NDN Support North America


From charity to self sufficiency



Charities for Indians, there are lots of them. And yet they feel they are forgotten. Not many people talk about the plight of Indians really, unless their special tax status concerning casino gambling or the selling of cigarettes is making some people jealous. Or if it's about their spiriitual views that are always fascinating the new age world. Or if suddenlly someone finds interesting resources on their land like gold, uranium, coal or oil. Surely charities are still needed when people cannot afford to buy their own more healthy food, when the elderly die of winter cold, when living conditions are appalling and governments and states do zero to nothing to help them. Then obviously someone has to. But if we look the billions of dollars that have already been spent over decades on charities of which obviously the majority of it went to Pine Ridge, still one of the poorest reservations in the US, and we see they are still poor, that the housing conditions are still not right, that there are still emaciated dogs walking around, that there still is alcoholism, unemployment, diabetes, cancer, then where did all these monies go to? Or should I say disappear to? This is not to say that there haven't been good and trustworthy charities of course. But selfsufficiency has been frustrated by FBI and BIA policies which became evident in the way they attacked the Hemp Project on Pine Ridge at the time.

"Manifest Destiny" by

Fletcher Clement


But actually the government should be welcoming Indian selfsufficiency because it will mean that they no longer need to provide and treaties can be adjusted to that. And another good thing about selfsuffiency is that it will give Indians some welldeserved pride back to be no longer dependent on charities and have more time to engage in their own culture because of not having to worry if there will be food on the table or if there will be enough fuel for the heater.

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