses, such as failure to appear in court, and high rates for drug and alcohol offenses, as shown in the chart below. (The category "individual" includes simple assault, mental health holds and disorderly conduct.) 

RCPD Native policing study use of force by race offense type chart

Researchers found that Native American women experienced the highest rate of use of force, as a percentage of all interactions with police. They also found that the severity of a suspect's action did not directly correlate with severe reactions by police officers. In fact, the data shows a moderate negative correlation, meaning that less severe actions by suspects could yield more severe uses of force by police. 

"An interesting illustration of this observed trend is that for Native American suspects exhibiting active aggression, physical readiness or deadly force, only 13.9 percent were met with a deadly force display by an RCPD officer. Conversely, 49.1 percent of Native suspects engaged in nonverbal or passive resistance were met with a deadly force display by an RCPD officer. A similar trend was observed for White suspects, though the relationship was more pronounced," reads the report.

Across all race and gender categories, the most frequent suspect action was "Defensive Resistance," meaning suspects actively, physically resisted arrest or other police instructions. That was followed by circumstances qualifying the interaction as "high risk" with the display of a weapon or other complication. 

Across all race and gender categories, the most common use of force by police was "Deadly Force Display," the display of a weapon. This was highest for Native American women, for whom more than 54 percent of use-of-force incidents included a display of deadly force. It was lowest for Native American men, at 44.2 percent. 

RCPD Native policing study suspect use of force actions chart

 

RCPD Native Policing study officer use of force by race gender chart

 Read the report's complete analysis of use of force by the Rapid City Police Department on pages 14-21. 

 

Published in Home

While Native Americans account for nearly 60 percent of the arrests made in Rapid City, members of that race do not account for 60 percent of the crime, according to a researcher who wrote a detailed report on Native policing for the Rapid City Police Department.  Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

That's because more than 30 percent of arrests of Native Americans are for what report author Richard Braunstein calls "process offenses," meaning things such as failure to appear in court, failure to pay a fine or probation violations. (For whites, the rate is 23 percent.)

Braunstein writes on page 11: 

"In processrelated arrests, an offender has typically been identified for arrest and the job of RCPD officers is to apprehend the individual. This differs in many ways from other crime types that require greater investigations and more subjective determinations of the crime and suspects. Consistent with the goal of reducing conflict (and arrests) for Native Community members, greater compliance with criminal justice policy and requirements by Native offenders/suspects would bring down Native arrests, making population percentages closer to RCPD arrest percentages."

In any case, Native Americans are over-represented in arrests made by Rapid City police, as the U.S. Census estimates their population at 12.4 percent, and Braunstein recalculates that to roughly 25 percent. 

The charts below provide breakdowns of the types of arrests made by racial groups. Read the full analysis on pages 11-14 of the report attached at the bottom of this post. 

RCPD Native policing study frequent arrests by race

 

RCPD Native policing study broad offense categories by race

 

Read more from the Native Data series on the Black Hills Knowledge Network

 

Published in Home

Rapid City police appear to make traffic stops by racial groups roughly proportional to the city's breakdown for population by race, concludes a report on Native policing by the Rapid City Police Department. 

Although the U.S. Census Bureau pegs Rapid City's Native American population at about 12 percent, Rich Braunstein of the University of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau has recalculated that figure based on the Census' own estimation of undercounting. He believes the city's Native American population is between 23 percent and 26 percent. Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

That recalculation puts the 24.1 percent rate of traffic stops for Native Americans in line with the city's overall population demographics. Braunstein said the data shows that Blacks account for 2.6 percent of traffic stops, a rate more than double their 1.1 percent proportion of the city's population.

Native Americans do have a higher rate of receiving citations (78 percent), or tickets, than does the white majority (57 percent), although Braunstein said a detailed look at the data tells a more nuanced story. Whether a motorist receives a citation or a warning appears linked to what type of offense has taken place. Driving without a license or without insurance, for example, almost always yields a citation, while speeding is a toss-up. 

According to data reviewed by Braunstein and a team of seven Native American research assistants, Native Americans pulled over in Rapid City have a higher rate of driving without a license or without insurance than do their white and Asian counterparts. So the report concludes it is the nature of the offense moreso than race that leads to the higher rate of citations for Native Americans.  

The three tables, below, from the report break down the data. The full analysis can be read in the report, attached at the bottom of this post, on pages 5-11. 

RCPD Native policing table citations by race

 

RCPD Native policing table citations by offense

 

RCPD Native policing table citations by offense race

Read more from the Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data series, including more details from the RCPD Native policing study. 

 

Published in Home

A study of the relationship between the Rapid City Police Department and the city's Native American community provides eight specific recommendations to improve the rapport. The study was conducted over 15 months and completed by Rich Braunstein of the University of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau along with seven Native American research assistants. Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

The report was released Nov. 10, and a community presentation and discussion was held at the Mother Butler Center featuring a presentation by Braunstein, an introduction by Police Chief Karl Jegeris and a speech by Vaughn Vargas, Cultural Advisory Coordinator for the RCPD and enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. 

Here is a summary of those eight recommendations, which can be read in their entirety on pages 46-52 in the pdf file attached to this post. 

Build a More Diverse Officer Corps - Not only should the police department hire more Native American officers, it should create a Native Task Force -- ideally staffed by Native officers.

