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Cold weather threatens the elderly and very young, particularly in Native American reservations on the Great Plains. Houses often have no electric utilities, are poorly insulated and are often the scene of tragic deaths every winter because their residents can't afford wood fuel.
Every year, people die in Indian Country—elders, too proud to ask for help, families too dysfunctional to get it together—somewhat like in Anytown, USA. There is a major difference on the rez, though, and that difference is poverty, the likes of which compares more with the Third World than any place we’d like to call the United States. But, that is the reality, the reality on many of the nation’s Native American reservations, places which are home to hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom, particularly infants and elders are in danger of freezing to death.