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Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


I'll keep this OP pretty short, there's a lot of stuff I could post about and I'll leave it open to what folks are interested in.

I've lived all of my life (except grad school) on a Dakota (the preferred term for the "Sioux" Nation, including the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota peoples) reservation in South Dakota. I moved back and have been teaching at a tribal college for three years. I grew up here, went to tribal schools including a one-room country schoolhouse (25 kids grades K-8).

Please don't try and doxx me. I'm going to keep some details purposefully vague to help maintain anonymity, I don't know why someone would want to doxx me but these are small communities and it probably wouldn't be terribly hard.


Some example topics:

You're a white guy on a reservation? How's that work?
What's a tribal college?
What challenges do your students face?
Yo I heard reservations are really impoverished, what's that look like?
History of the tribes and reservations in the area.
Relations between tribal entities, state, and federal governments
The insanely hosed up tribal justice system
A one-room school with all grades K-8? Huh?

I'd rather not get into cultural stuff because I'm not really qualified to talk about it but I can talk about the basics.

Also, if we have other posters from reservations, feel free to chime in! There are a lot of similar issues on reservations across the US but they're also each unique.

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Flutieflakes017
Feb 16, 2012

only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain

Great A/T thread OP.

It seems like alcoholism on reservations gets alot of coverage in the press. Do you have any personal experience with alcoholism on the reservation or have you observed it? If so, does it seem as pervasive to you as it is portrayed? Finally, Are there meaningful efforts being made to curb its effects or get people treatment?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Flutieflakes017 posted:

Great A/T thread OP.

It seems like alcoholism on reservations gets alot of coverage in the press. Do you have any personal experience with alcoholism on the reservation or have you observed it? If so, does it seem as pervasive to you as it is portrayed? Finally, Are there meaningful efforts being made to curb its effects or get people treatment?

Yes, substance abuse is rampant on the reservation, I don't have numbers though I could probably get some. Edit: from the article I linked, 80% of the population on Pine Ridge struggles with alcoholism. Alcoholism has been a huge problem since the reservations were created; nowadays meth is as bad if not worse. Opiates are a problem but not as severe here as many parts of the US, meth is a bigger problem.

I've had a couple of students who showed up to class drunk, after I noticed it happening a few times I talked to them after class and asked them to drop my class if they weren't going to come sober. We have/had a few employees who are notorious for not showing up to work or if they do, they're trashed.

Mostly I think it's a... domestic? epidemic. In the sense that the drinking is going on in peoples' homes. Most of the reservations are dry and alcohol sales are not permitted, so there aren't bars or stores for people to hang out around. On the Pine Ridge Reservation, possession of alcohol is also illegal. Obviously when the drinking is going on at home that feeds into a lot of other problems--setting a bad example for kids, domestic violence, family problems in general, depression. I vividly remember visiting an elder lady and her family last fall and in the middle of conversation fire sirens went off. One of the neighbors got drunk and decided to commit suicide by burning his house down around him, it was just a pillar of smoke.

There's a lot of drinking in public parks too but I don't hang out there.

It's very pervasive, talking with students and community members they're very frank about alcoholics in their family. "Oh yeah he's a great kid, his older brother though *makes drinking motion*" My impression is that almost every family has at least one alcoholic. Everyone has one sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, etc who struggles with alcohol abuse.

Here's a pretty sobering (no joke intended) article on Pine Ridge, which has the most extreme poverty, isolation, and substance abuse problems of the reservations around here: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/f...1113119935.html

On Pine Ridge, life expectancy for women is 52 years for women and 48 years for men. For the United States as a whole, it's 81 for women and 76 for men. That's almost 30 years shorter. Substance abuse is a big part of that, but also lack of access to healthcare and quality food.

It's hard to overstate just how severe a lot of these issues are on the reservations and there are many problems you might not think of. For example, lots of homes don't have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. The government or a nonprofit might build your family a house but it's up to you to get utilities connected. Have fun working with the tribal government, BIA, etc to make that happen.

I don't want to dwell too much on all the negatives, there's a lot of great culture and lots of things are improving, too. I think too often when people talk about reservations their response is "oh they're really poor, right?" That's true, but it's very reductionist.

There are quite a few programs for substance abuse treatment and rehab. It's a tough problem to tackle. It's very pervasive, there's not much funding or qualified social workers and counselors, law enforcement is a mess, the reservation is extremely rural and isolated. Unemployment is around 80-90%, there just aren't any jobs available. So what do a lot of people do? They drink.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 21:51 on Jan 8, 2020

Fartington Butts
Jan 21, 2007

We're gonna have so much fun, we'll forget about how miserable we are, and how much life sucks, and how we're all gonna grow old and die someday.