During his presentation on Nov. 10, Braunstein expressed concern that pervasive anti-police attitudes in the Native community represent a substantial barrier to young Native Americans beginning careers in law enforcement. He said he has talked with several Native students at USD who have completed military service. When he suggests parlaying military experience into a law enforcement job, he gets consistent responses: "My grandmother would kill me," or "I couldn't show my face," or "My cousins would disown me." 

Both in his presentation and in his written report, Braunstein expressed his belief that without a shift in attitude throughout the Native community, there is little hope of hiring Native American police officers in Rapid City.

The report reads: "It is unreasonable to expect RCPD to make progress in this area on its own. Though RCPD has demonstrated its commitment to Native recruiting efforts, it has traditionally done so internally and without substantial support from the Native Community. Going forward, our recommendation is that the Native Community must, on its own, address the underlying substantive and psychological barriers to creating stronger interest in public service in this capacity."

Enhance Collaborative Problem Solving Through the Creation of a Native Advisory Council -- Creating a formal role for the Native community provides an important avenue to build trust between the police and Native Americans. The council should provide a two-way dialoge, ongoing mutual education and help build stronger relationships between the two groups. The council should expect to experience setbacks, but dealing with these would be part of the process. The council should be made up of key Native community members, broader community organizations and members of the police department. 

Develop a Certificate for Officers in Native Policing -- Officers who learn about the Native community's cultural norms plus other Native policing expertise would earn a patch to be worn on their uniforms. The patch would let Native Americans know which officers have completed the training. The training should be done on a peer-to-peer basis and made available through a flexible schedule that allows officers to continue patrol work. 

Develop Partnerships with Mutual Benefits -- The Native Advisory Council should choose how the police department could target its time and staff to collaborate on existing community programs, such as the public school's program to prevent truancy. These partnerships should be formalized through memoranda of understanding.  

Develop Proactive Depolicing Strategies -- As both an effort to improve trust among the Native community and to identify more long-term benefits to alternative approaches to certain low-level offenses, Rapid City police should consider ways to deal with certain crimes other than arrest. The report urges this especially for Native youth. For example, youth caught with alcohol could be diverted into a mentorship program in which Native adults and elders would monitor and assess the youth's actions. Depolicing should be seen as a proactive, positive move to improve relations and not as a way for police to avoid criticism or cease dealing with crimes and offenses by Native Americans. 

Make Race a Required Field in Victimization Reports -- The rate of RCPD cases where the race of a victim was not known was 32.3 percent, much higher than unknown race in traffic stops, arrests or any other area.  

Develop a 5-Year Community Policing Plan -- The Native Advisory Council should develop a strategic plan for community policing and evaluate how individual programs serve the overall strategy.  

Develop a Community Policing Program Performance Evaluation Approach, Administered Yearly -- Using data from the USD report as a baseline, an evaluation tool should be developed by the Native Advisory Council and the RCPD leadership to measure areas of improvement or lack of improvement. Such a system would allow the RCPD to assess trends and to better serve the community. "Longitudinal analysis of baseline performance will increase the department’s capacity to strategically invest in programs and policies that serve community needs, including the needs of RCPD officers to be regarded with greater respect, civility and trust by Native Community members," reads the report.

Read more from the Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data series, including more details from the USD report on RCPD and Native policing. 

 

Published in News

While the U.S. Census Bureau pegs Rapid City's Native American population at 12.4 percent, or about 9,000 of the more than 72,000 Rapid City residents, a researcher at the Unversity of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau believes 26 percent is a better estimate based on multiple factors. Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

Professor Rich Braunstein told attendees of the South Dakota Demography Conference that he evaluated factors including the Census' own estimate of its undercount of the Native American population to people who report being of "multiple races" rather than only Native American to a transient population that travels to Rapid City from multiple reservations on any given day.

The image included in this post is the slide from Braunstein's presentation that breaks down his calculations. He estimates Rapid City's population at closer to 79,000 when undercounted populations are accounted for.

While the visitors from surrounding reservations might not be residents of Rapid City, Braunstein said he has information to indicate that many of those people maintain residences both on a reservation and in Rapid City. In addition, that population likely interacts with agencies and services within the city, including the Rapid City Police Department. Recently released data has shown that Native Americans are arrested and are victims of crime at rates much higher than the 12.4 percent Census population figure. 

Braunstein's research into this issue will be made publicly available in November in a report commissioned by the Rapid City Police Department

His keynote luncheon speech on Oct. 9 closed out the two-day demography conference, held at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus. The conference included a "Focus on the Economy" mini-conference the morning of Oct. 8 and featured presentations by experts on a variety of topics, including those listed below: 

 Find links to many of the presentation slides from the conference on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Published in Home

Native Americans far outpace Rapid City's white majority when it comes to arrests for felony and misdemeanor crimes, according to data provided by the Rapid City Police Department to the Black Hills Knowledge Network. Native Americans are also overrepresented as victims of crime.

Native Americans made up nearly 59 percent of the 8,228 people arrested by Rapid City police in 2014, compared to 35.5 percent for whites, 3 percent for blacks, 2.5 percent for “unknown,” 0.4 percent for Asians and 0.1 percent for “not specified.” (Races are self-identified by those arrested.)

