INTRODUCTIONTo describe precisely the current situation of the Native Americans in the United States it is necessary to point out some important issues. The first chapter deals with Historical events are used as a source of present social problems. In this chapter the matter of first contacts between Natives and Europeans and the establishment of the reservations. Moreover, we focus on the importance of the Indian Removal Act and Indian armed confrontations against white to keep independence. The second chapter deals with the current situation of Indian Reservation in the United States. In this chapter we try to explain how the reservations function. To make it more explicit is necessary to give definition and to define the structure of the reservations on various layers such as economy, relief organizations, education, gambling and policing. The third chapter deals with current social problems in the Indian Reservations. We focus on problems concerning alcohol abuses, suicides, poverty, gambling and crime among Indians.
Chapter 1: Implication of historical events as source of present social problems
The first contacts of American Indians with Europeans
It is believed that American Indians may have been on the North America continent for fifty thousand years. They were not only the first Americans but also the great explorers. They were appearing on this land gradually and at different times over several thousands of years. The American Indians traveled from Asia on foot or by boat. They were taken through icy landscapes and along the coastlines during their explorations. Finally these earliest people spread out over the whole of the continent. They were forced to adapt their lives to the different environment. We can say that because of this fact American Indians were creative people. They learned how to live in deserts, in forests, along the oceans, even on the grassy prairies. As a result, they became the great hunters and productive farmers. The Native Americans built towns and traded over large distances with Europeans who landed in America (American Indians at European Contact 2005).
The immense changes appeared on the land along with the arrival of the great number of English, French and Spanish explorers. Initially the settlers were welcomed by Natives with exuberance and kindness. The generous sharing of Americans’ belongings, supplies, food and the skills which were necessary to survival in the New World can be an example of good relationships between these two nations (American Indians at European Contact 2005). Go³êbiowski claims that Indians even considered Europeans to be better ones than they were (Go³êbiowski 2004: 16). They were also very interested in thing that the colonist could provide. They began use new materials and products in their everyday lives. What is more, they found out from them how to make more efficient metal tools such as axes, hoes and knives (American Indians at European Contact 2005). These new trade goods changed American Indian lives but writing about Americans’ first contacts with other nation, we also must tell about their negative impacts on Indians life.
Firstly, European colonists carried a hidden enemy to the Indians new epidemic diseases. Native people of America had no natural resistance to the diseases that explores from Europe brought with them. American Indians suffered from smallpox, influenza, measles and even chicken pox. They did not know how to cure it. The result of these relations with European bugs was terrible and overwhelming for the Americans. Sometimes whole villages perished in a short time. It is believed that about 90 percent of the American Indian population may have died due to infectious diseases introduced to North America. This means that only one in ten Natives survived. So in the United States today there are the 2.5 million Indians (American Indians at European Contact 2005).
A second big change connected with the trade was slavery. American people were needed by European colonists to help build houses and clear fields. Explorers also captured Indians who were bought and sold as slaves. It is surprising to know that before 1700 in the Carolinas, one-fourth of all enslaved people were American Indian men, women and children. Many Native slaves worked in the Caribbean or were sold in cities like Boston. Consequently, slavery led to warfare among tribes and hardship. Many tribes had to escape from slave trade. It resulted in the destruction of some tribes entirely (American Indians at European Contact 2005).
Slavery and devastating diseases were not only the major problems concerned Native Americans. The crucial conflict, which is called The Pequot War, occurred in 1637. It is known to have been the first war between white people and Indians. The Pequots were a warlike tribes located along the Thames River in present-day southeast Connecticut. There were numerous quarrels between colonists. The Pequots were angry because of unfair trading, the sale of alcohol, destruction of their crops by colonial cattle and competition over hunting grounds. The critical point appeared after murdering by the Pequots of John Oldham in July 1636. Governor John Endicott of Massachusetts Bay called up the militia to punish the Indians. Allying with the Mohegan and Narragansett, the colonists attacked a Pequot village on the Mystic River in May 1637. The Pequot chieftain Sassacus was executed by Mohawk Indians in present-day New York. The effect of the Pequot War was very deep. A lot of people were killed, and others were dispersed among other southern New England tribes ([Indian] relationship with the Europeans 2010).
The impact of this savage struggle was, however, lessened by the alliance of whites with Indian neighbours anxious to see the Pequot destroyed; and, though New Englanders acted often without mercy or compassion, they remained concerned with Christianizing the Indian (Bradbury and Temperley 1998: 37).
The next scuffle between Americans and settlers appeared on February 29 in 1704. There was in Deerfield, Massachusetts. At this time a lot of tribes had sided with the French in the fight between French and English over the domination of northern New England. A group of 28 Frenchmen and 200 Indians started to fight with Massachusetts. In a brief assault, about 50 inhabitants were killed and taken about 100 Deerfield residences captive ([Indian] relationships with the Europeans 2010).
The first Americans experienced a lot of big changes soon after Europeans’ arrival. They experienced destructive diseases, slavery, a lot of armed conflicts and wars. Many Indian people in New England died of European diseases (American Indians at European Contact 2005). The Native Americans could adapt to foreign technology (Go³êbiowski 2004: 17), but not to European germs. Their societies were destroyed by weapons of their opponents. American land was controlled by colonists. The Americans who survived were completely demoralized and depressed by this tremendous loss of their loved ones, of their lifestyle and of their culture ([Indian] relationships with the Europeans 2010). These above mentioned disasters were on a scale we can hardly imagine. In short, these Indians’ first contact with Europeans change the Native Americans way of life.
1.2. The establishment of the reservations
How Americans came to be concentrated on reservation is a complicated story. The seclusion and concentration American Indians commenced early. It was the first legal justification in the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Most of the Indians who were inhabited east of the Mississippi were moved to areas west of the river. Such groups as the Seneca, which were encompassed in this relocation were made to leave the state of New York and finally ended up in a small area in what is now northeastern Oklahoma (Sandefur 1989: 37). According to Gary D. Sandefur (1989: 37) “Those Indians who did not move west of the Mississippi were compelled to give up large portions of land over which they had previously had control and were concentrated on increasingly small and geographically isolated areas.” In the late 1800s, the population of European descent in the United States began to surge west of the Mississippi. In this time, there was rising pressure on the recently removed groups such as the Cherokee to give up some of their new land, and on the groups indigenous to the West, such as the Sioux, to give up large amounts of land traditionally under their control. As far as further displacement was concerned, we know that it was conducted in peaceful way through treaties and through violent military confrontation. The Indians’ lands were the least desirable by whites. These lands were located far from major population centers, trails and transportation routes. Indians were forced by policy of the U.S. government to isolate and concentrate in places with few natural resources and far from contact with the developing economy and society (Sandefur 1989: 37). Gary D. Sandefur also said:
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the federal government revised its principle approach to the “Indian problem” to one of forced assimilation rather than forced isolation. This change in policy was in part motivated by awareness that the quality of life on the isolated reservations was very, very low. The concerns about the reservations resembled in many respects the current analyses of problems in the central city (Sandefur 1989: 38).
