[m2c] Reservation Life Worse Than Iraq?
sandinista at shaw.ca
Fri May 13 02:28:48 MDT 2005
Reservation Life Worse Than Iraq?
Too many Native American soldiers returning from Iraq come home to subpar
living conditions in their reservation communities. Yet, the Bush
administration's budget for fiscal year 2006 proposes cutting funds for
reservations. How harsh. How unfair.
These returning servicemen, along with advocates for American Indian and
Native Alaskan families, are beginning to ask some tough questions.
1. Why is it that the U. S. can afford unlimited amounts for destruction and
reconstruction on the other side of the world but cannot afford resources
for people who have been historically mistreated within its own borders?
2. Why would the Congress cut infrastructure money for disadvantaged
communities at home while billions in reconstruction money can "disappear"
3. Why is it fair to run up the deficit giving tax cuts to the very rich and
then decide to reduce that deficit by hurting the poor?
Those in Congress who are aware of the living conditions of poor tribes
agree that the proposed cuts for Indian programs in the 2006 budget make
little sense. Fiscal conservative Senator John McCain (AZ) says the dramatic
cuts proposed will do nothing for the country at large but will cause much
harm to the most vulnerable and deprived people in Indian Country. In his
"The federal government has continually reneged on its trust and moral
obligations to meet the educational, healthcare and housing needs of Indians
and these needs far outweigh the imperceptible contribution that the
proposed cuts will make to reducing the deficit."
Your representative and senators will be voting on a budget resolution this
week. Urge them: PLEASE DON'T VOTE TO CUT PROGRAMS THAT ARE BRINGING NATIVE
AMERICANS OUT OF POVERTY. Tell them that medals and parades and honors are
hollow thanks if Native American soldiers return to environs and conditions
as bad or worse than they experienced living in Iraq. Click here to write
your congressional members an email or to send a fax. Enter your zip code in
the "Take Action Now" box and hit "Go" button.
The following factual picture is drawn from information provided by the
National American Indian Housing Council, the National Indian Health Board,
the Native American Rights Fund, and the Navajo Nation. We call your
attention to reservation distress.
A Navajo soldier who built infrastructure in Iraq may face these
circumstances at home:
Only 2,000 miles of roads in 25,000 square miles of countryside, many dirt
Housing in short supply; in some cases, 10 people live in a one-bedroom home
Some people live in buses.
Utilities lacking in 85 percent of homes, many lacking plumbing
No telephones in 40 percent of homes
Wood fire stoves, which too often brings on asthma and respiratory problems,
but ventilators are not an option because there is no electricity
Grocery stores as much as 40 miles away
Drinking water hauled in 50-gallon drums
Extremely high unemployment
A health system that provides half as many care dollars as are spent on
other poor citizens
A trust system where those with Individual Indian Money accounts get little
of the money owed them from the land and leases that the federal government
"manages" for them.
Links for More Information
Read the details on soldiers returning from Iraq to Indian Country (Word
Read the details of Sen. McCain's statement in support of keeping funds
flowing to tribal governments and Indian programs.
Obtain demographic information on Native American children in your state.
Learn more about the trust fund scandal.
CONTACTING POLICY MAKERS
Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 Sen. ________
Washington, DC 20510 Rep. ________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Information on your members is available at:
FCNL's Congressional Directory
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500 White House Comment Desk:
president at whitehouse.gov
White House Web Page
FCNL Native American Legislative Updates are intended as a supplement to
other FCNL Native American Program materials and do not reflect FCNL's
complete policy position on any issue, nor do they include all pertinent
facts on any topic. For more information, or to request the FCNL Indian
Report and other background documents, please contact the FCNL's Native
American Advocacy Program: (202) 547-6000, 245 2nd St. NE, Washington, DC
20002; Indian at fcnl.org.
Prospero, you are the master of illusion.
Lying is your trademark.
And you have lied so much to me
(lied about the world, lied about me)
that you have ended by imposing on me
an image of myself.
underdeveloped, you brand me, inferior,
That ís the way you have forced me to see myself
I detest that image! What's more, it's a lie!
But now I know you, you old cancer,
and I know myself as well.
- Caliban, in Aime Cesaire's "The Tempest"
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