고추장 DIVISION


I'm just pullin' from your example questions, but since you offered it:
You're a white guy on a reservation? How's that work?

I would've assumed you were native if you hadn't said that. That also means and I need to ask this:
Most interesting Dakota food?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Fartington Butts posted:

I'm just pullin' from your example questions, but since you offered it:
You're a white guy on a reservation? How's that work?

I would've assumed you were native if you hadn't said that. That also means and I need to ask this:
Most interesting Dakota food?

When people ask me "where are you from" I say I grew up on a reservation in South Dakota. That almost always leads to "but how does a white guy live on a reservation" and I respond "well my family has privately deeded land, we own land there." What I don't tell strangers is my family are fifth-generation cattle ranchers who homesteaded on reservation land after it was opened for "settlement" in the 1910s. The federal government has a very long history of deciding "welp, these savages aren't doing anything productive with their land, so we're going to seize it and sell it to white settlers." It's kind of a complicated topic for me, I've been given grief a couple times by people telling me I'm an evil exploiter and colonialist and I should feel bad. My counterpoint is this: literally every non-Native American is living on stolen land and benefitting from the genocide and conquest of Native peoples. Just like white people are all benefitting from slavery, it doesn't matter whether your ancestors had slaves or not, you still are reaping the benefits. For what it's worth, I'm not aware of Native people being exploited for farm labor around here, it was the federal government stealing their land out from under them and selling it to white settlers.

There are a lot of white ranchers around here. Many of the families have intermarried, there aren't really any racial tensions in modern times.

Over the last couple decades the tribes have invested a lot of money in buying back land, and more Native people are getting into agriculture, which is a good thing.

It's generally a bad idea to assume someone's tribal membership status at a glance. There are a lot of folks who look thoroughly "white" but they're actually 25% or 50% Native by blood quantum. I never assume. Oh, did I mention tribal membership paperwork traces your blood quantum out of 128 parts, or seven generations back? It's pretty gross. Historically blood quantum was intended as a slow demographic genocide: if you have to be 25% or 50% or whatever to be a tribal member, inevitable intermarriage is eventually going to result in people getting kicked out and the tribe shrinks.



As far as food... chislick is a big thing. They have chislick festivals. What's chislick, you might ask? Well, settle in, it's an exotic and life-changing experience! To make chislick, you take small chunks of meat and, get this, you deep fry them. Then you eat them with toothpicks or whatever. I mean, it's not bad but I don't get the hype, It's chunks of deep fried meat, hooray? edit: oops I think I misunderstood what you were asking, this is a white people thing and not Native.

But I'll go with frybread and wozapi. It's a classic food combo for community events and powwows. Wozapi is a traditional fruit pudding, not very sweet, usually made with wild plums but can also be made with chokecherries or other wild fruits. Frybread is something you can find on reservations across the nation--it's a hardship food. When people were forced onto reservations there were usually treaty agreements requiring the federal government to provide some food rations. Because going from having lots of productive land to a small chunk of not-very-productive land means you're not going to be able to feed yourself. So, many reservations have commoedity food programs where families are given cheap, simple food goods. Frybread resulted from commodities at times not being much more than flour and oil/lard. If all you've got is flour and lard, you make frybread.

Commodity food has gotten a lot better in quality and now includes some frozen meats and vegetables and healthier stuff. There;s still a joke about what the lovely commodity food does to you, sometimes folks will jokes if you're overweight you've got "commod bod."

Flutieflakes017
Feb 16, 2012

only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain

Fritz the Horse posted:

I don't want to dwell too much on all the negatives, there's a lot of great culture and lots of things are improving, too. I think too often when people talk about reservations their response is "oh they're really poor, right?" That's true, but it's very reductionist.


Appreciate your answer. My follow-up is going to sound very reductionist (and generalized), please chalk it up to my ignorance.

What do you appreciate about life on the reservation compared to life in other places? I don't know a better or more specific way to ask the question. Most of what I ever recall reading about the reservations is regarding poor healthcare, alcoholism, poverty, and protests against injustice. I am curious if you could highlight a few things you think makes life there good.

Maybe an easier question to answer is why do you choose to make the reservation your home?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Flutieflakes017 posted:

Appreciate your answer. My follow-up is going to sound very reductionist (and generalized), please chalk it up to my ignorance.

