The Bond: Connecting through the Space Between Us (cont.)
By Lynne McTaggart
Excerpt of Chapter 11 from The Bond
Power of Working Together
Oklahoma, represents one of the forgotten neighborhoods of America.
The town name, derived from the pioneer habit of traversing a flooded
river by persuading a horse to fjord the river while holding on to
its tail, suggests a place hanging on for its very survival.
of its population of 42,000 consists of Native American families,
with an average per capital income of $27,000 and a house worth about
$60,000. Those businesses that exist in Tailholt mostly cap
employment at minimum wage. With a cemetery within each mile of a
twelve-mile radius, the most prosperous activity in Tailholt is
laying its inhabitants to rest.
The citizens of Tailholt had been trying and failing to
get fresh water every year since 1999. Many members of the community
had constant problems with their water sources. Wells ran dry, taps
had low pressure, water was contaminated, or just smelled or tasted
Protection Agency has strict guidelines about coliform bacteria,
which give an indication of the amount of harmful microorganisms in
the water, and the maximum number of coliform bacteria per milliliter
that constitutes water fit to drink. Certain forms—called fecal
coliform bacteria—can make people ill. Fifty-eight percent of
Tailholt households failed the coliform test. Every annual
application to the national Indian Health Services to fund a new
pipeline through a grant available to Indian communities had been
rejected on the grounds of expense. There was just too little federal
money to go around.
Tailholt residents were also desperate for a large
community center as a central meeting place for organized activities.
Again, it looked as though the vast cost of the project would never
be picked up by the federal government.