Learn about Native Americans
In 1907, Susan La Fleshe Picotte, the first Native American woman doctor, wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Her letter described the health conditions and needs of her tribe, the Omahas. She began her letter with, "If you knew the conditions..."
Imagine how it would sadden Dr. Picotte to know that, in over 100 years, things have not changed.
Approximately 1.5 million Native Americans and Alaskan Natives live on designated reservations in the United States today. All but a few of these reservations are plagued with poverty, unemployment, homelessness, lack of medical care, and insufficient educational resources. Many experience historical trauma, discrimination and feelings of hopelessness.
There is pervasive hunger. Some children's only meals are those served while in school.
There is a shortage of housing and remotely located communities have grossly substandard health care. In fact, the Indian Health Care system is funded less than the Federal Prison System's health care. On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, there is shortage of 4,500 homes.
The Native American People and their culture have a lot to offer. Their spirituality, wisdom, sense of humor, importance of family and their awesome artistic talent are only part of what they have to offer us. Their culture is very healing and is needed by all cultures. See what gifts you are missing - gifts you can receive from these our First Americans.