Rights and Fairness Among Native American Tribes – We Are Not There Yet

Sarah Hays


         In today’s world, culture and people are what make America. Each family celebrates different holidays in different ways, and has their own culture that they express in their own way. Beginning from the moment education begins, people start determining their future. If a young child gets a poor education, then they have a lower chance of getting a stable job. Native American tribes all over America are struggling because Native American tribes currently hold the lowest employment rate in the United States, creating a struggle in affording a stable home.

         Roughly only one-third of men in Native American reservations are employed year-round. This is a lot less than non-Native Americans, and anyone in Native American tribes deserve the same opportunities as anyone else. Not only do Native Americans hold the lowest employment rate, they also hold the lowest rate of high school graduates, with only 57% graduating. Not having a high school diploma strongly limits the career opportunities for anyone. Most Native Americans depend on welfare and other subsistence programs, most likely due to a lack of education.

         The median income for Native Americans, according to the 2000 census, is $35,000. Compared to $54,698, the median income for American families, it is easy to see the gap between Native American’s income and the income of non-Native Americans. Although, they are steadily reaching higher incomes, correlating with higher education. 92% of Native American children attend school today, a very high amount. The higher education most likely is linked to a higher income, which explains why Native American’s incomes are increasing.

          A healthy lifestyle is something that most people strive for. It is hard to maintain, and involves several different aspects. Some people define health by a number on a scale, others define health as a feeling of happiness, and many other people have other definitions of health that vary.

         A healthy individual will have two main things: a healthy body and a healthy mind. In the past, Native Americans had a shorter life span than they do today. Although, Native Americans struggle with adjusting to the Western lifestyle in America, which is a lifestyle that has healthcare and hospitals. The switch has caused the health status of Native Americans to drastically change for the worse. Older Native Americans are 173% more likely to suffer from diabetes, and 44.3% more likely to suffer from asthma.

         Overall, Native American tribes have gone through countless struggles, and still are today. But they are also overcoming many obstacles as well. The strength they have gained from these struggles has led them to who they are today: a family with a rich culture, and a hardworking strength. They are still struggling today, but are reaching peace. Although, Native American tribes deserve the opportunities of anyone else and to flourish with their own style and culture.