Friday, October 14, 2011

Another 'Hidden America' about children, this time at a reservation on the Great Plains and Badlands

Two and a half years ago, ABC News aired a "20/20" documentary called "Hidden America: Children of the Mountains," about the troubles of young people in Appalachia. Tonight at 10 p.m. EDT Diane Sawyer returns with a similar program, about Lakota Sioux children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota such as Tashina Iron Horse, left. (ABC photo by Elissa Stohler)

"A Hidden America: Children of the Plains" takes viewers to "the poorest places in America right now," Sawyer said last night on ABC's "Nightline," praising "the true heroism of these kids" after a preview that included part of a segment about a 12-year-old girl whose grandfather got custody of her because "the mother she adores is an alcoholic," Sawyer narrates. "They are dreamers and survivors," she says of the children.

"Alcohol possession is prohibited at Pine Ridge, but just 200 feet from the reservation's border lies White Clay, Neb. (pop. 14), where vendors sold some 4 million cans of beer to Pine Ridge residents in 2010," ABC reports on the series website. In 2007, police detained Duane Martin Sr., right, and two others who helped organize a blockade in an attempt to confiscate beer headed from White Clay to the reservation." (Photo by Carson Walker, The Associated Press)

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