Friday, February 8, 2013

Native Americans Love Living on Reservations because Casinos are making them Rich!

I might have to consider changing the name of this blog to "The Ignorance of the American College Student" just so I can post all the stupid comments my classmates make every week for the sole purpose of entertaining the rest of us. I suppose that might be a little rude of me because, after all, we are college students and we are there to learn.  However, assuming Martha (that's the name I've chosen for her) is in her third or fourth year and going into social work, I am seriously becoming frightened by her thinking.

Martha, as you might recall, told us in last week's class that legal immigrants should want (and love) to show us their registration documents at any time, all the time, every time and at any request simply on suspicion alone.  Her reasoning was that they should be proud they are legal immigrants.  In other words, legal immigrants love to be racially profiled.  Remember that???

She came up with another doozy of a thought last night.  I really hope this girl can expand her mind a bit more before she graduates or she is going to have a very rude awakening when she gets into the real world.  We were discussing the Native American culture, life on reservations, the Indian Boarding School devastation, etc.  And out of Martha's mouth comes the following:

"I believe that Indians love to be on reservations.  They make a ton of money with the casinos."

Yes, Martha, I'm quite sure that they LOVE living in extreme poverty and substance abuse with extremely high suicide and mortality rates.  That sounds like a blast.  Where do I sign up?  Who exactly is this money going to, Martha?  While there are SOME casinos where the profits do actually filter back into the destined reservation and Native American communities, most do not happen in this manner.  The money seems to get 'lost' along the way, mainly heading into Mexico where it often just disappears and no one can really pinpoint where the money goes.  Even when members of the tribes have filed suits, which they have and have several times over, The Bureau of Indian Affairs has basically given little to no response.  The BIA, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies said they cannot do much because it is considered an 'internal tribal matter'.

Another problem is that anyone who questions where the money is going runs a huge risk of being banished, losing their home, their status, their job, etc.  This would be much like whistleblowing.  Is it worth the risk to do it?  If one is living in such horrible poverty are they really going to open their mouth and say something?  I highly doubt it, especially because most probably have a family that needs to be cared for.

The bottom line, Martha, is that Native Americans probably DON'T love to be on reservations.  There is no "tons of money" to be found.  The percentage of tribes that are profiting from the casinos is significantly small and the profits therefore small as well.  Let's step into the real world of the American government and how it operates.  Although capitalism is a nice thought, it rarely works for the little guy. And in this case, it definitely is not working.  The 1988 Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act  had good intentions, but it needs to be looked at again and probably AGAIN after that.  Changes need to be made and the government needs to stop turning a blind eye to it.

And don't get me started on the Indian Boarding Schools.  I'm sure Martha probably thought that was a great idea too. I mean, why not take children away from their parents, abuse them, and ultimately change everything they know about their own culture?  Sounds like a perfect plan for a healthy, stable life to me.

I'll save that for another day because if you think about the Indian Boarding School history of this country, we are STILL trying to do some of the same things today...  I'll let you ponder that thought.  

Statistics from December 2011
I definitely see how the wealth is being spread around!


  1. pondering...(not pandering, this time)...hell, right on! residential schools have finally been eliminated here in the tundra, that was a disgrace. and there are some better off reserves, with casinos or oil or minerals exploited, but, as you say, the wealth is not fairly distributed and, i must add, there are some corrupt band councils whose leaders live better than the rest of the communities. however, it is still a national (and as i see international) disgrace that the first nation original inhabitants of our respective countries have become no better off than third world marginal peoples...and the very same canadians/americans who were disgusted with south african apartheid still uphold such hypocritical views . "idle no more", until the disparity between rich and poor is reversed...and terms like "noble savages" become as repugnant as "african slaves".

    1. Good on the no pandering (this time). :)

      I can hardly believe that it was only 35 years ago that the practice of removing native children from their families has ceased (Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978). That's just insane to me. I don't consider myself all that old and to know that I was around for awhile before that took place is sickening.

      It really IS an international disgrace and I have seen that now with the "idle no more" getting more attention as of late. I hope it continues.

      As always, it comes down to educating people. Look at the girl in my class. She was obviously clueless and I think many people probably have the same false thinking about how those casinos truly operate.

    2. education is always key, for first nations and non-first nations alike. no more stupidville. :)

    3. THAT would surely make America great once again!

  2. YES education is the key indeed. It's the number one cure for ignorance :)

    1. So true, Keith. Unfortunately education costs money, much of which we don't have. If I were about 20 years younger, I would take my university's opportunity to do a summer internship on a reservation they offer in Arizona. At least I could contribute in that way. What an experience that would be!

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