The word reservation is a charged word for me.
res·er·va·tion (rzr-vshn) n.
- The act of reserving; a keeping back or withholding.
- Something that is kept back or withheld.
- A limiting qualification, condition, or exception: has reservations about the proposal.
- A tract of land set apart by the federal government for a special purpose, especially one for the use of a Native American people.
When I think of the history of the Native Americans or the First Peoples a lot comes to mind. There is definitely this idea of keeping back and withholding. There is also a sense of limiting condition as well. You may not know this but and I quote:
About 40% of our country’s 4.9 million Native Americans live on reservations (2008, Office of Minority Health). Living conditions on the reservations have been cited as “comparable to Third World.” (May 5, 2004, Gallup Independent).
To add insult to injury, as reported 1 out 3 Native Women will be raped in her life of course there is the systematic failures of the judicial system both in and out the reservation. This was taken from the NY Times:
Rape on the Reservation
By LOUISE ERDRICH
Published: February 26, 2013
The Justice Department reports that one in three Native women is raped over her lifetime, while other sources report that many Native women are too demoralized to report rape. Perhaps this is because federal prosecutors decline to prosecute 67 percent of sexual abuse cases, according to the Government Accountability Office. Further tearing at the social fabric of communities, a Native woman battered by her non-Native husband has no recourse for justice in tribal courts, even if both live on reservation ground. More than 80 percent of sex crimes on reservations are committed by non-Indian men, who are immune from prosecution by tribal courts.
Our Native people are in very very bad shape. Some psychologists and historians have said that: “the abuse of Indian women and children can be traced to the introduction of unnatural life ways into Native culture. Scholars support this idea and suggest that violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women directly relates to historical victimization. According to proponents of this idea, domination and oppression of native peoples increased both economic deprivation and dependency through retracting tribal rights and sovereignty. Consequently, American Indian and Alaska Natives today are believed to suffer from internalized oppression and the normalization of violence.”
Now Then Would You Tell A Native American
- Would you tell a Native American boy or young girl that doesn’t trust you or interact with you to kindly remove the chip off your shoulder so that in becoming the change they want to see in the world they will inspire others ?
- Would you tell a Native American of any age to rise above the hatred, and anti-Native Sentiment?
- Would you tell a Native America, provided you can find some where you are, that love is the Answer, or that if you can dream it you can do it ?
Native American Postc-olonial Psychology by Eduardo adn Bonnie Duran
Paula Gunn Allen. (1985) “Violence and the American Indian Woman: Working to Prevent Sexual and Domestic
Violence, Vol5, No.4 (April).
Seattle: Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence.
26 Burbar, R., & Thurman, P.J. (2004) Violence against Native women. Social Justice, 31(4), 70-86.
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