What do you appreciate about life on the reservation compared to life in other places? I don't know a better or more specific way to ask the question. Most of what I ever recall reading about the reservations is regarding poor healthcare, alcoholism, poverty, and protests against injustice. I am curious if you could highlight a few things you think makes life there good.

Maybe an easier question to answer is why do you choose to make the reservation your home?

My main answer is "it's home" which might sound a bit cliche, but I've spent most of my life here. A lot of the reasons I like living here probably apply to rural areas in general: low cost of living, lots of space for gardening, outdoors stuff, it's quiet and peaceful, tight-knit communities where everyone knows and supports each other. I also feel deeply rooted and connected to our ranch. It sits right next to a good-size creek, there are woods, a dam, prairie. I spent all my childhood either reading or playing outside. We built forts in the woods, found fossils and petrified wood by the dam, hunted for fowl and fished for crawdads in the creek, worked in the garden, helped my dad with cattle, rode horse, etc. My grandparents were half a mile down the road. It was central to my childhood, I never lived anywhere else.

Again this is a bit cliche but I also feel like I'm helping make a difference. I could teach at a fancy private school or in the city, but I feel like I'm having more impact here. And it's home. I'm well aware of the "white savior" mentality, we get a lot of people from outside the area who come in all starry-eyed thinking they're going to solve all the problems on the rez but they're disillusioned of that pretty quickly. It's also a patronizing attitude, the idea that what Native people need is ambitious well-educated white people to come fix things for them. The entire point of a tribal college is to serve the immediate community and train students to work here on the reservation. Instead of sending our kids away to college, they get an education locally that includes culture, language, tribal law, etc. It's the tribe training it's own people. Anyway, it's really gratifying to see my students succeed despite all the challenges they have to deal with.

Most people think "poverty and alcoholism" when they think of reservations. I would flip that on it's head and put in terms of resiliency. Yes, these communities have severe problems but they're incredibly resilient. Despite all the genocide and other awful poo poo, they're still here. Despite numerous attempts to ban their religion and language or beat it out of them in boarding schools, the culture is still pretty strong. Things are getting better, slowly.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006
THE VOLKSWAGEN DEFENDER HAS LOGGED ON

What's the single most hosed up law/regulation concerning the reservation that you would change, and why?

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013



I'd like to hear about "the insanely hosed up tribal justice system", please.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


PT6A posted:

What's the single most hosed up law/regulation concerning the reservation that you would change, and why?


Khizan posted:

I'd like to hear about "the insanely hosed up tribal justice system", please.

I'll answer both of these with the same issue: criminal jurisdiction. I'll also give a couple examples of specific hosed up laws.

Tribal nations are, theoretically, sovereign. They have their own judicial system, police, school system, government, etc, You might guess this is not going to turn out very well given the small population (most tribes are a few thousand to a few tens of thousands of members, the Navajo and Cherokee are huge) of most tribes and the poverty not generating much tax revenue. Through some fuckery of case law, tribal police only have jurisdiction over tribal members on the reservation. They cannot prosecute non-tribal members. White-on-Native crime (which is mostly the problem we're talking about here) has to be prosecuted at the Federal level, you have to convince a US Attorney to take the case in federal court. The state doesn't have jurisdiction. This means that only the most severe white-on-Native crimes are prosecuted. This leads to several problems. Truckers like to speed wayyy over the limit through reservations because they can't be fined. Last year a semi came through the middle of town going 60 miles an hour, ran the stop light, and killed an older man and his granddaughter in a crosswalk. You can bet they took that federal.

All sorts of abuse goes unpunished when it's committed by white people. In fact, abusers in the region know they can probably get away with sexual violence and such, some of them intentionally live on or near reservations for that reason. This has been a growing problem recently because of the pipeline camps--shanty towns of lone men out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do and often close to reservations. A staggering number of young Native women have been disappearing and a lot of locals blame it on the work camps.

A bunch of hick white assholes could drive on the rez looking for a fight, knowing if they get into a brawl they're probably not going to get charged federally. There's stories of that happening.

To add to this, the tribal police and court systems are woefully underfunded and clogged up, so you have a similar situation.with crimes committed by tribal members, only the severe stuff actually gets prosecuted. There's just not enough capacity in the system to charge a lot of the minor stuff.

