AP Photo/The Bismarck Tribune, Tom Stromme
This Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 photo shows the Fort Yates, North Dakota mobile home where Debbie Dogskin was found dead Tuesday morning with an empty propane tank.

Standing Rock Sioux Woman Dies During Propane Shortage in Sub-Zero Temperatures

ICTMN Staff
2/6/14

A Standing Rock Sioux member died from hypothermia, authorities believe, due to lack of heat during a propane shortage that recently prompted the tribe to declare a state of emergency. Nearly 90 percent of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation’s residents use propane to heat their homes, reported KFYRTV.com.

RELATED: Propane Shortage + Arctic Cold = State of Emergency on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

Debbie Dogskin’s adult son, who resided with his mother in the Sioux Village mobile home on the outskirts of Fort Yates, called an ambulance when he found her unresponsive early Tuesday.

When emergency responders arrived, Dogskin’s propane tank was empty, and the temperature inside her home matched that of outside, 1 degree below zero. Her portable heater also appeared to be broken, Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis told GrandForksHerald.com.  

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, with results expected on Friday, Tribal chairman Dave Archambault told BismarckTribune.com.

Lack of propane and frigid temperatures have significantly impacted the Midwest, and the problem is exacerbated on the Standing Rock Reservation plagued by poverty and housing issues. Many tribal members can’t afford propane, which has nearly doubled in price per gallon. But costs are expected to decrease soon, Mike Rud, North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association president, told BismarckTribune.com.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has opened shelters in Wakpala, South Dakota and Fort Yates, North Dakota, for those without heat. The American Red Cross is supplying hot meals to the shelters and providing cots and blankets.

 

 

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page

POST A COMMENT

Comments

odawak66's picture
odawak66
Submitted by odawak66 on
The heating costs should have been lowered before spring...the oil companies and their representatives are always trying to do damage control when incidences like this are reported. People freeze to death while the oil companies line their pockets. It is a crime...

pelikan68's picture
pelikan68
Submitted by pelikan68 on
We use natural gas for heating. Always heating prices rise up at the time of new year. And when natural gas prices raise, prices of every other consumption materials, foods, electricity, sugar etc. rise in conjunction with natural gas due to its being used in all production facilities. Yet scientist say that there is enough oil and gas reserve for about million years,as far as I know. So why this shortage? Just to add more value to prices?

pelikan68's picture
pelikan68
Submitted by pelikan68 on
We use natural gas for heating. Always heating prices rise up at the time of new year. And when natural gas prices raise, prices of every other consumption materials, foods, electricity, sugar etc. rise in conjunction with natural gas due to its being used in all production facilities. Yet scientist say that there is enough oil and gas reserve for about million years,as far as I know. So why this shortage? Just to add more value to prices?

chahta ohoyo's picture
chahta ohoyo
Submitted by chahta ohoyo on
aint it just tooooo cute that propane prices will go down AFTER somebody dies...

gypsywind21's picture
gypsywind21
Submitted by gypsywind21 on
First of all let us share our heartfelt prayers for our Relative who passed on in this most tragic way. May the Creator take you home to that place where our ancestors live in sunshine and warmth. Our Realtive's passing must not be lost among the harsh sentiments we surely feels as human beings. We must stop and think clearly about the proper next steps to be taken. We have every right to demand that Mrs. Dogskin and her family receive justice from those who are responsible for her death. It may be clear that the frigid temps contributed to Mrs. Dogskin's untimely passing, however, it is just as clear that there are many other contributory issues, too. For example: The most cursory review of the photo of her mobile home clearly show that those responsible for its proper installation failed. Her home looks to have inadequate; improper and insufficient "skirting" around the foundation. It would appear that only one side has some type of boards pressed up against the trail home. At least two of the other sides have no siding whatsoever. It is not uncommon in the Dakotas (North & South) for the winters to reach subzero temps with blowing winds that exceed 50 miles per hour. Did her mobile home meet the construction standards set forth by HUD (24 CFR 3280)? Did this unit pass state/tribal inspection when it was installed? Was this a mobile home built to withstand the elements of the Dakotas? Was this structure made for "Wind Load Zone 1". Did her home meet all safety code requirements of the state/tribe/feds? Was there proper insulation? Looking at the picture in the paper of her home - there are no apparent power-lines for electricity running into the trailer. If that in fact is accurate; that deficiency alone should have been cause for failing inspection. State requires that a mobile home be "connected to the required utilities; and that contains the plumbing, "HEATING"; air-conditioning; and electrical systems". In closing, mobile homes built for warmer climates should not be sold in challenging climates like that of the Dakotas. Was this mobile home, with its minimal framework and insulation in compliance with the State's reciprocal agreement for construction standards? Finally, the passing of our dear Relative Mrs. Dogskin was so unnecessary. We don't need medical doctors to tell us the obvious. What we need is a full blown investigation as to whether this mobile home met the construction standards set by the state/tribe/feds. Where all the proper inspections conducted prior to Mrs. Dogskin being allowed to move in? We must hold all those responsible to account for their failings. Let us sing our Relative's song and pray for her transition and journey into the Spirit World. May we never have to find another of loved ones in this way.

