Native tribes divided, impoverished, yet Administration touts ‘progress’
“Photo ops with tribal children in native dress, pleasant pronouncements, and end-of-term self-congratulatory press releases, cannot hide the fact that federal nanny-statism along with Obama’s confiscatory federal land policies have made poverty, division, and disenfranchisement within Native American communities much worse.”
On September 26, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued a press release announcing the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference with the following message:
Eight years ago, President Obama pledged to make the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country a top priority under his administration. And every year since 2008, hundreds of tribal leaders from across the country, representing 567 federally recognized tribes have come together, bringing their concerns to the table, and building relationships with the president and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.
What the Obama Administration, in its waning months, touts as successes and ‘progress’ are, in fact, dismal failures, especially when it comes to race-relations and the economic well-being of minorities.
Below are examples of how Obama Administration policies have DIVIDED Tribal Nations, against the federal government, and against one another.
Photo ops and feel-good rhetoric cannot hide the fact that federal policies are driving Native Americans further into poverty, and further away from the hope that they will ever prosper under the heavy, paternalistic hand of federal policy.
From Navajo Times:
Cheering and booing punctuated talks and public comment during a packed meeting Saturday hosted by two Obama administration officials who heard emotional statements from both sides of a highly divisive proposal to create a national monument where at least one tribe says they have land.
The two tribe chapters, the Aneth and the San Juan Southern Paiute, whose communities lie closest to the Bears Ears boundaries are OPPOSED to the creation of a national monument. While those saying they support a national monument designation make their homes farther away. The closest advocate tribe, the Olajato Chapter, is primarily located in Arizona, and would not be personally or economically impacted to the same degree as the opposing chapters. Other tribal chapters in Utah are located hundreds of miles outside the proposed Bears Ears boundaries.
TRIBES TAKE ON FEDS
Thousands of activists, including the Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota, have been protesting the 1,100-mile (1,886-km) project being developed by Energy Transfer Partners LP, arguing it poses an environmental risk to the tribe’s water supply and would violate sacred sites.
FEDERAL ABUSE OF NATIVES
From Fox News:
Yowell’s 132 head of cattle had grazed for decades on the South Fork Western Shoshone Indian Reservation in northeastern Nevada until 2002, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — the same agency at odds with Bundy — seized them. The federal agency sold the cattle at auction and used the proceeds to pay off the portion of back grazing fees it claimed Yowell owed. Once the cattle was sold, the agency sent Yowell a bill for the outstanding balance, some $180,000. They’ve been garnishing his monthly Social Security checks since 2008 to satisfy the debt Yowell says he does not owe.
From U.S. Uncut:
Carrie and Mary Dann, two elderly Shoshone women who have defied seizure of their land, have been repeatedly roughed up and harassed by federal officials and mobs of white ranchers for refusing to cede their claim to land that was illegally stolen from them 30 years ago.
POVERTY ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS
From Pew Research:
Native Americans have a higher poverty and unemployment rate when compared with the national average, but the rates are comparable to those of blacks and Hispanics. About one-in-four American Indians and Alaska Natives were living in poverty in 2012. Among those who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native as their only race, the poverty ratewas 29.1% in 2012.
From US News:
Native Americans continue to grapple with unemployment levels nearly double that of the overall population, have higher poverty rates and lag behind in education attainment. Making up about 1 percent of the labor force, the native population of 5.2 million is relatively small but diverse. About 49 percent identify as American Indian and Alaska Native only, and 51 percent are combined with one or more other races, according census data. In all, they comprised 2 percent of the population in 2013.
Imagine if the government were responsible for looking after your best interests. All of your assets must be managed by bureaucrats on your behalf. A special bureau is even set up to oversee your affairs. Every important decision you make requires approval, and every approval comes with a mountain of regulations.
How well would this work? Just ask Native Americans.
Native Americans rank the highest in unemployment and poverty rates, infant mortality and life expectancy.According to the 2009 Census Bureau, unemployment in Indian country ranks anywhere between 50 percent and 85 percent while in some reservations, nearly 90 percent of native people live below the federal poverty line. Indian reservations in the Midwest are plagued by alcoholism, domestic violence and teen suicide, all of it contributing to an epidemic of hopelessness within America’s indigenous populations.
It also leads to disillusionment with both the federal and tribal leadership.
From Mises Institute:
Imagine a country that has a corrupt authoritarian government. In that country no one knows about checks and balances or an independent court system. Private property is not recognized in that country either. Neither can one buy or sell land. And businesses are reluctant to bring investments into this country. Those who have jobs usually work for the public sector. Those who don’t have jobs subsist on entitlements that provide basic food. At the same time, this country sports a free health care system and free access to education. Can you guess what country it is? It could be the former Soviet Union, Cuba, or any other socialist country of the past.
Yet, I want to assure you that such a country exists right here in the United States. And its name is Indian Country. Indian Country is a generic metaphor that writers and scholars use to refer to the archipelago of 310 Native American reservations, which occupy 2 percent of the U.S. soil. Scattered all over the United States, these sheltered land enclaves are held in trust by the federal government.
Photo ops with tribal children in native dress, pleasant pronouncements, and end-of-term self-congratulatory press releases, cannot hide the fact that federal nanny-statism along with Obama’s confiscatory federal land policies have made poverty, division, and disenfranchisement within Native American communities much worse.
Free Range Report