How would I solve this? Well, give the tribe jurisdiction over everyone on their land. Or, probably a better option given the strained tribal courts, let the state police prosecute instead of having to go federal. The state has resources to help ease the burden

Two hosed up laws (there's a ton and I'm not super knowledgeable of all the specific ones):

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. Ptior to 1924, most Native Americans were not US citizens. This is despite the 14th amendment explicitly saying "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside" which was intended to give former slaves citizenship. But the courts are hella racist and awful and they figured out a way to deny citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Natives.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act says that if you find Native artifacts or human remains, you have to return them to the relevant tribe. Prior to NAGPRA, people could just keep whatever they find. White remains were usually reburied, Native remains were often sent to laboratories or museums. When was NAGPRA passed? 1989.

Fun fact: my parents found a human skull by one of our dams, a lab dated it to 300 years old. They repatriated it to the Blackfeet. But, this was in 1987, before NAGPRA, so if we were total rear end in a top hat ghoulish monsters we could've kept it and put it on the mantle or something.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 16:57 on Jan 10, 2020

Telsa Cola
Aug 19, 2011

No... this is all wrong... this whole operation has just gone completely sidewaysface


Fritz the Horse posted:



The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act says that if you find Native artifacts or human remains, you have to return them to the relevant tribe. Prior to NAGPRA, people could just keep whatever they find. White remains were usually reburied, Native remains were often sent to laboratories or museums. When was NAGPRA passed? 1989.

Fun fact: my parents found a human skull by one of our dams, a lab dated it to 300 years old. They repatriated it to the Blackfeet. But, this was in 1987, before NAGPRA, so if we were total rear end in a top hat ghoulish monsters we could've kept it and put it on the mantle or something.

NAGPRA is hosed on basically every level to the exent that it reallllly needs to be revisted. Enforcement sucks, how tribes are recognized in it is hosed. What tribes actually get sometimes can be really hosed up because it can begin getting into land disputes. Its allllll messed up.

As an example, NAGPRA only is enforced for federally recognized groups. As you might guess this can lead to a shitton of issues.

Anyways this is a great thread idea. Thank you for starting it and I am really interested in reading more about your experiences.

Telsa Cola fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Jan 10, 2020

canyoneer
Sep 13, 2005


I only have canyoneyes for you


Telsa Cola posted:

NAGPRA is hosed on basically every level to the exent that it reallllly needs to be revisted. Enforcement sucks, how tribes are recognized in it is hosed. What tribes actually get sometimes can be really hosed up because it can begin getting into land disputes. Its allllll messed up.

As an example, NAGPRA only is enforced for federally recognized groups. As you might guess this can lead to a shitton of issues.

Anyways this is a great thread idea. Thank you for starting it and I am really interested in reading more about your experiences.

A friend of mine is from a huge Pawnee family that was involved in writing up NAGPRA. The legislation as it was ultimately passed is a mess, but on the whole it's better than what came before (which was "lol nothing")

I remember him telling me at the time it was passed that they knew of at least one woman who had her dead grandfather's remains displayed in a museum

Telsa Cola
Aug 19, 2011

No... this is all wrong... this whole operation has just gone completely sidewaysface


canyoneer posted:

A friend of mine is from a huge Pawnee family that was involved in writing up NAGPRA. The legislation as it was ultimately passed is a mess, but on the whole it's better than what came before (which was "lol nothing")

I remember him telling me at the time it was passed that they knew of at least one woman who had her dead grandfather's remains displayed in a museum

Its 100% better then nothing, yes. But yeah its a mess.

There is quite a few instances of that or things like "My childhood house was torn down after we got kicked off our land and now all the things inside are in the musuem collection right up the street where I can't get them". poo poo like that can still happen with non-fed regged groups too.

Telsa Cola fucked around with this message at 17:52 on Jan 10, 2020

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


I'm really not very knowledgeable about tribal law except in broad strokes, though I'm planning to take a Tribal & Federal Indian Law class this summer.

It's not just laws it's a boatload of court cases and it gets really complicated.

If you want to read about a victory, check out the Wiki page on Cobell v. Salazar https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobell_v._Salazar

Edit: all the federal agencies involved in tribal affairs are notoriously corrupt, exploitative, and ineffective

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 18:05 on Jan 10, 2020

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


is there anything we can do to help?

Domus
May 7, 2007
Getting nerdier day by day

If itís the kind of place where many homes donít even have running water, does the reservation have any standard branded/franchise businesses in it? Like a McDonalds or a 7-11? Is it easy to get healthy food, or is it a food desert?

Why havenít companies taken advantage of the joblessness? If I understand correctly, thereís a nice chunk of the population that would be happy to have a job, even a lovely one.

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






What's your take on Native-run casinos?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Mycroft Holmes posted:

is there anything we can do to help?

