Crumbling Foundations

April 27, 2017
By CTeehan BRONZE, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
CTeehan BRONZE, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Once roaming the land in complete accord with nature, Native Americans now face a much different reality. The fact of the matter is that Native Americans, the foundation of the United States and an essential part in any American’s history, have been pushed into the dark and narrow corers of history.

Currently, Native Americans are living in one of the worst types of residencies in the United States: Reservations. These places which numerous Native tribes call home are outdated, scourged with social issues and the home for tremendous drug and alcohol use. Conditions are so bad, in fact, that Native American reservations have been described as mirroring third-world countries. However, the most notable issue facing Native American Reservations is alcohol consumption.

Alcoholism is rampant in Reservations across the fifty states. It commands the lives of more than half the Native American’s living on reservations; a disease that forgets no one, regardless of age. For most reservation Natives, alcohol dictates their entire lives from the moment they wake up and snatch a a bottle out of the fridge to the time their drunken bodies slip under the covers. Alcoholism has reached the point that Native Americans can no longer stop it on their own. Native children have been quoted that they feel their is a certain stigma with being a reservation Native American, and that society has made it so they are expected to be complete drunks.

The fact that alcoholism has reached such height on reservations is outrageous in itself, but worse is how the government continuously fails to adequately address such alcohol problems even though the situation grows graver every day. Native Americans are US citizens and deserve to be treated as such, not as last century’s garbage. Moreover, if being a citizen isn’t reason enough to help these Native Americans, one can look to the initial formation of Native American Reservations to see how this intense alcoholism entered Native Reservations. The reason is because of the United States government. Through poorly conducted interference in the school system, the government created an extremely low social status for Native American children. This social status finds its at the head of a cycle of depression and alcohol that has stretched across the centuries.

This cycle of depression is solely fueled by alcoholism. Most importantly, it has created a stereotype of “the drunken indian.” This has lead to numerous problems from reservation Native Americans including limited employment opportunities along with general social problems.

Starting with fixing the tangible issue facing reservations, the government must make it a priority to better Native American lives. Without Native Americans, the United States would not have been able to prosper as it has, for they are the foundation of this country. Once superficial issues are solved, then the crucial problem with alcohol can be fixed. One way or another, the only way for things to change is with the government.

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