Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quick Facts: Native Americans, dreamcatchers no more


Image: Kirby Sattler: "I am Crow"

* Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that American Indian teens take their own lives at more than two times the rate of any other teen demographic in the U.S.

* In 2007, American Indian and Alaska Native youths, 15 to 24 years old, were committing suicide at a rate more than three times the national average for their age group of 13 per 100,000 people. For these youths, suicide has become the second-leading cause of death (after accidents).

* Life expectancy among Native Americans is almost 6 years less than any other race or ethnic group in the U.S.

* Almost 12 percent of the deaths among Native Americans and Alaska Natives are alcohol-related - more than three times the percentage in the general population, a 2008 federal report says.

* U.S. Census data indicate that in 1996, 30.9% of Native Americans as a whole had family incomes below the poverty line, in comparison with 13.8% for the U.S. population as a whole. In 2010, more than 70% had incomes below the poverty line.

Read the Full Article and watch the video at PressTV.ir

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Native American Struggles in Reclaiming their Land
Annotated Bibliography
Edward Blakemore
The University of Dayton School of Law
Spring 1998

This research opened my eyes to the continuous struggles which Native Americans must fight just to get ownership of land they were promised years ago. While there seems to be some hope for the future in that some claims like those of Canada's Indian population are being recognized and appreciated, many other groups are still losing their land to this day. Historically, Native Americans have had a much higher appreciation for the land and what it can provide them. They attach a spiritual component to their land and, as a result, approach the relinquishment or sale of those lands with great apprehension.

This report indicates that local and national legislatures are becoming less willing to afford Native Americans the protections to which they've become accustomed. There is legislation pending to overrule the trust acquisition component of the Department of the Interior. This opportunity has done much to help Native Americans secure land which their economic status would not otherwise permit. The conservative political tide seems bent on trying to, once and for all, destroy what little pride and self-esteem remains within these communities.

Native Americans are still being taken advantage of to this day. What little portion of land they've been permitted to inhabit by the US government is being reacquired for use as toxic waste sites. Scientists have even come forward to contend the effects of living near this waste are not harmful. Americans must ask themselves if these practices would be similarly condoned in white communities.

Native Americans are in dire need of a strong and powerful voice. They need some influential groups to assist them with their strategies to fend off whites who want to harm their interests. Since Native American communities are synonymous with poverty, they don't have the influence necessary to change these problems on their own. The American people must come forward and aid Native Americans in their quest for self-determination and sovereignty. The time has come for us to stand up and say the abuses must stop. The United States must acknowledge our past treaties and let them manage their lives independent of harmful white influences. We can't afford to allow this excellent cultural resource to be continually raped of its land and self-esteem while we stand by idly.

Read also: Indigenous Native American Prophecy

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear that native americans are still strugling, although unfortunatly, I am not surprised. Politics and greed has always worked hand in hand towards destroying cultures.


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