Read and educate yourself, the US school system is terrible at giving a good portrayal of Native history. Zinn is a good start. It's pretty much Thanksgiving, Trail of Tears, some battles after the Civil War, Navajo Code Talkers in WW2, and Dakota Access protests. Generally raise awareness. Call your congressmen especially if they're on relevant committees.

I'm sure there are some good charities, that always helps.

Domus posted:

If it’s the kind of place where many homes don’t even have running water, does the reservation have any standard branded/franchise businesses in it? Like a McDonalds or a 7-11? Is it easy to get healthy food, or is it a food desert?

Why haven’t companies taken advantage of the joblessness? If I understand correctly, there’s a nice chunk of the population that would be happy to have a job, even a lovely one.

Yeah there are a very few chain fast-food places. Subway is insanely popular as it's the only semi-healthy option and they take EBT. Mostly people go to the small locally-owned grocery stores. Fresh produce is very expensive because the reservations are so remote, so transportation costs are high. It ends up being a food desert yeah, I see folks with carts full of white bread, sandwich meat, chips, soda. The diet is mostly cheap, processed, convenient foods which contributes to diabetes and other health problems.

I'm not entirely sure why there isn't more outside economic development but I can guess at a few factors. Tribes like to run their own things, an outside company setting up shop on the rez probably isn't going to fly unless the tribe is given significant control. Companies usually don't want that. Also the laws get brutally complicated and confusing when you're setting up an outside-owned business on a reservation, it's a huge hassle. Most reservations are very remote, so geography limits what types of businesses are feasible.

Tribal governments also tend to not be very competent, honestly. You're drawing from a small talent pool and nepotism is a huge problem. If there are hardly any jobs and you have any pull in your workplace, you're going to get your relatives hired. All of this combines to make reservations not terribly attractive for most companies.


Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

What's your take on Native-run casinos?

I'm not a big fan of gaming but it's badly needed revenue. Keep in mind only a few Indian casinos are filthy rich, and the ones here in South Dakota definitely aren't. To make big bucks with a casino you need to:

-Be a small tribe so the profits are spread among fewer people
-Be located in a high-traffic area, preferably with lots of tourists and other attractions so you get lots of visitors
-Not have much competition. So, states that don't allow gaming are more lucrative.
-Competently managed.

Now, most of the tribes in the western part of SD are super isolated, fairly large (20-50,000), and have to compete with slot machines in gas stations and bars and in particular the gaming resort of Deadwood. So, the casinos aren't very profitable The most important thing they provide is employment.

The two big economic development thrusts right now are bison (buffalo) and industrial hemp. The tribes have a lot of (lovely) land, why not run big herds of buffalo? It's very culturally signifcant and a healthy lean meat for local consumpion and export. Industrial hemp does well in marginal lands, so why not?

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Fun Shoe

Fritz the Horse posted:

I'm not entirely sure why there isn't more outside economic development but I can guess at a few factors. Tribes like to run their own things, an outside company setting up shop on the rez probably isn't going to fly unless the tribe is given significant control. Companies usually don't want that. Also the laws get brutally complicated and confusing when you're setting up an outside-owned business on a reservation, it's a huge hassle. Most reservations are very remote, so geography limits what types of businesses are feasible.

Tribal governments also tend to not be very competent, honestly. You're drawing from a small talent pool and nepotism is a huge problem. If there are hardly any jobs and you have any pull in your workplace, you're going to get your relatives hired. All of this combines to make reservations not terribly attractive for most companies.

Yeah, a remote area in crushing generational poverty and a workforce with difficulty getting good education is not a desirable resource to exploit for anything but manufacturing jobs... which don't really exist in the US anymore.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Liquid Communism posted:

Yeah, a remote area in crushing generational poverty and a workforce with difficulty getting good education is not a desirable resource to exploit for anything but manufacturing jobs... which don't really exist in the US anymore.

However if there's natural resources to exploit the federal government will be happy to find a way to sell/lease tribal land to outside corporations. Like the uranium mining on Pine Ridge. Oopsie doodles we dumped a bunch of mining waste in the main river that flows through the rez.

Tribal colleges like where I teach are mostly two-year community college / technical schools so we are slowly educating the workforce. A lot of teachers, law enforcement, and social service workers here are our graduates. One of my colleagues has a dream of a Silicon Rez, getting into big data and computer stuff because remoteness doesn't really matter for that.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Fun Shoe

Fritz the Horse posted:

However if there's natural resources to exploit the federal government will be happy to find a way to sell/lease tribal land to outside corporations. Like the uranium mining on Pine Ridge. Oopsie doodles we dumped a bunch of mining waste in the main river that flows through the rez.