indianmedicine's picture
indianmedicine
Submitted by indianmedicine on
Folks, we are Sorry for the Loss to Family and Tribe; and we ask that Debbie be taken Home to "The Light of The Creator" where She shall suffer no more from the rigors of incarnation...................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................ We can blame many things for this event, but no one has mentioned "Damage Control" for the rest of "The People"............................................................................................ ....................................................................................................................................... Yes, Price Control is one, however the immediate steps to prevent further "Cold injury Deaths" is up to the Community its self......................................................................... ....................................................................................................................................... I do not know what the Tribes "Emergency Services" are organized in, however many "Cold Weather Issues" can be made aware of through "The Fire Marshal Inspection Program" that many Communities have in existence.................................................... ....................................................................................................................................... The aspect of the Program could be directly monitored by "The Counsel of Elders" to track the "Health & Welfare" of its Members; specifically the Senior Tribal members... ....................................................................................................................................... Since "Cold Weather" is an Annual Issue, a "Futures Reserve Program" could be initiated by "The Counsel" for a "fixed price index" on Propane / Natural Gas or Other means to provide "power / energy" for heating,cooking, and other purpose - also Directly Supervised and Monitored By The Counsel and Tribal Legal Counsel............ ....................................................................................................................................... The "Tribe & Counsel" must take the initiative, and do the "Self Help" needed to Protect the Interests of "The Tribe and its Interests" and not necessarily rely on the "Good Will" of its local economy........................................................................................................ ....................................................................................................................................... No one mentioned if "Natural Gas" was being recovered on the Reservation, and Who,What,Where,& When is doing the recovery and in the Name of Who?................ ...................................................................................................................................... The Natural Resources of The Reservation first go to The Tribal members, and any excess may be applied to Sales that Benefit The Tribe its self - again The Counsel and Tribal legal Counsel responsibility................................................................................ ..................................................................................................................................... In the meantime, "Health & Safety Checks" can be initiated by Tribal Police and Fire Department, and assisted by Tribal Social Services................................................... .................................................................................................................................... Again, our Condolence to The Family and Friends of Debbie for their loss; but do the damage control to prevent further like events within the Tribe................................... .................................................................................................................................... With Respect, Indian Medicine

rstohr's picture
rstohr
Submitted by rstohr on
If it was me i think i would go to spring creek mine in Montana and get some coal i belive it is about $50.00 a ton to heat there homes with It is sub bit coal. A ton a mouth should cover it per home. For infomation on how to use it go to nepacrossroads.com and be informed. And yes this does work well nice to be 74 in my house this winter and is what i use to heat with. No more ProPain for me.

Kitty Kellogg Hosko
Kitty Kellogg Hosko
Submitted by Kitty Kellogg Hosko on
Why was this woman not on Lieap? Social services is located in the courthouse there in Fort Yates, and Im sure something could have been done so this would not have happened. . From what Ive seen before Gypsywind21, people do not get inspections on their properties, mobiles change ownership so many times on the reservation. Laws and regulations are totally differant on the Rez than say Bismarck. May this woman RIP and know there are people who want to make a differance on the Rez so that this wont happen again.
8