When I posted my views on the issue of First Nations on my Facebook wall last week, I received mixed feedback from my friends. Those on the left accused me of being racist and those on the right said harsh things about the First Nations that I couldnâ€™t support. I want to start off my stating something I never want to do, but it always seems like I have to clear some ground before I post anything â€œcontroversialâ€ or challenging to the leftists assumptions. Iâ€™m not racist, not even in the slightest, but I have visited three reservations in my life and have eyes. In fact, I have a cousin who is of First Nations heritage who was born on a reservation. She was adopted into my family at a very young age and refuses to receive reparations money due to moral disagreements with the system that is in place in Canada. In her words â€œThere is no such thing as free money.â€
Itâ€™s likely that many of those who fight for the government to keep funding the First Nations havenâ€™t ever visited a single reservation or know what occurs on these government wards. Below are some alarming statistics which bring me to the conclusion that the tribes of the First Nations should not only be able to own the land their reservations rest on but leads me to want the end of reservation system as we know it.
Here is the relevant quote from my Facebook post:
â€œTake a look at some of these horrific statistics and try to say that the government needs to do more for Native Americans. It seems to me like they have done more than enough and this has contributed to the dejected nature of the reservation system, which I have seen with my own eyes.
-They have higher rates of disease, higher death rates, and a lack of medical coverage.
-Incomes of Native Americans tend to be low, and unemployment rates are usually high.
-Past federal policies have continually been detrimental to tribal economies, but self-determination has provided tribes with the independence and sovereignty to combat a history of poverty.
- Approximately12% of all American Indians and Alaska Natives were found to be in fair or poor health in 2005.
-Native Americans report themselves as under “frequent mental stress”-20 percent more than other populations.
-Out of all races and ethnic groups, Native Americans have the highest rate of smoking. In 2008, about 32.2% of Native American adults smoked compared to a rate of 21.8% for white adults.
-The high prevalence of smoking is also present in the Native American youth, as 23.1% of the youth smoke.
-Native Americans had the highest rate of smoking during pregnancy at 17.8%.
-In 2002, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives were at a much higher risk for heavy drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol dependence compared to other minorities.
-Among tribes in Alaska, the rate of fetal alcohol syndrome, 5.6 every 1,000 births, is nearly three times higher than the non-Indians’ rate of 1.5 every 1,000 births.
-Overall, 11.7% of Native American and Alaskan Native deaths are alcohol-related, which includes traffic accidents, alcoholic liver disease, homicide, suicide, and falls.
Native Americans are more likely than other ethnic groups to report illicit drug abuse within the past year. Mexican drug-trafficking organizations are the main suppliers of illegal substances to reservations in Indian Country. Drug-trafficking organizations run by African-American, Asian, and Native American gangs and criminal groups also smuggle and supply on-reservation drug retailers with inventories of marijuana, ice methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
The most commonly abused drug on reservations is marijuana because of its ready availability. The number of Native Americans seeking help for marijuana addiction increased from 1,119 to 2,147 from 2003 to 2007. It is a potentially alarming statistic in the face of declining rates of reported marijuana use among 12-17 and 18-25 year-olds nationwide. There is significant correlation between Methamphetamine and Native Americans.
The source of these statistics come from the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_social_statistics_of_Native_Americans
No one is benefiting from this chaos. I highly recommend an episode of Stossel that brings up many of these stats and finds real solutions to the problems which plague modern Indian reservations. In U.S. reservations where Natives are allowed to own their own property, drug use, suicide, and almost all of the above problems don’t exist. I believe in hope and prosperity for the Native American and based upon the statistics, I cannot support the reservation system.
While the Liberals and NDP have a long history of giving loads of money to tribes, most of that goes to the Chieftains and hardly ever to the people who need it. I donâ€™t always agree with media personality and conservative commentator Ezra Levant, but on his show he profiled what is called the First Nations Millionaires Clubs. I highly recommend watching that segment for more information on where exactly your tax dollars are going.