Shutdown endangers the Native community


Jasmine Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

As if non-Natives haven’t been the source of heartless destruction and violence towards Native Americans for centuries, the United States government continues being complicit in depleting these communities of crucial resources during the longest shutdown in history.

Putting the lives of Native Americans in danger with shortages of food, medical needs and attention and funds highlights the uselessness of treaty obligations as federal services.

Natives rely heavily on federal services, what’s the purpose of having those when the country’s so-called leader and Congress can’t get their shit together over a wall?

A wall, unsurprisingly, meant to alienate and dehumanize other minorities.

Let’s face it, the border wall at this point is just a monument to Donald Trump’s racism and xenophobia, inspiring a stupidly brave wave of “Make America Great Again” supporters to show their true colors.

This “great” America is a whites’ only event, with colonizers getting a special invitation, if people did not already get the memo.

The National Association of Food Distribution on Indian Reservations Board was stalled and thousands of Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs workers, an article by Citylaps stated at least 2,295 of 4,057, are furloughed and working without pay.

According to the New York times, some tribes took it upon themselves to use their own funds in order to survive.

The article by Citylabs also stated that tribal nations engaged in federal contracting found that they would have an estimated financial loss of $200,000 to $250,000 per day if the shut down persists.

The federal government was the source of much of the funding that went into paying the salaries of many members of the Navajo Nation and with the shut down people who were supporting families made up of anywhere from six to twelve individuals are left without pay.

The difference between jobs like Transportation Security Administration and Native Americans is that the media lacks in reporting on the effects on these communities and reservations.

Isn’t journalism meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable? Looking at you, major news media outlets.

It is the government’s responsibility to uphold its end of the treaty made with the Native communities of this supposed great nation.

Native communities have suffered and lost enough and should not have to endure anymore suffering at the hands of the government.

Congress needs to make some sort of clause or back up plan that will ensure that government funding and services will continue to be given to the tribes even in the event of a potential future government shutdown.

It is also the media’s responsibility to bring these stories to light, to make the Native community’s voice heard, so that the government can be held accountable and made aware that they are failing to uphold the treaty and it needs to make things right.