The assimilation was to be reached thanks to allotment policy and the first allotment legislation which was called The Dawes Act. This act was named for its author, Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts, which was passed by Congress on February 8 in 1887. It is also known as the General Allotment Act. The fundamental idea was to divide into smaller parcels (often 160 acres) the small areas of land that were at that time ruled by the diverse groups of Indians. These parcels were allotted to each particular Indian tribe. The main aim of this policy was to enable Indians to become farmers or ranchers, which were the major occupations in the areas where Indians were located. For white settlements there was a side of benefit because they purchased from Indian groups that ‘surplus’ land at low price and they might make use of it at all. American Indians did not have any convenient healthy consequences from Allotment. The situation of the Indians groups who experienced this act did not get better but even got worse Sandefur 1989: 38).The enthusiasm for allocation as a solution to the Indian problem subsided step by step, the many reservations remained intact (Sandefur 1989: 38).
In the early 1950s there was the next major attack on the reservation system. However, public opinion and politic leaders were distressed not only by the miserable living conditions on Indian reservations, but also the special legal relationship between American Indian groups and the federal government. Termination legislation is known to have been passed and signed into law in 1953. The ending of their relation was one of the aims of this legislation. As a result, the reservations would stop to exist as independent political entities (Sandefur 1989: 38). Gary D. Sandefur wrote that “To accompany this program, the federal government also instituted an employment and relocation program which provided financial assistance and social services to Indians who wanted to leave reservations and isolated rural areas for urban areas with supposedly better employment prospects.” (Sandefur 1989: 38). We know that before this approach was abandoned, some of tribes were terminated. What is more, limited relocation and employment assistance program still exists (Sandefur 1989: 38).
To sum up, by setting up Indian reservations, the government wanted to avoid conflicts over land boundaries between natives and white colonists. They also wanted to limit Native American tribes to tracts where they could be controlled and provided for by federal effort. On condition that they had remained peaceful, they would have been generally free to live as they wished on their lands. Native American land was attractive to white settlers. In consequence, reservations were placed in the areas which were unfriendly for humans. The general number of reservations has diminished many times since 1880s to 1934s to account for only 25 percent of reservations established at the beginning (Sandefur 1989: 38).
1.3 Indian Removal Act
To begin with, it appears essential to portray at first the concept of the Indian Removal Act. This document was signed and carried out on May 5th 1830 by the president Andrew Jackson during the 21st Congress of the United States of America. In the wake of that territories which belonged to the Native Americans for countless years were taken away from them. Furthermore, American Indians were compelled to leave areas in which they were no longer allowed to stay and to move westwards. Particularly worth stressing is the fact that on the basis of this act further conflicts between Native Americans and the newcomers has its roots ( Indian Removal Act of 1830 1996 ).
According to Tindall and Shi (2007 :396) President Andrew Jackson’s attitude toward Indians was typical for person from east between 1820s and 1830s. He alleged that Indians were chiefly barbarians and for the expanding nation they were just an obstacle in the process of development. As a result it launched Jackson’s Indian policy which assumed displacement of the Native Americans to the areas on the west of the Mississippi River to the Great Desert. At that time it was known that these areas were extremely adverse for the human being and white settlers would never inhabit such a land. Nonetheless, president Jackson asserted that it was: “just, humane, liberal policy toward Indians”. As Tindall and Shi clearly point out, thanks to the effective policy, by the end of 1835 around 46,000 people were displaced with a great speed. “(…) tribes were too weak to resist the offers of commissioners who, if necessary, used bribery and alcohol to woo the chiefs. On the whole, there was remarkably resistance.” (Tindall and Shi 2007: 397).
At this juncture, the tribes which had to desert their former lands decided to take them over due to facing many problems and in the 1832 the armed clash erupted. It is commonly known as a Black Hawk War. Some Indians under command of Chief Black Hawk the Sauk and Fox were looking for possibility to cultivate corn and other crops to be able to survive. However, they were defeated by Illinois military, many women with their children perished while they made a retreat. Unfortunately, this massacre is well-known because of the conflict between Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis rather than the cruel behavior of whites to the Indians (Tindall and Shi 2007: 397).
There are numerous conflicts between Native Americans and whites at that times but a rebellion which is also worth mentioning concerns tribes which are known as Five Civilized Tribes. The Chickisaw and Choctaw had disputes with the state of Mississippi. To ensure peace the government forced these five tribes called the Five Civilized Tribes to move out of their lands that they had lived on for generations and to move to land given to them in parts of Oklahoma. Andrew Jackson was quoted as saying that this was a way of protecting them and allowing them time to adjust to the white culture. This land in Oklahoma was thinly settled and was thought to have little value. Within 10 years of the Indian Removal Act, more than 70,000 Indians had moved across the Mississippi. Many Indians died on this journey (Indian Removal Act of 1830 1996).As quoted above many Indians of the Chickisaw and Choctaw were compelled to abandon their lands in justification of displacing them so that they would be able to adapt to the new white culture. In the reality, white used this pretext get rid of them and to seize their lands without regards for consequences which Indians had to face.
Furthermore, it appears advisable to focus on the Trial of Tears. According to Tindall and Shi it is a term coined by Cherokees’ to define “(…) their forced march, 1838-39, from the southern Appalachians to Indian lands (later Oklahoma)”.In the 1835 Cherokees finally had signed up the treaty in which they renounced claim to their land in the Southeast in exchange for 5million dollars they were given by federal government, expenses for transportation and the Indian territory west of Arkansas, today Oklahoma. Thus, in 1838 under the command of general Winfield Scott and accompanied by army of the United States around 17,000 Cherokees and other tribes traversed the route of 800 miles through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas(Stewart 2007 : 13). A few was strong enough to endure adverse conditions of a journey. To depict the general mood during the trial it is worth to quote an utterance of one of the survivors, namely: Long time we travel on way to new land. People feel bad when they leave old nation. Women cry and make sad wails. Children cry and many men cry, and all look sad like when friends die, but they say nothing and just put heads down and keep on go towards West. Many days pass and people die very much. We bury close by Trail (Trial of tears national historical trial 2006).
As already indicated, many Indians died on their way. According to Brown Tindall and Emory Shi the general number of casualties reached around 4000 of people. This disastrous journey is one of the darker events in history of the United States of America. In 1987 American Congress designated the journey taken by Cherokee Indians as a National Historic Trial within the National Trails System. The Trial of Tears Association was established in 1993 to promote consciousness of the Trial’s heritage and incorporate the influence on Cherokees and other tribes by the U.S Government’s Indian Removal Policy (Trial of tears national historical trial 2006 ).
