The Plight of the Indigenous Peoples of America

Not one Indian Native of America should be living like this.

Not one Indian Native of America should be living like this.

Lawrence-Red-Feathers-sit-002
Ever been to an Indian Reservation? Well, then…you know what you’ll find. High unemployment rates, suicide rates much higher than the national average, a high mortality rate, abject poverty. These are the First Peoples of America. They were here first and yet, their situation is such as this. Why? What happened with respect to the land treaties? The plight of the Indigenous Peoples of America is so bad that the United Nations sent a special rapporteur, S. James Anaya to lead an inquiry, the first of its kind. What he found was a range of social ills, high rates of poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence and low educational attainment.

According to S. James Anaya, “these are a product of what’s been referred to as intergenerational trauma spanning decades, really centuries, since the founding of the country and before.” So, he’s certainly not stating that the Indians have no complaints, au contraire. And what was done about his findings? S. James Anaya stated that, “we asked to meet with members of Congress, and just didn’t get a positive response.” No surprise there! Why should they respond? Their coffers are filled with ill gotten gains, mostly from lobbyists with an agenda. Can the Indians who live on reservations in squalor tote a briefcase filled with money and get their agenda across? Do I really need to answer that? So, if we have no problem with people whose land was stolen from underneath them living like they do, what does that say about us? Aren’t we a ‘christian’ nation? Do we not ‘care’ for our fellow human beings? How we treat each other does not bode well for how this country will continue to thrive. If we are to continue down a ‘me, me, me’ path, then we will soon find ourselves not liking what the future holds for America. We cannot continue to be fine with certain segments of the population living like they are in a third world country without there being serious consequences. America thrives when ALL thrive, not when many are basically struggling to merely survive amidst hopelessness, homelessness, poverty, hunger and fear.

I am in no way, wishing for the downfall of America, but we’ve got to realize that we are all in this together. It is all very well and good to claim that you are religious, to go to church on Sunday and pay your tithes and donate some clothing and canned goods, but we can and should do better than this.

Many people who came to this New World, did so because of religious persecution. How can we then turn around and persecute others and see nothing wrong with that?

The following poem sums up my feelings:

Whom The Christians Destroy!

Once upon a time, this land was yours to roam.
And so the ‘christians’ came and then just stole your home.

They labeled you a ‘savage’. Put you on a reservation.
Exposed you to disease and every type of degradation.

Peace with them was possible if you’d only stay your hand.
Did they not round you up and then just take your land?

You fought them back on this and gave it all you had.
Your weapons were no match, what happened next was sad.

The treaties that were broken are still no good today.
Your children kill themselves. They do not laugh and play.

Yet, these ‘christian’ crooks are rich in worldly goods and such.
Do they care about your plight? Really, not so much.

Some live like kings and queens and think their shit don’t stink.
But ask them for a slice of bread, at you, they’d simply blink.

So bide your time and wait, for soon we all shall see.
They’ll be not above your plight, their greed won’t set them free.

They’ll damn themselves to hell because that’s where they do believe
all sinners and their ilk and those they can’t deceive,

will burn throughout eternity, a time that knows no end.
It’s just the place for them and for those they call a friend.

They’re hypocrites and thieves and liars, one and all.
And just like Rome did burn, America, too shall fall.

14 thoughts on “The Plight of the Indigenous Peoples of America

  1. Compassion

    Compassion — the caring for others who need.
    Compassion — the feeling for others who hurt.
    Compassion — the love offered to others who have none.
    Compassion — the lifting up of others who are down.
    Compassion — the willingness to catch others who have fallen.

    Is it in your heart?
    Is it part of you?
    Do you sit and talk?
    Do you stand and do?

    From inside of us
    comes a quiet voice.
    Then on the outside
    we must make the choice.

    Do we have it inside of us?
    Is it alive, is it well?
    Does our life show we have it?
    From our heart, does it swell?

    For compassion is something
    when it’s real people know,
    That you’re really there for them
    no matter where they go.

    Compassion is what needs to be reawakened in folks for our society to survive.

