Snow plow operations on Pine Ridge Reservation

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Every city prioritizes snow plow routes differently, including the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Tire tracks through snow

The Pine Ridge Reservation sits on three million acres, and is one of the poorest places in the country.

Snow plow operations typically start at 8 a.m. on the reservation.

However, during extreme weather conditions like blizzards, the current Oglala Sioux Tribe president takes plowing into his own hands.

Priority is placed on routes involving elders and spiritual leaders.

When he returned home after helping clear the roads earlier this year, Julian Bear Runner said his social media notifications were exploding.

"The grandma whose road I cleared first, she put a post up and she said, 'In my 70 years of living, never have I ever seen a tribal president come out, and through his actions show the people that he loves and cares for them," said Julian Bear Runner, Oglala Sioux Tribe president.

Bear Runner said the recognition touched him but felt like he was just doing his part to help with snow removal.