To sum up, Indian Removal Act had a great impact on the history of many tribes in the United States. As a result, many Indians died due to wars and battles in which they took part or passed away during the Trial of Tears. Moreover, they were forced to leave their lands in the favor of whites. Effects of Indian Removal Policy “Not only affected the Cherokee, but have symbolized the removal of the other Southeastern and Eastern Indian tribes. The grim result of U.S. Government American Indian Removal Policy, the forced relocations devastated American Indian cultures” (Trial of tears national historical trial 2006 ).
1.4. Indian armed confrontations against white to keep independence
North Indian did not represented a uniform nation. They led nomadic way of life, they were hunters and warriors. Initially they have been fighting between themselves. Clashes between particular groups and tribes before colonization rarely took the form of bloody wars. The main reason of local confrontations between Indians were the group rivalry for lands and maintenance sources. Since the process of colonization started in America, fights of local Indians with white people escalated. The main reason of confrontations of white people with Indians was rivalry for arable lands, pasturages, and properties. The biggest clashes against colonizers took place in late XIX w. When the civil war ended American government sent army to fight against Indians to enable white colonizers to occupy west land which were earlier settled by Indians. Indian fight with American army was exposed to failure from the beginning, even though Indians gathered their weapons and fought for freedom and territories where they lived (American Indian Wars 2008) The only victory Indian battle was the Battle of the Little Bighorn (American Indian Wars 2008). The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Land Stand took place near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory on 25 June 1876 between the U.S. Armies commanded by George A. Custer and North Indians, mainly Dakota led by Sitting Bull (Tatanka Yotanka) and Crazy Horse (Tashunka Witko). Indians won this battle while all soldiers from the U.S. Army and accompanied by some civil people died. The United States lost 268 soldiers, while 55 were wounded (Battle of the Little Big Horn 2008). According to Peter Panzeri preparations for the battle took place in such a way:
On 9 November 1875 Inspector E.C. Watkins of the US Indian Bureau completed his investigation on the Indian situation in the Black Hills. His report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C blamed a certain rebellious faction of Hunkpapa Sioux, Oglala Sioux and Northern Cheyenne who, detesting Indian Agency corruption and widespread deprivation, had rejected the reservations to live in what they considered their homelands. These “roamers” were labelled a hostile thread to the western expansion. An ultimatum was issued on 6 December 1875 for those still in the Unceded Territory. Despite severe weather, Indian agents were sent to notify the non-Agency villages to “return to their reservations by 31 January 1876, on penalty of being considered hostile”. These “hostiles” had sought refuge in the richest of hunting grounds. They had ample buffalo meat and were wealthy in horses and robes. They had continued to trade with white enterprisers, and thus were well-armed with rifles, revolvers and ammunition. They were defiant of the ultimatum. The same month, the Great Sioux Reservation suffered a grievous famine. Caused by a corrupt system, the famine only strengthened the resolve of many to depart the reservations as soon as weather permitted. On 18 January 1876 an embargo was enforced, restricting the sale of all arms and ammunition on the reservations. The signalled a government intent to commence hostilities. The Indians, with strategic defeat at stake, had no unified strategy by the very nature of their culture. Their general unifying goals were simply self preservation and occupation of the Unceded Territory. In response to Army initiatives, the winter roamers began banding together for protection. Sitting Bull motivated his followers through spiritual leadership, while his disciple chiefs advocated and executed warfare on a tactical level. They led by pure charisma , bravery and, above all, by example. Many recalled Red Cloud’s victory in 1868, but without the desire or similar ability to negotiate, the 1876 resistance was doomed. Much had changed in ten years. The post-war western expansion was on in earnest. The Unceded Territory was much less remote. The economy was growing. Steamboats navigated the waterways, and railroads reached further (Panzeri 1995: 13,14).Crazy Horse said: “…we were up against it from the start”. Correspondent Robert E. Strahorn said “Bullets and casualties were then bestowed upon us with a will that showed plainly we were not to sweep the field without paying a penalty (Panzeri 1995: 17).
Most Indians recognized that the soldier’s focus in battle was on killing the enemy and destroyed their resources. The soldiers waged total war. Eventually some, such as Crazy Horse, began to encourage a change in method. The tactics of fighting the soldiers gradually became more aggressive as the Indian became better armed, his life and home more seriously threatened (Panzeri 1995: 28).
General Alfred Terry on 21 of June 1876 said “I have had but little experience in Indian fighting, and Custer has had much, and he is sure he can whip anything he meets” (Panzeri 1995:42). In real, “Soldiers were piled one on top of another, dead, and here and there an Indian among the soldiers” (Panzeri 1995:81). Finally, the end for Custer came.
The final event was an anti-climax to the battle. Those soldiers on Custer Hill who were wounded or did not attempt to flee were overrun by the victorious Sioux and Cheyenne. It is doubtful that any of Custer’s group were left standing as warriors closed in to finish them off. There was some resistance, as a few warriors were killed in the final hand, to, hand melee. Most portrayals of the final moments show too large a group of soldiers on the hill, and include a trumpeter calling for Benteen. This is doubtful, because Wier, who could see and hear the shooting, would also have heard the bugle. Custer was either dead or dying by this time. He was found on top of a soldier, and horse, shot in the chest, and then in the left temple. On the ground next to him were 17 shells from his Remmington sporting rifle. Nearby lay his brother Tom, shot full of arrows and his adjunct Lt. Cooke. Wooden Leg came and scalped Cooke’s sideburns. Other dead lying around Custer included Trumpeter Voss, Boston Custer and Sgt. Hughes Further, Custer’s personal guidon bearer. Capt. Yates and 2nd Lt. Reily, the Company F executive officer, were on the hill with about 20 other F Company troopers. Lt. Algernon Smith, E Company commander, was the only man from his company found on Custer Hill. There were 42 bodies on the hill and 39 dead horses. The 210 men of the Custer battalion were all killed. (Panzeri 1995: 81)
After the American defeat, the hostility towards Indians increased substantially in the United States. In the end after another expeditions, Dakota Indians were defeated and forced to settle in the reservations. Sitting Bull firstly was forced to escape to Canada but after some time he was persuaded to come back to USA, where he had been performing for some time in revue Buffalo Billa and on 15 December 1890 he was killed during the attempt to arrest him in Standing Rock Reservation by Indian policeman working for the American Government (Panzeri 1995 : 50). Another very important and well-known clash was the Wounded Knee Massacre. It was the last armed confrontation between armies of the United States and American Indians which happened on 29 December 1890. The armed clash took place at the stream Wounded Knee which is the part of Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This intervention was to establish peace in reservations of Lakota Sioux on the field of South Dakota and North Dakota and to calm white inhabitants of the borderland because most of them were worried about the development of new Indian religion Ghost’s Dance and were worried also about the possibility of the outbreak of Indian insurrection. Hiking towards the south Lakota Indians met the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Samuel Whiteside. He persuaded the Big Foot chief to go with the group to the camp situated near the Wounded Knee stream. Next Indians were to be taken to Pine Ridge. On 29 December Indians were surrounded by soldiers and forced to give their weapons back. One of the examined was the warrior Black Coyote who did not want to give his weapon back. During the scuffle his weapon shot and probably injured one of the soldiers. Then the cavalrymen started shooting towards the Indians. Some Indians started to escape, but they were murdered. This occurrence is considered to be a massacre on account of meaningful majority of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment over the group consisted mostly of women and children and disarmed earlier Lakota group commanded by the Big Foot chief (Wounded Knee Massacre 2008). According to Hayden “The Wounded Knee Massacre Battle between U.S 7th Cavalry and Sioux Indians Left Scores Dead” the day of the Wounded Knee Massacre was following.