The picture was similar for the 11,909 “offenders” (those arrested and/or suspected of crimes) identified by the police department. In 2014, Native Americans accounted for 55 percent of that group, compared to 37 percent for whites, 3.8 percent for “unknown” race, 3.4 percent for blacks, 0.5 percent for “not specified” and 0.3 percent for Asians.

Native Americans are also far more likely than whites to be the victims of a crime. In 2014, the Rapid City Police Department reports that Native Americans comprised nearly 33 percent of Rapid City's 5,780 crime victims, despite representing a much smaller share of the city’s total population. Meanwhile, 52 percent of crime victims were white, 10.5 percent “unknown” race, 2.2 percent black, 1.4 percent “not specified” and 0.6 percent Asian.

Citations for traffic offenses more closely resemble the racial make-up of Rapid City's general population, although Native Americans are overrepresented in this category also. Whites lead in this category, accounting for more than 71 percent of the 5,695 traffic citations issued by Rapid City police in 2014. Native Americans are next, accounting for 23.5 percent, followed by blacks at 2.5 percent, “not specified” at 1 percent, “unknown” race at 0.9 percent and Asians at 0.7 percent.

The U.S. Census reports that Native Americans accounted for 12.4 percent of the city's general population at the time of the 2010 census, compared to 80.4 percent for whites, 4.1 percent for “two or more” races, 1.1 percent for blacks and 1.3 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander. An ongoing study for the police department, however, suggests that with visitors from reservations in western South Dakota the Native American share of the resident and non-resident population on any given day might be significantly higher. That study is due to be released by the police department later in 2015.

To find other statistics on crime and policing in Rapid City, see the Rapid City Police Department’s 2014 Annual Statistical Report and our BHKN resource page on policing and race in Rapid City.

Media Coverage of This Issue

KOTA-TV: Rapid City police crunch race and arrest data. In early 2014, the Rapid City Police Department commissioned USD professor Rich Braunstein to examine why Native Americans are arrested at a rate so much higher than their percentage of the general population. The report is complete but has not yet been released. It contains recommendations for changes at the RCPD.

Analysis shows Native Americans in RC more likely to be arrested. Rapid City police say they are not surprised by the over-representation of Native Americans in crime statistics. They hope a study they commissioned, which will be released later this year, will help the community understand why it happens.

KEVN-TV: Native Americans represent largest crime victims and offenders according to new data. Police believe the creation of a new cultural adivsory committee could help address any problems.

This Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page provides links to additional information on this issue. 

About the Series

This is the final installment in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's 2015 Native Data Series, which examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so community leaders and engaged citizens can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

Published in Home

Native people in Rapid City are about half as likely to have earned a college degree, compared to their non-Native counterparts. While Native people account for roughly one out of every eight residents in the community, and one out of eleven people in South Dakota, they comprise only one in every 25 students at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSMT).

This disparity in access and achievement in higher education directly affects incomes in the Native community and is a significant concern for leaders in the community. Dr. Heather Wilson, president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, says "Our student population should be reflective of the community we serve.”

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3To address this disparity, a number of institutions in the area are working to improve Native access to higher education.

Native American students can find higher education opportunities and related support programs tailored to them in Rapid City, at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, at the Rapid City campus of Oglala Lakota College and at Western Dakota Technical Institute.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

In education, STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- is getting a lot of attention these days. At SDSM&T, work has been ongoing to attract and support Native American students to those fields.

In a Feb. 13 talk in Rapid City, SDSM&T President Heather Wilson said Native students account for about 4 percent of the student body. That means about 112 Native students attend out of the 2,798 total enrolled at the public university in Rapid City for the current academic year.

Thanks to a federal grant, SDSM&T's Tiospaye program funds about 30 scholarships per semester for Native students. The program awards up to $8,000 for engineering students and up to $10,000 for science students.

Beyond the financial support, the program offers academic, professional, cultural and social support.

By May 2015, SDSM&T is on track to graduate 22 students under the program, Wilson said. Here is a further breakdown of demographics in the Tiospaye program:

  • 41% female

  • 23% enrolled in a science program

  • 27% attend graduate school in a STEM field

Under a different federal grant, SDSM&T has worked for more than 20 years to prepare Native high school students for the STEM fields through the six-week GEAR UP -- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduates Program -- each summer. Between 85 percent and 99 percent of GEAR UP students are Native, and about two-thirds are female.

Between 250 and 300 Native students in the 9th through 12th grades study math, science, communications and personal skills while also participating in additional activities such as a science fair or shadowing professionals.

Of the GEAR UP alumni, 100 percent have graduated from high school, while 87 percent enrolled in post-secondary education, 65 percent have graduated college or are still enrolled, and 9 percent entered the military.

SDSM&T faculty actively recruit students into the GEAR UP program.

Oglala Lakota College

With its main campus near Kyle on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Oglala Lakota College operates the He Sapa campus in Rapid City. In the fall of 2014, 318 students were enrolled, and in the spring of 2015, 351 students were enrolled at OLC's Rapid City location. That makes the He Sapa campus the largest of OLC's 11 attendance centers.