The federal government's treatment of the Natives in the Dakotas is such a horror story. Especially when I started reading the historical stuff around the Black Hills Gold Rush.


Fritz the Horse posted:

Tribal colleges like where I teach are mostly two-year community college / technical schools so we are slowly educating the workforce. A lot of teachers, law enforcement, and social service workers here are our graduates. One of my colleagues has a dream of a Silicon Rez, getting into big data and computer stuff because remoteness doesn't really matter for that.

I wish you and your colleague the best of luck!

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010








Grimey Drawer

What are food prices like? Are things more expensive or cheaper?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Liquid Communism posted:

I wish you and your colleague the best of luck!

Thanks! Progress is progress even if it's slow. Now if we could get our accredidation commission to get their heads out of their asses...


Lawman 0 posted:

What are food prices like? Are things more expensive or cheaper?

Mostly it's a food desert. Fresh produce is pretty expensive, though beef is a bit cheaper than most of the country since South Dakota produces a lot of beef.

There are very limited options for food. You've got fried chicken "delis" at the three grocery stores, convenience stores, and a Subway. If you want an actual restaurant, your only option is the casino.

On the bright side, hunting (deer, elk, buffalo, fowl), fishing, and gathering traditional wild foods (berries, tinpsila root) are pretty popular. Gardening too. Most families don't hunt and gather but the ones that do can significantly supplement their diet. Families in the towns mostly don't, it's the more remote communities which also tend to be more traditional that supplement their diet a lot.

Our college has a greenhouse and garden and holds farmer's markets. There's a new program that will take farmer's market produce on trucks out to the remote communities which should be really helpful.

Many people don't have a car so they tend to be stuck with whatever is closest.

edit: one of my students got a big elk and a deer which will supply most of the meat for his family for a year. Of course you have to own a rifle and those aren't cheap, probably $500 at the very lowest end. Plus license and tags etc.

One nice thing about hunting on the reservation is tribal members can hunt on any tribal land, meaning they don't need to own land themselves or get permission from a landowner to hunt a piece of land.

Edit2: oh and there's also the commodity food program which is an alternative to food stamps and funded from the same source. It distributes bulk, mostly canned and frozen foods that emphasize nutrition. It's arguably better than food stamps since a lot of people just stock up on cheap processed foods. Commodity foods require significant preparation.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 23:07 on Jan 12, 2020

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010








Grimey Drawer

Well what do you guys usually garden? Are they just small plots or somewhat larger than an average suburban home garden?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Lawman 0 posted:

Well what do you guys usually garden? Are they just small plots or somewhat larger than an average suburban home garden?

In town they'd be small. In the housing communities I'm not sure, there might be restrictions since those are government housing. In the country they're often ginormous because why not? My family's is huge, we all pitch in and we end up with more veggies than we know what to do with July through September.

Corn is very popular. Sweet corn straight out of the garden is divine. Squash, peppers. Tomatoes require an experienced gardener to do well in this climate.

beeaar
Dec 16, 2005


Have you come across any cool art?

Do Native Americans who live on the reservation have alternative ID other than their Native American one, like a State ID? What are they going to do when the RealID policy in regards to flying goes into effect?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


beeaar posted:

Have you come across any cool art?

Do Native Americans who live on the reservation have alternative ID other than their Native American one, like a State ID? What are they going to do when the RealID policy in regards to flying goes into effect?
Sorry for the slow reply, I was in the hospital with pneumonia.

There's tons of art. About twice a week someone comes by selling their artwork. Jewelry mostly, but drums staffs all sorts of stuff. Lots of beadwork. Often very high quality. I keep about $40 in cash in my wallet in case they have something I could get for a gift.

I dunno much about IDs, but you need a driver's license to drive which is a state ID. Very likely anyone flying on a plane has a driver's license. As far as I know the tribal IDs are mostly for accessing services.

Some googling says that tribal IDs count as a federal ID and work for boarding flights, but I dunno about RealID.

Edit: I'll post some pictures of art work in a day or two

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 07:02 on Feb 6, 2020

Caption Yaypants
Jun 12, 2013


Sorry to hear about your health problem, hope you are feeling better. As someone who is Australian our native people have certain benefits in health care. Can you expand on how the health care system takes care of Native Americans or is the same as the rest of the population? Also is younger people leaving for work or study a problem in the community like some rural areas or do most young people stay on the reservation?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Caption Yaypants posted:

Sorry to hear about your health problem, hope you are feeling better. As someone who is Australian our native people have certain benefits in health care. Can you expand on how the health care system takes care of Native Americans or is the same as the rest of the population? Also is younger people leaving for work or study a problem in the community like some rural areas or do most young people stay on the reservation?