Five hundred U.S. Army soldiers were now in the camp and demanded the Indians relinquish their weapons. Historians are divided when it comes to what exactly set the whole thing off. Some are convinced a Sioux medicine man named Yellow Bird began dancing the Ghost Dance and told his people that the white man's bullets would not hurt them. Other reports claim a deaf Indian named Black Coyote didn't hear the order to give up his rifle. When the white soldiers became annoyed and tried to take it from him it accidentally discharged. Bullets started to fly from four Hotchkiss guns that had been placed around the camp and a huge cloud of smoke engulfed the area. The Sioux were cut down like wild buffaloes. Some of them were pursued several miles into the countryside. About an hour later it was over. One hundred and fifty three Sioux were dead, Big Foot among them. Twenty-five U.S. troops were killed mostly from their own bullets. The Indian wars had ended (Hayden 2009). There was built a church on the hill where the victims were buried. In 1903, descendants of those who died built a monument at the graveside with an inscription: “This monument is erected by surviving relatives and other Ogalala [sic] and Cheyenne River Sioux Indians in memory of the Chief Big Foot massacre December 29, 1890. Col. Forsyth in command of US troops. Big Foot was a great chief of the Sioux Indians. He often said, "I will stand in peace till my last day comes." He did many good and brave deeds for the white man and the red man. Many innocent women and children who knew no wrong died here”. Despite the fact that this massacre was not exactly the last riot between Indian and white people, this date is treated as the historical end of Indian wars in North America (Hayden 2009). The Indian who defended himself from being closed in reservation and who led wars with Americans for a long time was the warrior of Apache Chiricahua Geronimo. He was a prominent Native American who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. His parents brought him up according to Apache traditions. After the death of his father, his mother took him to live with Chihenne and he grew up with them. When he was 17 he married a woman Alope from the Nedni-Chiricahua band of Apache. They had three children. On March 6, 1858 a company of 400 Mexican soldiers from Sonora led by Colonel Jose Maria Carrasco attacked Geronimo’s camp outside Janos when the men were in town. Among killed people were his wife, children and mother. This tragedy made him merciless towards Mexican and later American soldiers. After the gold was discovered in New Mexico Geronimo in 60s and 70s of XIX c. fought with Americans led by such leaders as Cochise and Juh. In 1886 commanded by him warriors were accused of killing about 600 Mexican from Sonora. He became one of the best known Indian leaders, and hero of many legends, novels and westerns (A magazine of the Fort Chuahuca Museum 1999:15). An anthropologist Morris Opler in 1932 explained the Apache’s attitude toward the whites who had corralled them on the San Carlos Indian Agency.
What they didn’t like was so much ruling; that’s what they didn’t like. They didn’t have all the Indians at the agency in those days. It was the people who lived around the agency, who saw white people all the time, who were controlled. The people out away from the agency were wild. That’s why some thought the white man had queer ways and hated them. After they got to know the white man’s way, the liked it. The white men gave them new things, new food, for instance. But it was the new-comers like Ho [Juh] and Geronimo who didn’t like the white man. If there was any ruling to do, they wanted to do it. [Opler 364] The Indians on the reservation stayed around the agency buildings when the bandits were out, because the bandits would capture anyone who could carry a gun and make him go with them. And they took women too. If you wanted a horse from pasture, you would have to send a little boy for it to be safe. [Opler 366] ( A magazine of the Fort Chuahuca Museum 1999:15). Opler also wrote: “ Geronimo was nothing but…an old trouble maker. …He was a cowardly as a coyote. You can ask man like Perico what he was like. …Perico will tell you how he and others did all the fighting while Geronimo stayed behind while a woman. …Now some of the young people try to make him out a hero. They say he was a fine man and stood up and fought for his country, and things like that. …I know that he and a few others like him were the cause of the death of my mother and many of my relatives who have been pushed around the country as prisoners of war. I know we would not be in our present trouble if it was not for men like him… …Most of the Indians were peaceful. They were attending to business. They were raising crops. They had their sheep and cattle and were getting along very well. Then somebody would say, ‘Geronimo is out again’, and there he would be with a small band of about forty men up in the mountains. Pretty soon he would raid a settlement here, or kill a person, and the whole tribe would be blamed for it. Instead of coming and getting his rations and settling down and trying to be civilized, he would be out there like a wild animal, killing and raiding (A magazine of the Fort Chuahuca Museum 1999:25).
The way in which Indians were treated by American government can be compared to Hitler’s acts towards Jews. Instead of creating a new country in agreement with Indians, white people tried to do it by depriving Native American rights, put their in reservations and even killing in case of their rebellion. The act from 1756 published in Canada about rewards marked for killing Indians shows the white’s attitude to Indian.
Chapter 2: The Indian reservation today
2.1. The definition of the reservation
Nowadays, there are a lot of various definitions of American Indians reservation. One of them is “A Native American reservation (also known as Indian reservation) is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affair.”(Webster’s Online Dictionary 2006). According to “Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary” reservation is “an area of land in the US that is kept separate for Native Americans to live in” (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2005: 1290). The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service write “reservations are “trust assets” that were set aside for Native Americans use, pursuant to treaties, statues and executive order.”(The Native American Policy of The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994).