About 82 percent of the OLC students in Rapid City are Native, while the remaining 18 percent come from a variety of areas, including K-12 teachers and chemical dependence counselors seeking continuing education credits, said Shirley Lewis, director of the He Sapa center.

The Rapid City campus offers all of the academic programs listed on the OLC website, from master's degrees in Lakota leadership to bachelor's degrees in a variety of areas including Lakota studies, education, business, science and information technology.

OLC's He Sapa campus offers students academic and financial support in the form of tutoring and scholarships. Tutoring is targeted towards first-generation college students under a federal grant, but OLC extends the tutoring to other students, Lewis said.

OLC students are supported by an array of scholarships, including more than $400,000 annually from scholarships administered by the school itself plus the American Indian Scholarship Fund and scholarships offered by tribes. Those tribal scholarships include some from the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

OLC's He Sapa campus graduates about 38 students per semester, Lewis said. Job placement and follow-up tracking is conducted by OLC for all of its 11 centers collectively.

Western Dakota Technical Institute

At WDTI, which functions much like a community college without being named as such, programs support Native American students, who are honored with a feather ceremony just before they graduate.

In addition, the Eagle Feather Society is a club for students of any tribe, and for students who are interested in Native American culture, in any program at WDTI. The club sponsors cultural awareness and appreciation activities, special events, service projects and provides a family away from home to Native American students. New students could be provided transitional planning, assistance and peer mentoring.

WDTI reports on its website that 161 minority students are enrolled for the 2014-2015 school year, comprising 17.5 percent of the student body. A specific breakdown for Native American was not included. 

University Center

The University Center, a facility run by the South Dakota Board of Regents to offer classes from the state's six public universities, does not currently have support services targeted specifically to Native Americans. However, efforts are underway to put such programs in place.

In the 2013-2014 school year, only a handful of students – six out of 1,367 – were Native American.

United Tribes Technical College

United Tribes Technical College opened a Black Hills Learning Center in Rapid City in August 2013 with plans to offer courses and dual enrollment credits for high school students. The facility is reorganizing to serve primarily as a training center, college officials said. UTTC courses are not offered in Rapid City at this time, they said.

About the Series

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

Published in Home

Native American students in Rapid City and the public system that strives to educate them face challenges, officials say, but efforts to close the academic gap between Natives and their non-Native counterparts are bearing fruit.

The gaps have been persistent in standardized test scores, high school graduation rates and in moving Native Americans into the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3Efforts in all of those areas have seen some success, but leaders in the field say - and the data shows - that work remains to be done in closing the gap.

HOUSING A FACTOR

The biggest obstacle to making gains, officials say, is the transient nature of a subset of Native students who move among schools within the Rapid City district and among schools on Indian reservations. It's not unusual to have students from this group leave the Rapid City schools system and return again multiple times within one school year. A major factor contributing to this transiency, officials believe, is a lack of stable housing.

While Native students make up 26 percent of Rapid City's K-12 public school population, they account for more than 41 percent of students who enter or leave the district during the school year. (See the complete data set in the document attached to this post.)

Native students who remain in the school system from the beginning of the school year to the end tend to fare better academically than their transient counterparts, officials say.

ATTENDANCE

When Native students are enrolled in Rapid City public schools, they attend at a high rate, although not quite as high a rate as their white counterparts.

In the 2013-2014 school year, the Native attendance rate was 92.69 percent, a bit short of the district's 94 percent goal and below the white attendance rate of 95.98 percent. At the same time, the Native attendance rate was up from the prior year's rate of 90.69 percent. [See page 3.]

STANDARDIZED TESTS

A $1.2 million federal grant, called Lakolkiciyapi or "A Pathway to Success," has been offering intensive services to Native students at Rapid City's Central High School.

Since the four-year grant was implemented in 2010, Native students at CHS with proficient or advanced reading scores have improved from 44 percent in 2010 to a high of 72 percent in 2012. Those reading scores dropped back to 56 percent in 2013. Rapid City Area Schools have experienced a similar pattern since at least 2007, when 63 percent of CHS's Native students were proficient or advanced in reading and the next year, just 26 percent met these benchmarks.

Improvements for Central High School's Native students appear more solid in math, where 23 percent - a four-year low - were proficient or advanced in 2010. That rate more than doubled to 50 percent in 2011 and those gains have held steady through 2013.

Looking districtwide to younger Native students in all of Rapid City's public schools, the picture is not as bright, according to the South Dakota Department of Education's district report card. [See page 12.] Selected students in grades 4 and 8 take the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test.

In all but one area – grade 8 reading – Rapid City's Native students who took the NAEP lost ground between tests taken in 2011 and 2013. At the same time, their white counterparts made modest gains.

For example, more grade 4 Native students were ranked as below basic in 2013 than in 2011 (66 percent vs. 58 percent) while fewer were ranked as proficient in 2013 (26 percent vs. 29 percent) or advanced (1 percent vs. 2 percent).

Proportionally, white students had about half as many students ranked as below basic and three times as many ranked as proficient.

In grade 8 reading, Native students made substantial gains on the NAEP between 2011 and 2013. Those ranked as below basic fell from 48 percent to 36 percent, while the share of those ranked as proficient rose from 12 percent to 16 percent.

