Lone Hill said she had no problem with the loans because they were not made on the reservation.
Besides, she added, the Oglala Sioux have suffered long enough. “We’re getting hurt here too by our own people and our government and our country, who are not treating us fairly,” she said.
“When you deal with people who are impoverished, they will go for any idea that promises cash,” said David Mills, the director of the tribe’s economic development office and Catches the Enemy’s boss.
Catches the Enemy said her opposition to payday lending didn’t make her “a popular person” on the reservation. But she knew she was right to oppose the project: Her daughter, Yolanda, had lost the title to her truck several years earlier after taking out a car title loan, which like a payday loan comes at a high interest rate.
Elizabeth Rowland, who serves as treasurer of the Wakpamni district, agreed with Catches the Enemy. Her son, she said, had almost lost his van after taking out a similar loan.
After that experience, Rowland said she gave him some simple advice: “Don’t ever get involved with one of those loans again.”
– The Tribe That Said No (via Al Jazeera’s Pay Day Nation series), by Nicholas Nehamas; published 6-17-14