Thanks, I'm doing much better now.

Tribal members can get health care at no charge through Indian Health Services (IHS). Theoretically. The IHS has a fixed budget which is woefully inadequate so it's basically rationed healthcare, and the quality is very low at least around here. There's a thing called "rez mouth" where a lot of tribal members in their 30s or older are missing several or many teeth. This is because access to IHS preventive dentistry is very limited, and to save money instead of filling cavities or whatever, they pull teeth. There's also a high proportion of smokers and the area is a food desert, so a poor diet contributes to rez mouth. But it's largely the IHS just pulls teeth to save money.

Native Americans on reservations theoretically receive a lot of government services as part of treaty agreements. Subsidized government housing, which there is a massive shortage of. It is very common to have an extended family crammed into the tiny houses, parents kids grandparents and maybe some aunts uncles or cousins. This is partly traditional since the ospaye/tiospaye (extended family or community) is very important in Lakota culture. Lakota kinship systems consider your mother's sisters to also be your mothers, and your father's brothers are also your fathers. There's a lot more complexity to the kinship system, suffice to say extended family households are the norm.

A very high percentage (maybe 85-90%) are on food stamps or receive commodity foods. Commodity foods are through the same program as food stamps, but it's a much healthier option since many people just use food stamps to buy heavily processed, convenient foods and junk. I'll be at the grocery store and a lot of the carts will just be loaded with sugary soda, potato chips, candy, white bread, frozen meals, processed sandwich meats etc. It doesn't help that fresh veggies and fruit are quite expensive around here and not great quality.

And of course there's the IHS which sucks tremendously. So overall, yeah NAs technically get subsidized housing, food, and free healthcare but all those programs are pretty terrible and inadequate. The reality is that most people on the reservation just kind of survive. There's 85-90% unemployment so there are no jobs, and you get by on the meager services provided.

The demographics are actually opposite most rural areas which skew old because all the young people are leaving. On the rez, birth rates are high (lack of education, lack of access to birth control, cultural pressure to have kids) and life expectancy is 15-20 years shorter than the national average due mostly to diet, substance abuse, and lack of access to healthcare. So there's actually a ton of young people around here.

Some leave for work or school but it's usually a very difficult transition. Culture shock and being away from family (extended family is super important) and your support system means a high proportion of kids that go away to college come back after a semester or two.

That's one of the big reasons our tribal college exists. It's here on the reservation, we deliver a culturally sensitive education, and you don't have to leave your family to attend. It's also basically free to enrolled tribal members.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 15:00 on Feb 6, 2020

Mr Enderby
Mar 28, 2015



This is a great thread.

The issue of non-Indians committing crimes on the reservation is so grim. Is there any movement towards resolving this?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Mr Enderby posted:

This is a great thread.

The issue of non-Indians committing crimes on the reservation is so grim. Is there any movement towards resolving this?

Thanks!

The situation has been improving, the main thing is the feds have allocated more resources and US Attorneys to prosecuting crimes. It's still the case that only more serious crimes are prosecuted but there are more prosecutions overall which is good.

It's a messed up jurisdictional situation. It doesn't make any sense to me that tribal police can't touch non-members on the reservation and that non-members committing crimes has to go federal. I don't see a good reason why the tribe or state police shouldn't be allowed to arrest and prosecute.

Indian Law is complicated as heck. The relationships between tribes, states, and the federal government is a mess of treaty agreements, court cases, and legislation. There's a lot of ambiguity.

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014

A true renaissance man



Pillbug

Just chiming in to say you're cool and good. I also live in the wider traditional territory of Lakota/Dakota/Nakota nations, and work with many indigenous people in post-secondary, though not on res. My partner works in medicine, sometimes on res. Lots of what you say here rings true to my experience and I've been enjoying reading the anecdotes and your thoughts on the problems people have to face, often just due to the ways that colonial institutions love to function.

Guess that's all I have to say. Keep postin'.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

My rampant shitposting has broke my brain beyond repair. I have no redeemable qualities and wish to be put out of my shitposting misery for good. TIA!

beeaar posted:

Have you come across any cool art?

Do Native Americans who live on the reservation have alternative ID other than their Native American one, like a State ID? What are they going to do when the RealID policy in regards to flying goes into effect?

