A great article came across my FB today about the legacy of the Boarding Schools and Native Americans. My own family had ancestors who attended the boarding schools and it hasn't been until recently that we've begun our own journey of healing.
This article goes into some depth about how the legacy has hurt tribes and individuals. But it also shows how one organization is trying to counter those effects in the PNW. Since i'm in the middle of Finals, I can't write a long piece, although i'd love to, instead here's some key quotes and please go read the original piece and if you can donate to the organizations that are working with native youth and families!
"I notice when asking tribal people their definition of poverty, it is usually 'having no culture.' It is not defined by money," Janeen Comenote, director of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC), tells IPS.
Native American children have the highest rates of foster care placement of all minority groups according to another report. Kings County and Multnomah County in Washington and Oregon States are among the highest in the U.S. at seven to five times disproportionate to Native populations.
How do indigenous people live in poverty? According to NUIFC, urban native people are 1.8 times more likely have no plumbing, twice as likely to have no kitchen, three times as likely to have no phone and three times more likely to be homeless than the general population.
On reservations they might live in large, extended families. Yakama fisherwoman Caroline Looney Hunt, age 54, tells IPS her mother adopted children informally despite having 11 of her own.
"I've noticed," says Comenote, "a difference between Eurocentric and tribal institutions. Eurocentric institutions ask 'do they have enough money?' Tribal institutions ask 'does the child have a culture?' They also ask, how do they help each other?"