Government Involvement on the Reservation Theme Statement: The government involvement on the reservation can affect the Native Americans in many ways, both positively and negatively.

The presence of the U.S government on the reservation has frustrated the natives because of the property that is being taken away from them.

Newsela Article: "Federal agencies again urge halt to Dakota pipeline opposed by tribe"

The United States government is invading the Native American reservation by forcing a pipeline on the property. The Native Americans had no say in this decision and they aren't in agreement with the government. "The Standing Rock Sioux tribe says the project threatens its drinking water source and could destroy ancient sacred sites. The tribe's reservation is less than a mile from the pipeline." The government doesn't really care about the negative effects of their actions. The Native Americans aren't happy with their property being treated like it doesn't belong to them.

There have been protests by the natives to stop the construction of this pipeline, but authorities don't seem to listen. Instead of hearing what the protesters have to say, police are arresting those involved and fining them. "The standoff between the Sioux tribe and the pipeline's builder has grown into a protest movement. Indian tribes, environmentalists and advocates for Native Americans oppose the pipeline...'They grabbed me by my jacket and said I couldn't continue, and they have giant, like, guns and batons and zip ties, and they're not letting me go,' she adds as she's being placed under arrest. (Woodley)"

In the Dakota Pipeline situation, natives feel that the government is only hurting them, not helping them.

the government isn't putting as much attention towards mental health as they should be.

newsela article: "Programs to prevent suicide by Native American youth in danger"

Native American mental health is a growing problem. Suicide among youth is constantly increasing. Because of this statistic, the government should be funding more mental health programs and providing more resources for the natives. But that's not the case. "Congress can't agree how much Washington D.C. should spend. The dispute has triggered automatic cuts to many programs nationwide. That includes funding for mental health services for Indian people, which were already scarce to begin with." Since the funding is decreasing, the statistic will only worsen, and it is in the hands of the government.

Funding is decreasing, but it shouldn't be because, "the suicide rate among native youth nationally is 2-1/2 times that of any other youth population. 'It is definitely a national problem, a national emergency,' Bailey said." If anything, funding should be increasing to support youth. Without the funding, the suicide rate won't improve. The government needs to help out the natives because it might be their last chance to save those who are struggling.

Currently, the government involvement in Native American mental health isn't very positive because there isn't enough money being dedicated to those who need help.

the decisions made by state governments on reservation schools are helping to improve the level of education.

newsela article: "more states focusing on native american students"

Native American students are known to "have the worst attendance and the lowest four-year graduation rate." They aren't engaged at school, which is partially caused by problems at home. But state governments are doing their best to change that. "Minnesota last year and South Dakota this year passed bills that increased funding for some schools with large Native American populations." This money will help schools be able to create new curriculums that students will be able to relate to.

Another problem that contributes to a Native American student's struggle in school is the teacher. Students are taught by a "white-privileged point-of-view," which doesn't make them want to learn. To fix this, states like Washington have started to recruit less white teachers and more teachers that will be able to incorporate more Native American culture.

State governments are trying really hard to make positive changes in Native American school districts and they are helping the current situation.


The absolutely true diary of a part-time indian by sherman alexie

In the novel by Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior, the protagonist, only describes the negative aspects of the education system and doesn't describe any improvements being made. When he sees that his geometry textbook has his mother's maiden name written in it, he's beyond mad. "So that means my mother was born an Adams and she was still an Adams when she wrote her name in that book. And she was thirty when she gave birth to me. Yep, so that means I was staring at a geometry book that was at least thirty years older than I was. I couldn't believe it. How horrible is that? My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from. That is absolutely the saddest thing in the world." (Alexie 31) Junior only sees the poverty of his tribe and school. From his perspective the government isn't trying to help the situation, it seems like they don't even care. It also seems that way to Junior because of the white teachers. He doesn't understand why "lonely white people love to hang around lonelier Indians." (Alexie 30) He wishes that he didn't have white teachers because they don't know enough about Indians. He has white teachers, but he figures that that's how it will always be.

In Alexie's novel, the government doesn't seem to be playing a very positive role on the reservation, in fact, it seems like they aren't playing any role at all.

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