Districtwide science scores for students in all grades show a similar trend. While the proportion of Native students ranked below basic for 2013-2014 and the prior school year were nearly the same – at more than 11 percent, those ranked as proficient dropped from 44.35 percent to 38.33 percent. Those ranked as basic increased from 44.4 percent to 47.5 percent, and those ranked as advanced dropped from 1.8 percent to 1.5 percent.

For white students, the science scores showed more than 3 percent as below basic during both years and about 64 percent as proficient both years. See the complete report card for the Rapid City school district on the South Dakota Department of Education's website.

GRADUATION & COMPLETION

Under the Lakolkiciyapi grant program at Central High School, Native American four-year graduation rates have not appreciably improved, but completion rates for students who take longer than four years are up significantly. Historically, four-year graduation rates for Native students have been a few points above or below 50 percent. In 2012 the graduation rate dropped to a seven-year low of 37 percent, according to a presentation about the grant. 

However, the rapid City school district also looks at overall completion rates, which include students who take longer than four years to earn a diploma and those who earn a GED (general equivalency diploma). That rate came close to doubling for Native students at Central High School, going from 34 percent in 2012 to 57 percent in 2013. (Data for any other years was not available for this report.)

School officials hope they have set the stage for continued gains by using the Lakolkiciyapi program to substantially lower the number of Native students who must repeat the 9th grade. That rate was 15 percent in 2013, down from 27 percent in 2010.

Under the grant, which will end after the 2014-2015 school year, students and their families are provided with summer school, peer mentoring, academic counseling, tutoring, a credit recovery program and college and career exploration along with financial aid and college entrance test counseling.

In addition, Central High School has formed strategic partnerships with the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Oglala Lakota College and the South Dakota Department of Education College Access Grant.

In the next installment in this series, the Black Hills Knowledge Network will examine the state of higher education opportunities for Native Americans in Rapid City.

About the Series

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

Published in Home

Native Americans dominate Rapid City's homeless population and waiting lists at the Pennington County Housing office, and officials from education to employment to healthcare, say that a lack of stable housing is at the root of hardships facing many Native American residents of Rapid City.

In South Dakota as a whole, Native Americans own homes at nearly half the rate of their white counterparts and at a slightly lower rate than other people of color. Federal data averaged for the years 2009 through 2013 shows that 36.9 percent of South Dakota's Native Americans own homes compared to 71.6 percent of whites and 38.2 percent of other people of color. The Census estimates that during the period between 2006 and 2010, approximately 30.4 percent of the city’s 2,235 Native households owned their own home, well below the statewide average. 

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3For Native Americans who own or rented a home in Rapid City between 2006 and 2010, just over 61 percent are considered burdened by housing costs, meaning that households pays more than 30 percent of its income to keep a roof overhead. According to a city report, somewhere between 31.2 and 53.1 percent were "severely burdened," meaning they pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing. 

About 2 percent of Rapid City's Native Americans with housing are considered to live in substandard housing, according to Census estimates, meaning they have inadequate plumbing. Meanwhile, less than 1.5 percent of the Native community is considered to live in overcrowded housing, according to the federal data. But these estimates are very imprecise and have high margins of error.

At the same time, Native Americans dominate Rapid City's homeless population, according to the "point in time" survey conducted by the South Dakota Housing for the Homeless Coalition. The 2014 survey found that, of the city's homeless individuals, more than 75 percent were Native American. Of the 225 homeless children and adults identified in a January 2014 survey, 170 of them were Native. Of those 170, 26 individuals had no shelter at all while 144 were considered sheltered in some way.

Given the prevalence of low incomes, Native Americans are far more dependent on public housing assistance in Pennington County. American Indians account for two-thirds of the households in public housing, compared to one third for whites, despite the fact that Natives comprise 9.9 percent of the county's population.

Native Americans also accounted for 58 percent of those waiting for Section 8 rental assistance - 1,302 of a total wait-list population of 2,243 in October 2014. Whites on the waiting list numbered 816 and other people of color totalled 125.

The housing situation is even more stark when it comes to the waiting list for public housing units provided by Pennington County Housing, also from October 2014. The 1,653 Native Americans on that waiting list accounted for more than 66 percent of the 2,483 Pennington County residents hoping for access to public housing units. Whites numbered 726 while other people of color accounted for 104. It's likely that the vast majority of those on the waiting list will remain there, due to low turnover rates for the available public housing spots. In an average year, 269 Section 8 rental assistance spots and 127 public housing units become available.

About the Series

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

-Prepared by Denise Ross & Eric John Abrahamson

Published in Home

Native Americans in the Black Hills region fare worse in every health category than do whites. The disparities between the races vary by category, but often Native Americans suffer health maladies at double, triple and even higher rates than their white neighbors. Considered in the context of the data that the Black Hills Knowledge Network has reported in earlier segments of this series, these health indicators underscore the close relationship between socio-economic conditions and health outcomes.

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3To understand the disparities in health outcomes between the Native and Non-Native communities, the Black Hills Knowledge Network culled data from a 185-page Community Health Needs Assessment prepared for Regional Health. Regional’s Community Health Needs Assessment covered the service area for Rapid City Regional Hospital, which includes Butte, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Jackson, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington and Shannon counties. The report was completed in 2012 and includes data for 2006-2010.