2.2. Population, the number of the reservations
There was a different number of Reservations in the United States of America over the years. According to the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the number of reservations in the United States in 1908, including the 19 Spanish grants to the Pueblo Indians, was 161, aggregating 52,013,010 acres (Indian Reservation History 2011). At the present time, the area of reservation makes up around 52.7 million acres which account for 2,21 percent of the United States’ lands. (Indian Reservation U.S. Twenty first century). On these lands “there are about 310 Indian reservations in the United States, meaning not all of the country's 550-plus recognized tribes have a reservation — some tribes have more than one reservation, some share reservations, while others have none”(Indian Reservation). In terms of the population some reservations can be pointed out as more densely populated than the others. To this group belong such reservations as: Navajo with around 125,000 people on its lands, Pine Ridge which populations account for 14,484 people and the Fort Apache where the number of people make up about 11,854 (Terry American Indian Population by Reservations and Statistical Areas).
2.3. The system of the reservations
Native Americans have built their homes, their villages, their schools, their communal meeting places and places of worship on their reservation. Some reservations are set near the big cities in states in order to run casinos. Those Indians casinos provide great economic resources for the tribes and for all of the tribal members. They do not possess full autonomy within the reservation but they enjoy it. They also maintain their own government. They have their own code of laws, educational system, public services and even their own police force. (USA tourist Community 2008).
2.3.1. Economy and source of incomes
The economic situation of the American Indians is quite variable and depending on the location. Each American Indian has a right to choose a job which he or she likes. It is also known than those who have the appropriate higher education are working as doctors, teachers, judges, scientists or as social workers and policemen. It is shown by the US Census of 2000 that some of the American Indians work in the executive floors like in management and professional. There are several firms and enterprises held by American Indians which often serve in construction work or repair and offer a lot of jobs for Indians. American Indians who have secondary education or any education usually work as day laborers, work on the farms and plantations. What is more, the Native Americans make several profits out of their tribal land in the reservations. They can rent it to industry and enterprises or private tenants. They are also free to pursue farming, stock-breeding, fishing and hunting. Indians utilize their natural resources as wind and water power, timber but also petroleum, natural gas and uranium which is sold to the government or to companies of the energy industry. So we can say that these create the output in most cases and in return offer jobs for Natives. As far as we know, tourism is another very important source of income for Indians. Several things which we may list are: the sale of arts and crafts as souvenirs, wellness hotels, ski slopes and other sports like backpacking, as well as museums and other cultural centers when sometimes performs the actions of American Indian battles or the historical daily life are presented to tourists. There is also possibility to be entertained as well as to join American Indians today/Economy and sources of income 2010).
2.3.2. Relief organizations
It is commonly known that there exist a lot of problems which impair the American Indians’ chances of improving their living conditions and of giving more hopeful future prospects to their children and younger generations. So the Native Americans’ situation had been the basic idea for the foundation of the American Indian movement (AIM) noticed by outside world. In 1968 was set up the most important and best-known resistance group, which caused quite a stir its militant activities like the occupation of the historic village Wounded Knee. The main aim of this was to remain the world to what has been done to the Native Americans ad to make public, from which problems and discriminative prejudices the American Indians have to suffer. What is more, this radical group also caused a hardening of the front between the American Indians and the US government. As a consequence of this, the many Native Americans no longer approved of their aims and the AIM as a representative organization for the American Indians lost its importance. Nonetheless, the activities of the Native American resistance movement had the effects that many people in the USA and outside began to feel sympathy to the American Indians and founded charity organizations. Collection campaigns were organized to help Indians. They collect money, food and everyday things like clothes. Unfortunately many organizations concentrated on donation rather than support of local relief organizations, which does not help the American Indians out of their misery and plight in the long run. Indians are still kept in relationship of dependence on the charities and do not have or are not able to take charge themselves (American Indians today/American Indian relief organizations 2010).
In a consequence, forming the partnership between the donating administrators and tribal chiefs and members and some organizations was necessary (e.g. the Friends of the Pine Ridge Reservation, the National Relief Charity). They want to give the foundation of tribal relief organizations a ‘little push’ by financial support and bureaucratic guidance. We can notice the astonishing effects: innumerable tribally administered programs have been set up, on inter tribal level as well as limited to single reservations, and they replaced the federal US organizations for Native Americans. We can mention some examples: - The Center for American Indian Economic Development (CAIED) offers assistance in the economic and technological development to the tribes of Arizona and helps them to become self-sufficient in government and business. - The Alliance for Native American Indian Rights (ANAIR) aims to protect the American Indian burial places and places of cultural heritage such as holy mountains like Mount Rushmore. - The Indian Health Service’s goal is to achieve adequate health care and sensitive medical staff for all American Indians and Alaska Natives and to improve the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of the Natives. - The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) serves as a supervision authority in gaming regulations. - The Indian Arts and Crafts Association’s (IACA) efforts are targeted to the promotion, marketing and safeguard of authentic American Indian art. The main aims of the American Indian relief organizations are to help the Native Americans to become self-sufficient and independent human beings without necessity of federal welfare. They try to give them the chance to life a live worthy for the original inhabitants of North America (American Indians today/ From charity to cooperative self-help 2010).
2.3.3. Education, culture and tribal language
The US government continue a policy whose objective has been to formally end the structures of the tribal chief system and to absorb the American Indian culture for many years. A lot of steps had been taken to make this plan real. Several of these measures are: missionary work to convert the “wild pagans” to Christianity, bans on ritual dance, worship and Indian clothes, and the separation of the American Indian children from their tribes as soon as possible and their education in special boarding schools (American Indians today/Contemporary education and culture 2010). For many years the American Indians’ customs, song and myths have been passed on by oral tradition. The Europeans decided to destroy the Native culture by depriving them of their language. They had founded a lot of boarding schools throughout the nineteen century, in which the American Indian children were taught in English and should adopt the European and Christian manners and customs. What is more, they were forced to live in separation from their tribes and families for several years without any visits. We can imagine that the daily life must have been a torture to the young American Indians. As far as we know, they had been harshly punished if they had talked in a tribal language, for example, corporal and psychological punishment were considered normal. It was generally a very bad treatment: they got only one pair of shoes a year, they had to work and there was often no money for servants and they also became victims of psychological and sexual abuse. To sum up, American Indians have gotten to know the European culture from its darkest side (American Indians today/Education & tribal language 2010). The 20th century is the time until which the boarding schools existed. The number of American Indians who were still speaking their Native language had become smaller. American Indians wanted to preserve their language from dying out and they set up schools where young American Indians should be taught by Native Americans or specially trained teachers rather than by Whites and get in touch with their culture again. In the late 1960’s they have opened the first American Indian school. What is more, the American Indians reservations run schools of their own and in some cases they offer language courses for adults. We can also noticed American Indian colleges and universities, for example, Fort Peck Community College in Montana or the Haskell Indian Nations University Kansas. The younger American Indians have also a possibility to achieve a secondary education connected with their own cultural values. The most American Indians have a contact with the new Native schools from childhood and if someone wants to attend higher education have to leave reservations to earn more money. During the last 20 years the number of American Indians enrolling for college or university has increased by 80 percent. There are lead the lessons in their tribal language what helped to protect 175 American Indian dialects and thanks to this situation, about one third of the children over five years talk in their mother tongue at home. All these developments mark important steps of independence and success. In these days, Native American children have the possibility to learn without leaving their families and giving up their Indian language and identity (American Indians today/Education & tribal language 2010).