Some (all?) tribal governments have their own license plates for cars. I used to live in an area with a lot of American Indians and I'd see them from time to time. It was pretty funny to see a license number that was just "116" or some other small number. No need for a complicated system when you have a small community!

Mr Enderby
Mar 28, 2015



Fritz the Horse posted:

Thanks!
It's a messed up jurisdictional situation. It doesn't make any sense to me that tribal police can't touch non-members on the reservation and that non-members committing crimes has to go federal. I don't see a good reason why the tribe or state police shouldn't be allowed to arrest and prosecute.

I know this very easy for me to say, but it seems like the best solution is for tribal police to just start arresting non-native people when they commit crimes. I would imagine the result would be a very noisy objection by the federal government, followed by a quiet increase in the budget for prosecuting crimes on reservations.

Edit: Obviously, what do I know? Not trying to claim I have better ideas than the tribal government who have been thinking about this problem for decades.

Mr Enderby fucked around with this message at 00:16 on Feb 7, 2020

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Mr Enderby posted:

I know this very easy for me to say, but it seems like the best solution is for tribal police to just start arresting non-native people when they commit crimes. I would imagine the result would be a very noisy objection by the federal government, followed by a quiet increase in the budget for prosecuting crimes on reservations.

Edit: Obviously, what do I know? Not trying to claim I have better ideas than the tribal government who have been thinking about this problem for decades.

I think what would happen in your scenario is the tribal courts would have to immediately release the offenders and the prosecution would be dropped because it's quite cut and dry that the tribe doesn't have jurisdiction over non-members.

I mean, a tribe could theoretically just decide to ignore federal law and precedent and do their own thing but openly defying the US government probably won't end well.

Imo what needs to happen is the tribes need to sit down with the feds and lay out explicitly and thoroughly their relationship and the rights of tribal nations. Right now it's a huge mess of old laws, treaty agreements, and court decisions that is hard to interpret. There are a lot of gray areas and unresolved questions.

The Creature
Nov 23, 2014


Very neat thread. I did a ton of contract IT work for several tribes in OK. It was all in a professional setting, but they were some of my favorite clients. One even invited me to watch him make a bow from scratch. I have been to several Pow Wow's as well. My mother's best friends is the sister in law of a Native American actor who has played in several really popular movies, including Geromino.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Fun Shoe

Fritz the Horse posted:

Indian Law is complicated as heck. The relationships between tribes, states, and the federal government is a mess of treaty agreements, court cases, and legislation. There's a lot of ambiguity.

Doesn't help that the federal government never saw a treaty with the tribes that it wasn't hankering to break at the first sign of advantage.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003



Mr Enderby posted:

I know this very easy for me to say, but it seems like the best solution is for tribal police to just start arresting non-native people when they commit crimes. I would imagine the result would be a very noisy objection by the federal government, followed by a quiet increase in the budget for prosecuting crimes on reservations.

Edit: Obviously, what do I know? Not trying to claim I have better ideas than the tribal government who have been thinking about this problem for decades.

Shockingly, there is extremely strong institutional and judicial ruling support for the idea that exactly, precisely that should not, under any circumstances, be allowed to happen.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019


Also if a tribal nation defied federal law or judicial precedent, the feds could just yank funding which would be catastrophic. Most tribes get a large proportion of their budget from federal programs.

IIRC the tribal college I work at gets about 80% of its total revenue from various federal grants and programs which is part of the reason we have to bend over backwards to make the head-in-rear end accreditation commission happy. If we lose their accreditation we lose federal funding and we'd close down. It's impossible for us to operate on tuition dollars in any significant way because our students can't afford tuition.

edit: really that's how the relationship (at least with Lakota) has always been, when they get "out of line" the feds starve them into submission. Or often they just starved because the feds were late on food rations or payments, oopsie.

The Lakota are very proud of the fact that they military owned the US Army up and down the Plains. They were forced onto the reservations because the federal government very deliberately encouraged hunting and mass slaughter of millions of bison (buffalo) which were their main protein and fat source and much of the material for their clothing and shelter.

Most/all reservations are undesirable land so they've been reliant on federal food subsidies and rations for their whole history. The Pine Ridge (Oglalla) Reservation, for example, has lots of badlands formations which is beautiful but barren landscape. Food sovereignty is a big thing in modern times.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 22:57 on Feb 7, 2020

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Flutieflakes017
Feb 16, 2012

only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain

This thread is super interesting. I think one of the hardest things for a city boy living on the other side of the country is wrapping my head around the visuals.

How would you feel about sharing some pictures of your school, the towns, or anything that moves you? I promise not to dox.

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