Poverty In Native Americans

1582 Words7 Pages
Over the course of hundreds of years, the Indigenous people of the United States have been subjected to incredibly poor standards of living, right in the heart of what is supposed to be the best country in the world to live in. Since Europeans first began the colonization of the Western Hemisphere, The Native people of this land has been forced to take a backseat to pave the way for an industrialized world, all leading up to present day United States, in which Native Americans are hardly better off. Because of this, many Native American Reservations all over the United States have some of the highest poverty rates in the nation, and this can be contributed, but not limited to the condition of their land, homes, and infrastructure, alcoholism…show more content…
This very difficult problem in Native homes can be traced back hundred of years, stemming from many centuries of torment for the Indigenous people. According to John Lowe of Florida Atlantic University, “Some researchers have argued that the use of boarding schools, relocation to urban areas, and the past termination policies of the federal government have all played a role in the life of disintegration of the culture and health of Native Americans,” (Lowe, 3.) Naomi Schaefer Riley of USA Today states, “High rates of addiction in Indian country stem from the violence and cultural destruction brought upon Natives over the past 200 years, resulting in generational trauma,” (Riley, 1).Both of these statements mean to suggest that because of the many abuses inflicted upon Native tribes since Europe first began to colonize, the Native people have been forced to endure extreme poverty and life threatening conditions, and in turn drug abuse for many of their people. In order to grasp the destruction drug abuse and addiction have on a community, it is best to look at that community’s youth. According to Riley, “Indian youth have the highest rates of alcoholism use disorders of any racial group in the country. . .” (Riley, 1). Lowe states in his work that “By twelfth grade, 80% of Native American youth are active drinkers,” (Lowe, 2). These statistics demonstrate the true impact on the Native youth caused by drug abuse, and the true urgency needed in solving this ever growing issue. According to Fred Beauvais, “Recently there has been a rising concern over methamphetamine use on AL (American Indian) communities. . . Als and Alaska Natives have the highest rates of use among all ethnic groups in the US,” (Beauvars, 6). This statement demonstrates the rise of especially more harmful drugs, like
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