Today, there are many casinos in the Indian reservations not only to attract tourists but also to draw in revenue (Indian Reservation Casinos 2003). It is known that the business of the casinos combined with the tourism is the best aspect of American Indian economy (American Indians today/Economies and source of income 2010). On October 17, 1988 a special governmental law called the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was established by the United States Congress to allow Native Americans run casinos in the reservations (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, National Indian Gaming Commission Home Page). This act is intended to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency and tribal government. It also protects Indian gaming from organized crime and prevents abuses by providing for a regulatory base. The next aim of IGRA was establishment the National Indian Gaming Commission (Native Americans are Cashing-In With Gambling Casinos on the Reservation 1996) which conducts regular inspections and checks the observance to the official Gaming Regulations in the casinos (American Indians Today/Economy and source of income 2010). The act from 1988 describes three classes of gambling and gaming. The first class defines that social games for prizes of minimal value or traditional forms of Indian gaming engages in by individuals as part of tribal ceremonies. All forms of bingo, games such as pull tobs, lotto and card games are clearly authorized by state law. What is important, blackjack and baccarat are not included. This is described in the second class. Finally, in the third class are games which are not included in Class I gaming or Class II gaming (Native Americans are Cashing-In With Gambling Casinos on the Reservation 1996). During the first year produced about $100 million in revenues with only a few tribes operating gambling establishment (Indian Gambling on Reservations - Seventeen years later 2011). Today on the territory of the all reservations there are about 400 casinos and bingo centers (American Indians Today/Economy and source of income 2010) which bring in $19 billion dollars a year (Indian Reservations and the American Casino Culture 2009). Some tribes often offer additional amenities such as resort hotels, shopping malls and golf courses. This is great revenue source for the tribes. What is more, it broadens employment opportunities not only for tribal members but also for non-tribal ones. As a result of Indian gambling the housing for elders and other tribal members, schools, colleges and community centers are building. There are many institutions which are concerned with alcohol and drug treatment and financing new business enterprises (Native Americans are Cashing-In With Gambling Casinos on the Reservation 1996). Additional the health service is not founded by the Federal Government any more (Indian Gambling on Reservations - Seventeen years later 2011). Gambling does not bring only positive aspects. It brings many negative ones such as addiction to gambling (Native Americans are Cashing-In With Gambling Casinos on the Reservation 1996). We will be talking about it in chapter 3.
2.3.5. Policing on American Indian Reservations
More than 200 police departments act in Indian reservations. These departments range in size from 2 or 3 officers to more than 200 officers. There is also organization under the auspices of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 which is the most common administrative arrangement for police departments. It gives the opportunity to set up tribal government functions by contracting with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) (Policing on American Indian Reservations 2001:5). In the research report “Policing on the American Indian Reservations” is written: Departments administered by the BIA are the second most common type of police department in the reservations. Staff in these departments are Federal employees. For many years, patrol officers were under the line authority of the local BIA superintendent(…), and criminal investigators were under the line authority of the BIA’s Division of Law Enforcement Services. Recent changes have placed line authority for patrol under the BIA’s Division of Law Enforcement Services as well.(Policing on the American Indian Reservations 2001:6).
The typical department serves a large area with a population of only 10,000 and is patrolled by three police officers. In other words, these areas with relatively small population are patrolled by a small number of policemen. Many small departments have at most nine officers. Officers working in the reservations are always graduates of high schools. They also are certified law enforcement training academies. Police provide around-the-clock coverage to the communities (Policing on American Indian Reservations 2001:6).
Chapter 3: Social problems in reservations
There are many social problems in Indian reservations nowadays, from alcohol, drug abuse, discrimination, suicides, to unemployment, poverty and overcrowding, little school education etc. They are very serious and involves immediate intervention from the government and financial support.
Alcohol is a serious problem in Indian Reservations. It affects generations. According to Fiorillo Doreen “Alcoholism on Indian Reservations”: American Indians have historically had extreme difficulty with the use of alcohol. At times, American Indians have made paupers of themselves to obtain alcohol. Problems continue among contemporary Indians with 12% of the deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives being alcohol related. Use of alcohol varies by age, gender and tribe with women, and older women in particular, being least likely to be regular drinkers. Indians, particularly women, are more likely to abstain entirely from alcohol than the general US population. Frequency of use among American Indians is generally less than the general population, but the quantity consumed when it is consumed is generally greater (Doreen Alcoholism on Indian Reservations). A survey of death certificates among over a four year period showed that deaths among Indians due to alcohol are about 4 times more common than in the general US population and are often due to traffic collision, liver disease, suicide, homicide etc. (American Indian alcoholism). Deaths due to alcohol are among American Indians more common in men and among Northern Plains Indians. What is more, Alaska Natives show the least indication of deaths due to alcohol abuse (American Indian alcoholism). Alcohol abuse is associated with development of diseases such as sprains and muscle strains, hearing and vision problems, kidney and bladder problems, head injuries, pneumonia, tuberculosis, dental problems, liver problems and pancreatic tumor (American Indian alcoholism).The main cause of alcoholism is according to (American Indian alcoholism) low self-esteem. On the other hand, according to (Doreen, Alcoholism on Indian Reservations)
Native Americans living on reservations struggle to keep and maintain their cultural identities. Some tribes still live in abject poverty while trying to come to terms with the frustration that arises from socio-cultural limitations. Many tribal people drink to numb themselves and escape their personal, social and family problems, very much like other people do. However, for Native people, drinking alcohol, can lead to alcohol poisoning because of a genetic inability to metabolize alcohol like other races (Doreen, Alcoholism on Indian Reservation). Very popular phenomenon in Indian Reservations became fetal alcohol syndrome. “Fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, affects all racial groups, but American Indians are hardest hit. Studies from the Center for Disease Control show the fetal alcohol rate among Indians is 30 times higher than whites. Health workers on Minnesota Indian reservations say fetal alcohol damage is a huge problem in some tribal communities. There's a growing effort to fight a problem that, for years, has been ignored or misunderstood.” (Robertson 2007). Alcohol has had a devastating impact on American Indians. Even pregnant women drink alcohol. It causes a brain drain in Indian communities."I would say it's very definitely a problem, almost pervasive," says Sandra Parsons, director of Family and Children's Services for the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota. "I haven't found anybody yet who disputes that. I think people would be literally amazed at how prevalent it might be."