The former Pine Ridge reservation, after some initial upheaval after the Year of Destruction, has become a thriving community. Its leadership avoids contact with Dalton, although families have been known to move back and forth in the community. Pine Ridge is a mainly Sioux community, although Mixeds are beginning to make up a larger percentage of the population.
Directly after the war, the already impoverished area experienced a series of diseases and food shortages. However, without the government control of the land, people began to spread out and return to traditional methods of animal husbandry and land use. They made use of the wandering horses and cattle broken loose from abandoned farms, and also spread out into the Black Hills area to hunt and fish. Their expansion revitalized the struggling community and it far outpaced Dalton’s efforts to recover.
The Sioux practices of living in harmony with the world around them and respecting the powers of nature allowed them to adapt more rapidly to the new necessary lifestyle than the Dalton residents. While most people in Dalton sought to restore their technology-dominated, industrialized, and nature-exploiting society, the Sioux were able to return to a semblance of their former existence. They carefully tended the feral cattle until their area was able to support massive herds which could be hunted like bison. Many residents have chosen a nomadic lifestyle, following the herds and constructing temporary homes. A few remained in the original reservation community area, settling permanently and farming, although most chose to return to their former traditions.
Native rituals, mythology, and religion are once again practiced, and they speak their own language, with only those who have interest in trading with the Dalton residents learning English. The sacred places in the Black Hills area are once again used in ceremony. The community has avoided contact with Dalton, and most of its members chose not to assist in Dalton’s reconstruction, since their own people had been abandoned and mistreated by the white majority for generations. A few families did move to the city to attempt to help, and their efforts were largely responsible for Dalton’s survival. However, when they encountered the bigotry of many of the residents, most moved back to the Pine Ridge area.
Not only did many Pine Ridge residents not remain in Dalton, but a portion of the Dalton population followed them. Many Mixeds left the city to live in a culture where they would be treated as equal citizens, and their intermarriage with the Sioux has led to a growing population of second and third generation Mixeds among the community members. Many of these Mixeds have gained great honor in the community for their instinctive skills and their attunement with nature. In 2093, the community welcomed the first Mixed chief, a wolf-Mixed named Storm-smeller, whose fame for predicting devastating storms and knowledge of where to move camps to avoid it was highly revered.
The Dalton community initially welcomed the Pine Ridge residents’ assistance, but when it became clear that the community was recovering faster than Dalton and becoming strong and independent, attitudes toward the Native population began to sour. Many people accused the Sioux who were moving to Dalton to help of being spies, and of being an advance group to facilitate an attack on the city. They called for restrictions on Sioux residents, and the creation of communities for them outside the town. Many Sioux left during this time, fearing outbreaks of violence. The loss of their knowledge and skills caused Dalton’s revival to slow even further, and exacerbated the fear of a growing power outside the city. During this time, the wall around the city was constructed and the Perimeter Guard patrols were created. The fear of attack was completely unfounded, since the Sioux were of the opinion that they would leave the white people alone to eventually destroy themselves. However, occasional border skirmishes between the Patrols and members of the Sioux community who have followed a herd onto Dalton controlled land or young people looking to prove their bravery keep many residents of Dalton on alert, fearing a full-scale attack on their city. They view the Sioux or part-Sioux council members with extreme distrust.
The community is known to the Dalton residents as Pine Ridge, but its own residents have renamed it the Oglala Tribal Nation. The community is currently ranged over an area eight time the size of the land under Dalton control. The Oglala community has broken any ties to Dalton and avoids the area. Any of the Sioux who chose to remain in the city have more or less been disowned by the tribal remainder of their families. The community allows rail riders to pass and often offers them shelter and food, and medical care if necessary. Some of the Mixed riders choose to remain in the community.
While the Oglala view the Dalton residents as eventually doomed to failure and very little threat to them when they remain outside the Patrol borders, Dalton residents fear an attack, and this fear has led to people’s unwillingness to leave the border walls, a general fear of the outside area, and a rise in Perimeter patrols. The Citadel fears that the Mixed will ally with the Oglala, who recognize their equality, and participate in a takeover of the city if it is ever attacked. This is one of the reasons Rail Riders are feared, because some of them are from the Oglala community. the Citadel also seeks to limit Mixed contact with the Oglala and has for this reason banned Mixeds from permanently leaving Dalton, heavily patrolled Mixed farmland, and modified the in-school curriculum to make the Mixed believe that the world beyond the walls is very dangerous and that the Oglala are terrible and to be feared. Most Mixeds currently living in Dalton have been taught this view of the Sioux people, and tend to be afraid of even Dalton Sioux residents.