    Like

    • You are right as usual, Brian. But how the hell do we re-awake something that seems to have been thrown so far away, that it can never be recaptured? All I see is chaos, turmoil, struggle, hate, loathing, selfishness, and self-serving, self-righteous ‘humans’. Not much love or compassion am I finding these days.

      Like

  2. Thanks for posting this information on your blog. The more people read about this situation, and see the photos of hardship, the more personal it becomes.

    I try to help one person at a time. I offer a sandwich, a coffee and a sympathetic ear.

    Thanks for following my blog “gottafindahome”. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help your cause.

    Sincerely,
    Dennis

    Like

    • Dennis, I want to thank YOU again, for keeping the torch lit on the plight of the homeless. I am currently working on getting a program on community television about the serious consequences resulting from millions living in Third World conditions in the richest nation on the planet, despite our so-called ‘debt problems’. As soon as my first segment airs, I will post it on this blog.

      Bless your heart for caring!

      Like

  3. I have spent many hours reading your posts and poems here, often re-reading your poems in particular as they are a source of inspiration, especially after or during long nights /early mornings of continued research, when frankly, I have very often considered just packing it all in.
    On many of these late nights when both blood sugar and morale are at their lowest, I take a break from it all by catching up on your older posts. This is how I came across “The Plight of the Indigenous Peoples of America” from February of this year.
    This is an excellent post and (as usual) the poetry serves to both compliment the post and further explain the plight of the Native American. I have spent most of my life studying Shamanism and the Indigenous peoples of the world, from the people of Australia, New Zealand, and those of Eastern Europe to the Native American and native cultures of the Middle East.

    Genuinely this poem ranks as one of my top five favorites (of your work thus far) and has brought flooding back some wonderful memories.

    Always a fan
    T.J.

    Like

    • Oh T.J, what can I say?!!! When I was in school, I did a term paper on the ‘Trail of Tears’ and it was just so heartbreaking what was done to the Indigenous Peoples and how history and Hollywood has since glorified what the ‘settlers’ did and vilified those whose lands were stolen from them. Words sometimes fail me in describing how I feel when I take a look at history or just take a look around today and the sheer magnitude of heartlessness, callousness and cruelty that has always existed and is even now showing no signs of abatement. What is wrong with us? Why is it that we never learn that we are ALL human beings with feelings, emotions, needs, desires? Why must we treat each other as though we are all enemies? Obviously, I don’t have answers, only questions because I am simply at a loss to understand why we have to be pitted against each other and we fall for it. There are times when I just throw my hands up in utter despair and yet, I keep on writing and I keep on trying. Who knows…maybe one day…..

      Thank you T.J. for being you!

      Like

  4. The answer then during the times of The People and equally today is money, wealth, political progress in the case of Custer and in the case of modern leaders.
    Having been to Sioux falls (Pine Ridge) I witnessed what you did, the great Lakota people living in total misery. Drugs and alcohol the ruin of all peoples.
    Industry & the wealthy whites enslaved the Black man/woman, the Chinese, Irish and Scots died working for a pittance and the great Native nations were bought and sold by big industry like the railways etc.

    Like you I have no answer just hurt and longing for what has been lost.

    Anyway, my Sister if your words touch one other heart as they have touched mine time and again, then you CAN and MUST be happy in the knowledge that your gift has enriched others!

    Always a Fan
    T.J.

    Like

  5. I hadn’t come across this article, but I was aware of the upcoming vote. Pine Ridge like all reservations is soaked in alcohol. Remember, even history shows how the white man used alcohol to control (so to speak) the Native populations, even during prohibition alcohol found its way on to the reservations.
    During the 1950’s & again in the late1980’s early 1990’s when the Lakota people attempted to reclaim the Black Hills, alcoholism had dropped slightly, after the attempts to reclaim the Black Hills there was a huge increase in both alcohol availability and consumption.
    Can this be put down to pure coincidence or is there a helping hand behind it all? Who knows.
    The unemployment figures don’t really surprise me to be frank, the same or very similar figures can be found amongst most aboriginal cultures around the world.

    Thank you for posting the link here so I could see it.

    T.J.

    Like

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