Monday, July 9, 2007

I recently came across an article on the internet written by Stephanie M. Schwartz a freelance write. The article was posted on the nativevillage.org website. It was called The Arrogance of Innocence.
This article describes in detail the conditions of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Some of the things I knew, I mean all you have to do is look around you and you know. Some of the facts and figures I did not know and was shocked to see them.
The author the article pleads that "it is not a plea for charity."
But to anyone reading it, I think that is exactly what you get....charity. The numbers in the report are eye-opening to many people who live in high mortgaged houses with central air, people who mow their lawns on Saturday, and have huge family dinners on Sunday.
These are statistics many of us here on the resevration live with day in and day out. If we read through the statistics, we all probably know at least one person in every aspect of the report. We all know someone with diabetes, or someone who lives in substandard housing, or someone who dropped out of school, etc. The list goes on and on.
I know people come here during the summer to "help." That is all good and everything that they can always remember the year they came to "help the Indians." But it makes me wonder how much it really helps to have handouts and stuff done for you. Does it really help when the help is almost expected?
What if we stood up and said "We can't live like this anymore. We can't have diabetes and alcoholism destroying us. We won't live in substandard housing. We won't take this unemployment rate."
How do we demand a better life and get it?
My dad once told me "They confined us to a reservation and treat us bad. No other country treats their own people so bad. They do this to us to keep us poor and make us beg. To forget we were once so proud, but that pride in us never goes away. No matter how bad things might be, Lakota's always have their pride."
Which takes me back to the question I keep asking myself "How do we demand a better life for the people." {Without sounding like a politician.}
All I did was write about it. My uncle once told me, "Writing about something and doing it are two different things."
I know this. So I want to know, "How do we better ourselves and get rid of these damn statistics.?" If you read from the lakotacountrytimes.com website, I would appreciate some feedback.

(this week, if it's not rejected)

7 comments:

Josie Two Shoes said...

Excellent, and keeping my fingers crossed they'll accept it. I would be very interested in what kind of response you receive. When I read the article you are referring to, the numbers are staggering. But as you noted, they are not numbers but real people. Sadly, I am left in the same position of not knowing what, beyond educating others, to do. What would REALLY help? When I tell others and they say, "What can we do?" I don't have a real answer anymore. I too have learned that handouts are not the solution, they only create more problems.

Anonymous said...

Can you write grants? Maybe you can get some funding to teach classes---some kind of self-sustaining, life skills type of thing. I knew someone who worked for the red cross who was actually teaching people in a program in the inner-city things we take for granted like how to pay your bills and how to cook a healthy meal.
Steph

Daisy said...

Controversial!!! If it does get published, I'm interested in seeing the responses!

Dana Dane said...

omg...if they reject me again i may just move to the other crappy paper i hate...and Steph I will be attending classes this fall for Social work with an wmphasis on grant writing....I don't want to be that evil social worker that looks down on peeps. i just want a way out of places I been and am

Dana Dane said...

my typing sucks....i hope the peeps that do come here to help out don't get too mad, but seriously, i could ask them to come paint my house or clean the black mold out of the basement but i KNOW i can do it myself...that is how bad the housing is here.

Missy A said...

your typing is better than mine

dang it your writing is better than mine
and all social workers aren't evil remember Marvyn the aboriginal guy on 360 thats what he does

CarolinaDreamz said...

Great article. I hope it gets accepted, too. Good luck.

Good luck on the grant writing too. I've taken classes. I do have a 360 friend who does this for a living and my ex's b* also does this professionally.

When I was still in California, in a military lifestyle, I was open to more daily interaction with food banks and volunteer work that really scared me. It wasn't the people working or in need.. it was what was being given away that freaked me out. They claim there just isn't funding sources to teach.. and yet what they "taught" by not teaching kept the people receiving in need and there for handouts. Its really sad.

This is so much more than painting and cleaning.

I see this crisis in too many places. I hope some feedback that your article can get, is helpful.