(Robertson 2007). Sandra Parsons has worked with American Indian kids for years on three reservations. She admits that the extent of fetal alcohol damage is huge. When Red Lake tribal member Sue Antone adopted three kids, Joshua, Matthew and Shyra, she had no idea what she decided to do. The children were adopted form an Indian tribe in Arizona, where Antone lived for several years. Seemingly the children seemed to be normal, but in real they had serious problems. They all have the same biological mother, who was an alcoholic and was in prison after being caused of murder. Antone discovered very early that something is wrong with the children. She claimed that she had the most problems with 11-year-old Matthew. "I would be crying, because it was so hard," says Antone. "Having him in a room was like having 10 kids in that room, not just one. He never could sit still. He was very destructive, abusive, not only to his siblings, but to himself. I swear, I thought he could not feel pain."(Robertson 2007). He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when he was 18 months old. Antone got him to a fetal alcohol diagnostic clinic at the University of Minnesota. He was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome at the age of 3. Moreover, it turned out that, the two other kids were also damaged by alcohol. Joshua and Shyra had learning, behavior and health problems. Antone to prove that the alcohol is the main reason for children’s problems wrote many letters to their biological mother who was in prison. After some time the woman admitted that she drank when she was pregnant, during all three pregnancies. Shyra at the age of 16 struggled in school. Apart from this she had learning problems especially with basic math and counting money. The similar situation was with Joshua but the girls have still not been diagnosed with fetal alcohol damage. According to Antone (Robertson 2007) schools in Indian Reservations are mostly unresponsive to problems connected with alcohol. She says that there is little support in the Red Lake community for kid’s special needs. "Every time I try to do something to try to get somebody to help me with fetal alcohol, another door slams," says Antone. "And it takes me a few more years for another door to open. Well, I don't have that many years left and I don't know if I can keep doing this. I feel like I'm failing." Very few kids at Red Lake get diagnosed with fetal alcohol damage, because this is a long process that requires input from doctors, psychologists and therapists (Robertson 2007).
“The reality is bleak on many Indian reservations. In some communities, the number of kids in special education is double the national average. American Indian students are three times as likely as other kids to drop out of school. In Minnesota, Indians are 12 times more likely to end up in prison. Alcohol damages the wiring in the brain. People exposed have trouble understanding cause and effect. They sometimes have what Parsons calls a Swiss cheese memory, making it difficult to process the world around them. "They're in trouble at school, they're in trouble at home, they're in trouble on the bus," says Parsons. "It gets to be very frustrating for these kids to believe that nobody listens, nobody understands, nobody cares. And yet they have no clue themselves as to what's going on, or why"” (Robertson 2007). To sum up, alcoholism harms all generations of Indians. Low self-esteem, unemployment, poverty and other social problems which are present among Indian community contribute to one more called alcoholism. This is a very serious problem which should be solved as soon as possible.
Committing suicide is another social problem in Indian Reservations. It became very popular especially among young people. Sociologists still wonder what are the main reasons of such a high rate of suicides among youths. Some of them explain it as consequence of constant discrimination that began a long time ago in the past and exists nowadays, others say that this is a result of hopelessness, because most of young Indian children experience many tragedies in their families, like alcoholism, poverty, and cannot prevent it. Evelyn Nieves published in The New York Times in 2007 an article which drives the problem of suicides in the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. She describes the history of some teenagers: “The young man, 19 years old, played varsity football and basketball at Todd County High School. He was admired across the reservation, in that way small towns follow and celebrate their teenage athletes. The girl, weeks shy of her 14th birthday, made straight A’s at Todd County Middle School, played volleyball and basketball and led a traditional Lakota drum corps. They hanged themselves. This happened at the end of a particularly brutal two and a half months, from Jan. 1 to March 13, when tribal authorities were called to three suicides and scores of attempts. The next day, with the reservation (population 13,000) reeling, tribal officials declared a state of emergency.” (Nieves 2007).
Since then, took place also some other suicide, namely a woman in her early 20s killed herself with pills and there were many attempts of killing themselves among young people a total number is 144 attempts during 2007 year. According to Evelyn Nieves, “In May, seven youths who tried hanging, poisoning or slashing themselves to death were admitted to the reservation hospital in one 24-hour period.” Evelyn Nieves writes in the article: “What is happening at Rosebud is all too common throughout Indian Country. American Indian and Alaska Native youth 15 to 24 years old are committing suicide at a rate more than three times the national average for their age group of 13 per 100,000 people, according to the surgeon general. Often, one suicide leads to another. For these youths, suicide has become the second-leading cause of death (after accidents). In the Great Plains, the suicide rate among Indian youth is the worst: 10 times the national average.” She quotes a statement of Philip May professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico: “Very generally, adolescence is a time of trouble for all youths,” said Philip May, a professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico who has been studying suicide among American Indians for more than 35 years. “But in many American Indian communities, it’s compounded by limited opportunities, historical trauma and contemporary discrimination. The way the Lakota people and other Plains tribes have experienced history in the last 100 years has reduced the mental health factors that are available to them to cope.” (Nieves 2007) Tribal and community leaders organized after-school programs, sponsored talks leaded by motivational speakers and made school counselors widely available. “At the same time, schools and the community at large are not commemorating those that kill themselves, said Victoria Sherman, the principal at Todd County High School. She refused, she said, to allow an elaborate memorial during this year’s graduation for a student who killed himself last year on graduation day. “We don’t want to encourage desperate acts,” Ms. Sherman said.” (Nieves 2007) On the other hand, according to Chris Mc Greal’s article from 2010, Native American teenagers are more likely to kill themselves than any other minority group. He said: “In fact, Native Americans teenagers are more likely to kill themselves than any other minority group. Some statistics show the rate at three times the national average. But those figures shield the fact that self-harm is most likely to occur on poorer reservations, such as Pine Ridge and neighbouring Rosebud; here rates are far higher”(Mc. Greal 2010).
He also wrote that the tribal government attempted to improve business in reservations, for example by wind farms but it involves a lot of money that only federal government is able to provide. The men’s hopes are directed to Obama who told these people at one a time:” You will not be forgotten as long as I'm in this White House.” Iron Cloud, the former reservation president says that he believes Obama, but he wants to ensure himself that Obama doesn’t forget his promise (Mc. Greal 2010). In the end I want to quote his word: “What I feel is kinda like a light at the end of the tunnel where the Obama administration is looking at some new beginnings for the minorities and the poor people to have some jobs and give more money to education. Just taking care of our people in a better way than they have been "Obama understands, but then there's Congress. If we can get enough of our tribal leaders – and I'm talking 500 tribes coming together and flooding the halls of Congress – and just say to them that it's time to take a good look at Indian tribes. We were the first Americans – and I know it'd have an impact."(Mc. Greal v 2010).