Here is a look at how Native Americans living in the hospital's service area fare in the specific health categories. The biggest disparities are found in the categories of accidents and violent deaths, although disparities also exist for diseases.

 

Cancer

Native Americans die at a higher rate of cancer than do whites. In an average year, Natives die of cancer at 224.8 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 172.4 for whites. Those rates compare to 168.9 for the state of South Dakota and 176.7 for the United States.

Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD)

The death rate from chronic lower respiratory disease for Native Americans approaches double the rate for whites. In an average year, Natives die of CLRD at 82.4 per 100,000 population, compared to 48.8 for whites. That compares to 44.3 for the state of South Dakota and 42.4 for the United States.

Cirrhosis/Liver Disease & Alcohol Abuse

At nearly 16 times the death rate of whites, the Native death rate from cirrhosis or liver disease is called “extraordinarily high” by the report. In an average year, 80.6 Natives in the Black Hills region die from liver disease compared to 5.1 for whites. These rates compare to 10.4 for the state of South Dakota and 9.1 for the United States.

This disease, often associated with consumption of large amounts of alcohol, does not appear directly correlated to dramatically higher alcohol consumption among Natives. The chronic drinking rate in the hospital's service area is lower among non-whites than among whites. Among non-whites, 3.9 percent are considered chronic drinkers while 5.1 percent of whites fall into this category.

Binge drinking is higher among non-whites but the disparity is much smaller than the gap for deaths due to liver disease. Among non-whites, 30.4 percent of the population is considered to be binge-drinkers, compared to 12 percent for whites.

Diabetes

Native Americans die from diabetes at a rate nearly six times that of whites. In an average year, 102.4 Natives die from diabetes compared to 17.6 for whites. These rates compare to 24.3 for the state of South Dakota and 22 for the United States.

Drug-induced mortality

Native Americans die from drug use at about twice the rate of whites. In an average year, 15 Natives die from drugs compared to 7.9 for whites. These rates compare to 6.2 for the state of South Dakota and 15.7 for the United States. 

Heart Disease

Native Americans die of heart disease at a “notably higher” rate than whites, according to the report. In an average year, 221.1 Natives die of heart disease per 100,000 population, compared to 158.8 for whites. These rates compare to 168.2 for the state of South Dakota and 190.9 for the United States.

Homicide

Native Americans in the Black Hills region are murdered at a rate more than seven times that of whites. In an average year, 14.4 Natives are murdered per 100,000 population compared to 1.9 for whites. These rates compare to 2.7 for the state of South Dakota and 5.8 for the total population of the United States.

Infant Mortality

Native babies die before reaching age 1 at a higher rate than white babies. The average annual infant mortality for Natives is 12.7 per 100,000 population compared to 7.6 for whites. Those rates compare to 7.3 for the state of South Dakota and 6.7 for the United States.

Kidney Disease

Native Americans also die of kidney disease four times more often than do whites. In an average year, 35.5 Natives die from kidney disease per 100,000 population compared to 8.3 for whites. These rates compare to 8.1 for the state of South Dakota and 15 for the United States.

Motor Vehicle Crashes

Native Americans die in car crashes at more than four times the rate of whites. In an average year, 66.9 Native Americans in the Black Hills region die in car crashes per 100,000 population, compared to a rate of 15.8 for whites. These rates compare to 18.6 for the state of South Dakota and 13 for the United States.

Pneumonia/Influenza

Native Americans die of pneumonia and influenza at more than twice the rate of whites. In an average year, 40.4 Native Americans die of these afflictions per 100,000 population compared to 15.2 for whites. These rates compare to 16.2 for the state of South Dakota and 16.9 for the United States.

Stroke

Native Americans die of stroke at almost twice the rate of whites. In an average year, 59.9 Natives die of stroke per 100,000 population, compared to 31.8 for whites. These rates compare to 40.7 for the state of South Dakota and 41.8 for the United States.

Suicide Deaths

Native Americans suffer only a slightly higher death rate from suicide than do whites, at 20.6 deaths per 100,000 population in an average year for Natives, compared to 18.4 deaths for whites. Those rates compare to 15.6 deaths for the state of South Dakota and 11.6 deaths for the United States.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is likely a contributing factor to health problems for Native Americans. The health needs assessment found that 46.3 percent of non-whites in the hospital's service area smoked cigarettes compared to 19.3 percent for whites.

The report identifies tobacco use as "the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States." Tobacco use contributes to increased risks for heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and low birth weight and infant mortality.

Unintentional Injuries

Native Americans die of accidental injuries at nearly three times the rate of whites. In an average year, 140.8 Native Americans die of unintentional injuries per 100,000 population compared to a rate of 41 for whites. These rates compare to 44.8 for the state of South Dakota and 39.1 for the United States.

Improving access to health care is a critical factor influencing health outcomes. Individuals who participated in focus groups reported that Indian Health Service services are fluid and unreliable, with programs funded by grants frequently popping up only to disappear a year or two later. The ongoing IHS situation combined with the highest rate of going without conventional health insurance – 36.9 percent statewide – is a factor leading to Native Americans “over utilizing the emergency room for primary care,” the Community Health Needs Assessment report states. In South Dakota and the United States, the overall percentage of individuals without health insurance has been decreasing gradually since 2009. Health policymakers will be watching to see if health outcomes improve in the Native community as a result.

