Enough is Enough - Crow Creek Reservation Continues to Suffer in Freezing Temperatures, Reports CAN-DO:

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Central Electric Cooperative Disconnects Electricity in Nation's Poorest County as Nation Stands Idly By.

Central Electric does have a winter disconnect procedure whereby no meters are disconnected in cold or inclement weather.

This week, CAN-DO has shocking new evidence of Central Electric Cooperative terminating power after sending CAN-DO a letter stating, "Central Electric does have a winter disconnect procedure whereby no meters are disconnected in cold or inclement weather."

According to CAN-DO, the residents at the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota continue to suffer in cold temperatures despite cries for help to elected officials, national media outlets, and leaders across the nation to put a stop to the abuses, to no avail. Temperatures reaching below 7 degrees F with the wind chill and blizzards on the Crow Creek Reservation this week have become an emergency situation as Central Electric Cooperative continues cutting power, leaving many residents in the nation's poorest county without heat, losing their food, water, and in some cases, threatening their lives.

Despite the Obama Administration's commitment to invest in Native American communities with more than $2.5 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated to Indian Country to create jobs, promote economic opportunity, and address the energy crisis, Central Electric Cooperative continues cutting power in homes on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation.

Since power on the Reservation was terminated, current blizzard conditions and freezing temperatures continue to threaten the lives of the Crow Creek Residents. Included are veterans and families with children. War Veteran, 69 year-old Amos Yellow Back Jr., suffering from terminal stomach cancer and a severe heart condition, was left in his mobile home without power, kept warm by using a propane oven, just two days after receiving a disconnect notice. Resident Justin Mireau, suffering from a fractured foot, employed yet unable to work, owed $92 and had his power cut despite his attempts to make a payment to the electric company that same day. (Click here to view the video evidence of the abuses and violations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYh7RI0GTJI)

"This is blatant abuse and the destruction of a community," stated Eric Klein, Founder of CAN-DO. "What people need to understand is that when a person gets their power cut, they not only lose their heat and lights, but they also lose their food and often times water when their pipes can break due to freezing temperatures, costing the residents thousands of dollars in repairs. With no job opportunities, the majority of these residents go without income and are often denied government funding. Most families are forced to live on $25 per person per week in food stamps, yet are charged higher rates for their power than any other region in the state. Losing power is not only an inconvenience, it's life threatening. These are unacceptable conditions and need our immediate attention. News agencies and government officials have turned their backs on these American citizens allowing these conditions to persist. What happened to 'Never Again?'"

Five hundred meters are supplied by Central Electric Cooperative on the Crow Creek Reservation. Many of these households have elderly family members or children whose lives depend upon electronic medical equipment such as nebulizers. With an unemployment rate of 80% and an average annual income of $5,000, it is extremely difficult for residents to pay these inflated bills.

All these violations have once again been documented by CAN-DO and Peter Lengkeek, tribal leader, US Marine, and concerned resident. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYh7RI0GTJI)

"What is most disturbing is that the power being generated is produced on what was once tribal land, with the promise of free electricity when the hydro-electric dam was first built. Today, people are forced to live without power in sub-zero temperatures. This must immediately be brought to the attention of the mainstream media and government officials and addressed as an emergency situation," emphasized Klein.

Proof of these abuses and blatant violations, interviews with the community members, and the complete Crow Creek Project can be found at http://www.can-do.org/crowCreek.php.

Join CAN-DO's call to action at http://www.can-do.org. Help put an end to these abuses.

About CAN-DO:

Founded by Eric Klein, CAN-DO has set a new standard for humanitarian aid and is changing the face of philanthropy. Video footage, photographs and the web site offer documentation of the organization's efforts at every phase. For further information, please visit http://www.can-do.org. To schedule media interviews or to get involved, please contact Alissa Sears at 805-969-3744


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Eric Klein
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Alissa Sears