Poverty among Reservations in The United States is also defined as “state or federally recognized, geographically defined areas of varying size over which Native Americans have the primary governing authority” ( Indian Reservation U.S.). It is commonly known that economical situation of Indians is much worse than white Americans” The poverty rate among Native Americans is 25.9% compared to the national rate of 11.3%”. (Poverty among Native Americans, 2000). According to the one of the Articles in The Washington Post, lack of jobs create a cycle of welfare dependency. Native Americans do not want to be dependent but due to the starvation they are forced to go on the welfare(Carlson In the year of 'Dances with Wolves,' everybody wanted to be on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Nearly a decade later, it can hardly get a quorum ).
In accordance with the notions of Terry Anderson and Dominic Parker “[…]American Indian reservations, which are islands of poverty in a sea of prosperity” As the U.S. Census Bureau informs average annual income of Native Americans amount to 33.627$ . In the consequence, almost 25,3 percent, one in every four person lives in poverty (Rodgers Native American Poverty). Although having casinos which are prosperous and generate a lot of money for the certain Reservations, financial situation of Indians is bad.
Despite billions of dollars generated by casinos on some reservations, per-capita income for American Indians living on reservations remains low. According to the 1999 census, reservation Indians earned $7,846 per capita compared to $14,267 for Indians living off reservations and to $21,587 for all U.S. citizens. The Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota had the lowest per capita income at $4,043 and the Isabella Reservation in Michigan had the highest at $17,436 (Un-American Reservations, Terry Anderson and Dominic Parker).
As we can easily perceive, the economic status of Indians who live outside the Reservations is better at around $ 6,421 than of those who live in the Reservation. The difference between the highest income at the Isabella Reservation in Michigan and the lowest income at the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota make up $13,393. These differences according to Terry Anderson and Dominic Parker are caused by lack of “property rights and the rule of law. By comparing reservation economies with and without these institutions, we can get a sense of their importance”.
“With this poverty comes poor health conditions, lack of decent housing, substandard education, a lack of jobs, and a host of other barriers, such as suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and gang activity. These negative circumstances keep most Native American communities isolated and economically distressed.” (Poverty among Native Americans 2000).
3.4. Gambling addiction
As we said in the chapter 2 gambling bring serious addiction. In many cases there is a pathological gambling which is described as compulsive gambling behavior beyond the control of the individual. In Minnesota, the number of people who are addicted to gambling rose dramatically over the last three years. There are many compulsive gambling treatment centers in which people are cured from addictions. What is more, the state is considering allocate more resources towards the problem. It is worth pointing out that pathological gambling is more prevalent among Indians than non-Indians (Introduction to history of casino in the reservation 1996). It is known that those who can least afford to gamble usually are the most affected. Poor people spent a greater percentage of their income on gambling than the wealthy. They give gambling the same effect on incomes as regressive taxes. As an example we can announce that inhabitants of Chelsea, Massachusetts, the poorest city in the state, spend an average of $572 per year on the lottery. In contrast, the wealthier residents of Lincoln spend only $26 a person on lottery tickets annually (Introduction to history of casino in the reservation 1996).
3.5. Crime among Indians’ Reservations
Recently, there is a tendency of increasing crime and violence in the American Indians’ Reservations. According to the report of U.S. Department of Justice (Policing on American Indian Reservation 2001 :8) “The threat of increasing crime, particularly violent crime is especially worrisome because we know far less than we would like about crime in Indian Reservation”. Currently, the general criminal trends can be noticed in the Reservations. This is because the data from different reservations varies to some extent. For instance, in the 1995 in the Gila River Reservation which population make up of approximately 10,000 people registered at least 15 homicides while in the Oglala Sioux tribe (around 40,000 people) there was only one case of murdering (Policing on American Indian Reservation 2001 : 24). Another example is the case of “the Red Lake reservation in the northern part of the state of Minnesota. Police and investigators received emergency calls about a suicide, a murder, three stabbings, two shootings and multiple incidents of domestic violence” ( Rise in violent crime on Indian reservations prompts new US effort 2009). Furthermore, there is also increasing crime among young people caused by alcohol abuse. “ Reports of violence on reservations especially the poorest and most remote are constant. Red Lake has certainly known its share of crimes. In 2005, a 16-year-old there killed seven people at his school and two people on the reservation.” (Rise in violent crime on Indian reservations prompts new US effort 2009.) It is also important to mention about Native American women who suffer from the violence.
A report released by the Department of Justice, American Indians and Crime, found that Native American women suffer violent crime at a rate three and a half times greater than the national average. National researchers estimate that this number is actually much higher than has been captured by statistics; according to the Department of Justice over 70% of sexual assaults are never reported (Bhungalia Native American Women and Violence).
The department of Justice shows the difficult situation of women in the reservations. It is believed that around 70 percent of sexual abuse are not even reported. In addition, Native American women suffer from violence 3,5 more than the national average. “Police and courts tend to ignore cases of violence involving Native American women due to alleged confusion between federal and tribal jurisdiction. Law enforcement and attorneys often are not schooled to deal with the cross-over in dealing between jurisdictions” (Bhungalia Native American Women and Violence). The crime rates are high due to insufficient number of police officers. “The Cheyenne River Reservation in central South Dakota covers 1.4 million acres and is home to 8,000 members of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe. Despite rising crime rates, the tribal police force consists of only 11 officers, four sergeants, one lieutenant, and the chief of police.” Another reason why there is high rate of crime is the application process which can take a long time. “not all tribes can afford to even establish a police department. Those without the adequate funds rely on the Bureau of Indian Affairs to assign officers to their reservations” (Méndez Crime and punishment: Law enforcement issues on Indian reservations). The president of the United States, Barack Obama “signed the Tribal Law and Order Act, which provides greater law enforcement powers for tribal authorities on Indian reservations.” Hopefully, this act is supposed to reduce the average of crime which is 20 times higher in the reservations than the national average.
The law requires the Department of Justice to improve coordination with tribal justice officials in prosecuting crimes on reservations, and provides resources for better overall cooperation between tribal, state and federal agencies. In addition, the measure increases the maximum sentence that tribal courts can impose to three years, instead of the previous limit of a one-year sentence. Supporters of the measure say the sentencing provision will expand the number of cases handled by tribal courts, increasing local tribal control on reservations. (Obama signs bill targeting crime on Indian reservations 2010).
The Tribal Law and Order Act is to improve the cooperation between state, federal and tribal agencies. Additionally, to make the sentences longer from one year to three years and to improve the control of local tribal control on the reservation.