About the Series

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

 

Published in Home

Income and employment disparities between the Native American and non-Native communities in Rapid City and western South Dakota are significant. Data also suggests that, given Rapid City’s very low unemployment and high workforce participation rates, American Indians might well offer employers the best available source for new workers. Tapping into this potential pool of talent will depend on a variety of factors, including education and training.

Income and Employment Disparities

More than half of the estimated 6,851 American Indians in Rapid City were living in poverty, according to estimates compiled by the U.S. Census in 2013. This rate contrasted sharply with the approximately one in seven (14.2 percent) poverty rate for the Rapid City metropolitan area as a whole.

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3The Census analysis also showed that American Indians are more likely to be living in poverty in Rapid City than in any other metropolitan area in the United States with large concentrations of American Indians. With an estimated Native poverty rate of 50.9 percent, Rapid City led Minneapolis (48.3 percent), Portland, Ore., (37.9 percent), Gallup, N.M., (31.8 percent), and Tucson, Ariz., (31.0 percent) — the next closest major cities.

Low wages contribute substantially to high poverty. The average annual pay for Native American workers in Rapid City was $23,221 in the fall of 2012 compared to more than $37,000 for whites and Asians, a difference of $14,000 a year, according to JobsEQ, a proprietary economic data reporting service. Meanwhile, the median household income for American Indian families in the Rapid City metropolitan area was approximately $15,773 in 2013, compared to $48,641 for the region as a whole.

Higher rates of part-time or unemployment among American Indians could also contribute to low incomes. In the Rapid City metropolitan area, approximately 2,824 American Indian adults were employed per year in the 2009-2013 period, out of a total population of 6,945 American Indians between the ages of 16 and 64. These jobs numbers, compiled by the U.S. Census, suggest that roughly 48 percent of the adult Native work force was able to find a job.

Among American Indians, the proportion of adults working is slightly higher than for the adults Native population as a whole in South Dakota, which averaged 44 percent between 2009 and 2013. In the Native community, the proportion of adults working, however, was well below the overall rate of 74.8 percent in the Rapid City metropolitan region.

Of those who did find work, the Census estimated that about 1,200 individuals worked full-time for the whole year, while 3,844 worked part-time. Those who worked full-time enjoyed greater income stability, but the majority made less than $25,000 a year.

Education and Training

Differences in educational attainment contribute substantially to lower incomes and employment rates in Rapid City and across the state. According to the Census, statewide, 11.2 percent of Native Americans have at least a bachelor's degree compared to rates of 27.3 percent for whites and 22.7 percent for all other people of color. Although the estimates are less reliable for Rapid City, the numbers reflect a slightly better situation for American Indians. For example, approximately 12.6 percent of American Indians over the age of 25 in the Rapid City metropolitan area have earned a bachelors degree or higher. (Women are four times more likely than men to have completed a degree.) Nearly one in four (23.4 percent), however, did not complete high school and another one in four (25.1 percent) has only a high school diploma. In the 2013-2014 school year, according to the South Dakota Department of Education, 57 percent of American Indian students at Central High School graduated, compared to 81 percent for the school as a whole. At Stevens High School, 86 percent of American Indian students graduated, compared to 87 percent of all students.

Educational attainment plays a key role in determining what jobs are available to job seekers. Workers without a high school diploma or some post-high school training are more likely to be employed in service jobs where annual wages fall below the poverty level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, workers employed as janitors, maids, groundskeepers, retail and hotel desk cashiers and clerks, electrical and carpenter helpers, dry cleaning workers, packers and packagers, dishwashers and cooks had annual wages below the $23,834 poverty rate for a family of four in Rapid City in 2013.

Workforce of the Future

With unemployment rates hovering around 3.0 percent in the Rapid City metropolitan area, a shortage of workers might be an important factor inhibiting the growth of the regional economy (which languished close to 1.0 percent in 2012 and 2013). If workforce participation rates for the city’s large American Indian population rose to levels comparable to the community of all people of color in the state, employers in Rapid City would see a significant increase in the supply of new workers and the poverty rate in the American Indian community would decline.

Improving educational outcomes, increasing training opportunities, decreasing racial discrimination and enhancing cross-cultural understanding will be critical to the long-term effort to increase labor force participation within the Native community. 

About The Series

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

 

Published in Home

Children and youth are more likely than adults to be of American Indian descent in the Rapid City metropolitan area (Custer, Meade and Pennington counties). Nearly one in six people under the age of 18 is Native American, compared to one in ten adults, according to federal data analyzed by the Black Hills Knowledge Network as part of our Native Data Series.

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3In fact, while the overall population of children and youth is declining as share of the general population, the proportion of Native Americans in the 19 and younger population continues to grow. Between 2010 and 2013, Native American youth increased their share of the population of children and youth from 6.8 percent in 2010 to 8.8 percent in 2013 in Custer County, 3.6 percent to 4.8 percent in Meade County, and 15.5 percent to 16 percent in Pennington County. Overall, according to Census estimates, there were just under 5,000 American Indian children and youth living in the Rapid City metropolitan area in 2013.

