Native Americans and Government Misconduct Native americans undergo constant and relentless neglect on the part of the american government. Here are some instances where it occurs.

According to Newsela's article Standing Rock Tribe Claims Victory After Decision on Dakota Access Pipeline, which states that "Members of the [Sioux] tribe and others argued that the project would threaten the tribe's water source and cultural sites," the American Government's disregard for the well being of Native Americans is resulting in construction that could contaminate their water. More information on this issue is provided by Newsela's article U.S Agencies Again Ask Company to Stop Work on Pipeline that Tribe Fears, which, while it does provide optimism regarding the oil pipelines, also illustrates the lackadaisical attitude that the American government has towards the health and safety of Native Americans, stating, ". . .a federal appeals court Sunday denied the tribe's request to order a temporary stop to construction, prompting the Departments of Justice, Army and Interior to once again issue a statement of support. The Army controls the permitting process for U.S. navigable waterways." While the government is engaging Native Americans, their needs are often dismissed.

Though this issue is not addressed specifically in Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior and other Native American characters lament the abuse that the government forces them to endure. On pages 24 and 25, Junior says, "If the government wants to hide somebody, there's probably no place more isolated than my reservation, which is located approximately one million miles north of Important and two billion miles west of happy." Later, on page 179, he says, "Reservations were meant to be prisons, you know? Indians were supposed to move onto reservations and die. We were supposed to disappear." These statements allow readers to understand how overlooked Native Americans feel.

Poor education is another issue plaguing Native American communities, and its roots can be traced back to government carelessness. On page 28 of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior describes his geometry teacher: ". . .the absolutely weirdest thing about Mr. P is that he sometimes forgets to come to school. . .we have to send a kid down to the teachers' housing compound behind the school to wake Mr. P, who is always conking out in front of his TV." This description demonstrates the halfhearted demeanor expressed by school staff and allows readers to infer that schools on Native American Reservations are often abandoned by those who could improve them. Later, on page 31, Junior discovers that his geometry textbook is the same one that his mother used in high school. He responds to this discovery by saying, "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." Junior understands that he and his peers are being forced into mediocrity by ignorance, and he feels powerless to fight it.

Issues with Native American education are illuminated in Newsela's article, More States Focusing on Native American Students, which states, "Native American teens are more likely than teens from any other racial group to not be in school and not be working, according to a 2016 report." Since schools don't cater to the needs of Native American students, many fall through the system's cracks. Additionally, according to the same article, "All those schools are run differently, and yet a student could end up going back and forth between them," in reference to students that go back and forth between multiple different schools. The inconsistency in education makes coherent development of knowledge difficult for students living on reservations. This, like many other issues faced by the Native American community, can be blamed on government malfeasance. Without an adequate budget , it is difficult for the staff of reservation schools to implement policies and curriculum that would benefit their students.

Perhaps the most dangerous way that the American government abuses Native People is in its healthcare policy. Native Americans, who, according to, "have treaty rights to federal health care services though the Department of Health and Human Services," are often at a disadvantage when compared to citizens of other races (particularly white citizens), especially when it comes to healthcare coverage. A New York Times article entitled Abandoned in Indian Country states that "Though Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ health were exempted from sequestration cuts, the Indian Health Service was not. It stands to lose about $228 million in 2013 from automatic sequester cuts alone, out of a $4 billion budget. That will mean 3,000 fewer inpatient admissions and 800,000 fewer outpatient visits every year." The Indian Health Service, which is "responsible for providing care to American Indians and Alaska Natives," ( is blatantly underfunded, making it extremely difficult for Native American patients to get the care that they need.

Junior of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian discusses his healthcare woes during the beginning of the book, when he describes his attempts to alleviate his various ailments. On page 3, he says, "But the Indian Health Service funded major dental work only once a year, so I had to have all ten extra teeth pulled in one day." He goes on to say, "Indian Health Service also funded eyeglass purchases only once a year and offered one style: those ugly, thick, black plastic ones." Junior, a Native American dependent on the Indian Health Service for medical care, is a victim of its minimal ability to provide.

American Indians have long been abused by a government that fails to recognize them as citizens entitled to the same civil liberties that any other Americans hold right to. As a result of this, Native Americans are often less educated, sicker, and held in lower regard by other Americans, which contributes to a cycle of abuse that needs to be broken.


Created with images by Fibonacci Blue - "March through Minneapolis against the Washington football team name" • dbking - "Cissy Patterson" • BLMOregon - "BLM Goes Back to School" • Clotee Pridgen Allochuku - "The Zuni Tribe" • USFWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation - "#6.) Mount Eagle - planting pollinators"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.