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The issue: Should the federal government continue to provide the U.S.'s largely impoverished Native American reservations with f - Essay Example

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Name Student identification Course Institution Date (all above optional – if you need them) Topic Should the federal government continue to provide the U.S.'s largely impoverished Native American reservations with financial assistance? Or should the government instead pursue an alternative strategy, such as land privatization?…
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The issue: Should the federal government continue to provide the U.S.s largely impoverished Native American reservations with f
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Download file to see previous pages Teaching him to fish is to make him independent and in the true sense, to help him. This represents the dilemma of the Native American reservations, where individuals, families and tribes are supported by financial aid from the federal government, and have become so dependent on this aid that in many cases, the conditions of life on these reservations is untenable. Not only is the system of financial aid economically difficult to maintain, it is also not in the best interests of those communities. A proposal might be to stem the aid, and to allow individual communities, and even individuals, to be allowed to own the land they live on and hence make them responsible for their own sustenance. Self-governance in the political sense and more economic responsibility may very well be a solution. The United States Federal Government has since the 1800s been obligated to the Native American. In various treaties, agreements and contracts of exchange, traditionally Native American land was ceded by the tribal leaders to the governments of the day, so that the expansion of European influence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries could be as rapid and widespread as it was. The consistent promise in all of these exchanges was that the government would continue to protect the rights of the Native Americans in good faith and that the Native Americans would continue to be self-governing within their own spheres of influence. Theoretically, Native Americans today maintain that right to self government within the United States. It is, however, only on the established reservations that these rights are allowed. On reservations, tribes possess the right to form their own government; to enforce laws; to levy taxes; to license and regulate economic activities; even to exclude persons from tribal territories. The tribal governments are restricted only in the ways that states are restricted – in effect the reservation government structures are allowed the same rights as state government structures theoretically. In addition laws exist to prevent the individual states from interfering in the self-government of tribal lands. Politically it is simple for the Federal Government to claim that it is honoring its obligations, therefore. In the reality of day-to-day life, however, this apparent political will does not count for much. Historically, as noted, reservations were established to protect the right of Native Americans to self government. Currently, though, only about 800 000 native Americans continue to live on such reservations. The balance of people defining themselves as Native American – about 2.4 million – live in mainstream American society. Native Americans on reservations or trust land remain the poorest and least healthy in America, with high incidences of infant mortality, suicide and alcoholism. Approximately half of all Native Americans nationally live below the poverty line (Basset, 2008). The right to political self-government does not influence the reality of a population unable to sustain itself within the reservations, and living on the very edges of society outside the reservations. It could be argued that such conditions are the direct result of financial aid. The dependence created instills a lack of motivation and self-reliance in the individual. A sense of having to receive education, food and housing from the government because of historical obligations may ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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