The increasing share of Native children is likely to raise challenges for their families and the community. As American Indian children account for a growing share of the overall population of children and youth in the Rapid City metropolitan area, disparities between the Native and Non-Native populations may have an increasing impact on the overall population of children and youth in the Rapid City area. A number of sources haverecently highlighted disparities between Native and Non-Native children in the Rapid City area and in South Dakota.

Infant Mortality

The infant mortality rate in the area served by Regional Health, which includes Rapid City, was 71 percent higher for Native versus Non-Native children. According to statistics compiled for Regional’s Community Health Needs Assessment report, non-Hispanic whites suffered 7.4 deaths before their first birthday per 1,000 babies, compared to 12.7 deaths for Native American babies between 2006 and 2010.

Low Birth Weight

Low birth weights can be a factor in infant mortality. Fortunately, the disaparity between low birth weights between Native and Non-Native children is modest. Between 2009 and 2013 in South Dakota as a whole, babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds accounted for 6.3 percent (3,778 total) of all live births. Among white babies born between 2009 and 2013 in South Dakota, 6 percent (2,739 of 45,739) were low birth weight.

Child Deaths

Between 2009 and 2013, 191 children died in South Dakota for a rate of 24.1 per 100,000 children between the ages 1-14. For American Indian children in this period, the death rate was significantly higher than for white children. There were 120 child deaths among white children, for a rate of 19.4 per 100,000 children ages 1-14, compared to 60 child deaths, or 53.2 per 100,000 children, for American Indian children.

Teen Violent Deaths

American Indian youth were also more vulnerable than whites. Between 2009 and 2013, the violent death rate for American Indian teens age 15 to 19 in South Dakota was significantly higher than for white teens age 15 to 19 between 2009 and 2013 in South Dakota. Of all white teens ages 15-19, there were 47.1 teen violent deaths per 100,000 (total 111), compared to 179.8 per 100,000 (total 62) in the American Indian population.

About The Series

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

 

Published in Home

Dashboard.raceseries.logo3American Indians account for a growing percentage of South Dakota’s population, especially West River and in the counties that make up the Black Hills region. Data from the U.S. Census, which is sometimes challenged by tribal officials, shows that the rate of increase in American Indians’ share of the total population has slowed in recent years. Nevertheless, given the high percentage of Native youth in key counties west of the Missouri River, the Native share of total population is likely to continue to rise.

The Statewide Picture

As South Dakota's largest racial minority, Native Americans increased their share of the state’s population from 8.3 percent in 2000 to 8.9 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, the total number of American Indians in the state, as estimated by the government, rose from 62,283 to 75,233.

These changes follow a steady increase during the 1990s in the population of Native Americans under age 18 in South Dakota when the population of Native youth rose from 23,489 (11.8 percent) in 1990 to 27,804 (13.7 percent) in 2000. Although the Native youth population continued to grow after 2000, reaching 29,414 (14.1 percent) in 2013, the growth rate slowed. The overall percentage of Native Americans is poised to make bigger gains in the future because individuals under 18 still represent a higher percentage of South Dakota’s population than all Native Americans.

Native Americans in the Black Hills

In the Black Hills region, the growth of the Native American population has also been significant. Since 2000, the number of American Indians in the seven counties between Butte and Shannon counties has grown from 20,704 to 25,917. As a percentage of the total population, the Native American share rose from 12.1 percent to 13.1 percent. In Pennington County, particularly, nearly one in ten residents, and nearly one in six youth, was American Indian in 2013. (See the table below.)

Shannon County's total population has increased, and so has the number of American Indians, from 11,743 in 2000 to 13,114 in 2013. But while the total population has been on the rise, the share of Native Americans has dropped from 96.1 percent in 2010 to an estimated 92.9 percent in 2013.

Rapid City’s Population of Color

Rapid City is home to the greatest population of American Indians living away from the reservations. In 2010, American Indians accounted for 12.4 percent of the city’s population.

The two tables below provide county-level details in the Black Hills region for both Native Americans and all people of color. Find more data breakdowns in the sortable, exportable charts on the Demographics page of the South Dakota Dashboard. 

Native Population By County

  COUNTY

  2000 PERCENT

  2000 POPULATION   2013 PERCENT    2013 POPULATION
  Butte    1.6%    150    2%    202
  Custer    3.1%    227    3.4%    292
  Fall River    6.1%    451    7%    479
  Lawrence    2.2%    476    2.3%   569
  Meade    2%   495    2.9%   790
  Pennington    7.1%   7,162    9.9%   10,471
  Shannon    94.2%   11,743    92.9%   13,114
  South Dakota     8.1%   62,283    8.9%   75,233

Persons Of Color Population By County 

  COUNTY   2000 PERCENT   2000 POPULATION    2013 PERCENT    2013 POPULATION
  Butte    5.9%    537    8.4%    872
  Custer    6.6%    481    9.3%    784
  Fall River    10.7%    797    14.3%    975
  Lawrence    5.4%    1,171    9.2%   2,289
  Meade    8.4%   2,041    12%   3,264
  Pennington    14.4%   12,768    19.6%   20,727
  Shannon    95.6%   11,912    95.2%   13,438
  South Dakota     12%   90,259    16.7%   141,230

About The Series 

The Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data Series examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so we all can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike. 

 

Published in Home

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]