ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Television & TV Shows

The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Native Americans and Mainstream Media

Updated on September 20, 2014
Chief Sharon Bryant - First Woman Chief of the Monacan Indian Nation
Chief Sharon Bryant - First Woman Chief of the Monacan Indian Nation | Source

The Rant: A Monday Morning View is a series about things that just get under my skin and won’t leave me alone. I have put this one off for a long time because I felt that writing about Native Americans in this series might have potentially offend some other cultures. So, let’s get my apologies and explanation out of the way now.

My Apologies

To anyone who has immigrated to this country, I want to apologize now for anything I might say here that hurts your feelings or offends you. I want you to know that I respect you for choosing to make a life in a country where you have more opportunity than in your home country. I am honored that you chose my country to raise your children or to start your business. You bring color and culture and experience to my country. I am genuinely happy that you are here and my life is richer for having friends from many countries around the world.

Mainstream Media and Native Americans? Really?

My problem is that immigrants and the dominant white society get all the media and government attention while the true Native Americans, those that were here first, get ignored. It bothers me that there are so many social and economic struggles in Indian Country in the United States but mainstream media turns a blind eye. A quick survey this morning of the major news outlets proved my point.

The proof in black and white

You can do your own searches and find the same shameful results as I did. News from Indian Country doesn't make headlines. It doesn't make the front page of any major news outlet. Occasionally you can find a story if your search the entire site but they are rarely the stories that tell the real story of the racism and oppression that still exists for Native Americans in the United States. And you will certainly never see the stories of the successes achieved through the determination of our First People. We are a society that only enjoys bad news and though there is plenty of that in Indian Country, it doesn't make headlines. I guess it doesn't sell news and so it isn't newsworthy.

Check out these news outlets and see for yourself.

  • CNN: 100+ stories on the main web page
  • MSNBC: 35+ stories on the main web page
  • Fox News: 90+ stories on the main web page
  • ABC News: 100+ stories on the main web page

How many stories did you find about the First People of the United States on these sites?

Does anyone else think there is something wrong here? Can you do this little experiment and still wonder why Native Americans feel like the forgotten race?

Native News Outlets

Would you like to know what is really going on in Indian Country? It's not a secret. There are plenty of Native American news outlets if you know where to find them. So why doesn't mainstream media follow them and report the news? It's a good question, isn't it?

Now, let’s look at some of the resources for getting news from the Native American community. Bookmark them or add them to your Favorites list. You just might be surprised at how much is going on and some of it is remarkable considering how hard the dominant society has tried to keep it in the closet.

This is only a sampling. Many tribal nations and governments have their own websites where current news can be found. The news from Indian country is available. So why doesn’t it get reported in the mainstream outlets? Out of sight, out of mind? Is this country so ashamed of it’s history of stealing land and identities from the American Indian that it refuses to acknowledge their presence in our current structure? One has to wonder.

What the media doesn't tell you

  • 5.2 million people in the United States identified as American Indian and Alaska Native
  • Incidence of diabetes among Native Americans is 2.6 times the national average.
  • Alcohol addiction among Native Americans is 3 times the national average. 20% of all Native American deaths are alcohol related, compared to 5% of the general population.
  • Native Americans make up only 2% of the country’s population yet they make up 8% of the homeless population.
  • The average life expectancy for Native Americans is 65 years. This is 8 years less than the average population.
  • Native Americans experience the same limitations in daily living at age 45 as the dominant society does at age 65.
  • Infant mortality rates among Native Americans is 60% higher than the dominant society.


Lakota Sioux children - the Future Generations
Lakota Sioux children - the Future Generations | Source

The United States has a debt to be repaid

I could go on, but I think you can see that the United States has neglected its responsibility to its First People. This country sends billions of dollars around the world to help with hunger and medicine while Native Americans are dying early deaths and suffering debilitating illness. Substandard health care is provided by the US government agency under the title of Indian Health Services (IHS). The United States opens its arms to immigrants from all over the world and encourages them to become citizens. Meanwhile, the country turns it’s back on its oldest and most dedicated citizens, the Native American.

Why do I say they are brave? For many reasons, not the least of which is their service to this country. Did you know that Native Americans have the highest record of military service per capita than any other ethnic group in America? 90% of the Native American soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War were volunteers. It’s true. They were not drafted, they volunteered.

Bravery didn't end with the wars

No article about military service can be written without mentioning the brave Navajo soldiers who served during World War II. These brave warriors created a secret code from their Native language so that the military could communicate without the enemy intercepting the messages. The Navajo Code Talkers are heroes.


Bravery didn't stop with the soldiers. We cannot overlook the the average folks, the ones who got pushed onto reservations and continue to live in squalor. They live in remote areas where one or two small grocery stores serve a population covering approximately 3500 square miles; where the average per capita income is $6,295 and the unemployment rate is 80%. But we don’t want to talk about that do we? Of course not. We don’t have time because we’ve got a truck to load to send food to some third world country. Hello America. Our First People are living here in the United States in conditions worse than many of those third world countries.

Ballad of Ira Hayes

Robbie Robertson - Show Down at Big Sky

The problems in Indian Country are not new and they will not be fixed quickly, even if all of us cared. It will take time and diligence and…media coverage. There is a lot of truth to the old adage of “out of sight, out of mind”. Until the media starts including Native Americans in the regular news cycle, they will continue to be the forgotten ones.

But, it’s not all bad. There are some remarkable Native People who have had great achievement and made significant contributions to this country. There is Ira Hayes, a Pima who helped raise the flag at Iwo Jima, Jim Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Olympian, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Cheyenne and United States Senator, Robbie Robertson, a Mohawk and rocking musician, Billy Mills, a Sioux and Olympic Gold Medal runner. There is N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa and Cherokee) and a poet, Wes Studi (Cherokee) and an actor, Paula Gunn-Allen (Pueblo Sioux) and a writer and critic, and Graham Greene (Onieda) and an actor. This list doesn’t scratch the surface but I doubt you’ve heard of most of them. Why, because the media doesn’t cover them.

Complaining without offering a solution is futile

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I never like to complain without offering a solution, so here I go.

There is always something we can do to create change. If you care about the First People of America, the true Native Americans, then add Native American news to your Google searches once in a while. Read about what is happening in Indian Country and then… (drum roll please), email the story to the major news outlets. That’s one thing you can do.

Another solution is to contact your local newspaper and ask why they don’t cover Native American news. There are more than 14 states in the U.S with Native American populations of over 100,000 people. There are over 500 federally recognized Indian Nations in this cuontry and hundreds more that are recognized by State governments. Surely, they can find something to report, don’t you think?

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda, Great hub! Perhaps, the idea of not covering the Native American news is the old adage, "Outta sight, Outta mind." If you don't cover them, you don't have to be reminded how badly they continue to be treated. Plus, there's no international "greed" benefit in the government assisting them in any way, so why would they even consider taking care of their own? It's the same old story with the government, only do what other nations will see, instead of taking care of our own. Doesn't make it right. Just the way they operate. Great Job!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    These late afternoon hubs run the risk of me missing them. Glad I was still on to catch this one.

    I'm curious why you are apologizing. I don't much care if my rants annoy people; in truth, there are times I hope they do get annoyed; at least then I know they are paying attention. :)

    You know how I feel about this subject. Great job as always, and if you made just one person more aware then it was well-worth annoying ten others. Can you tell I grew up during the 60's?

    hugs my friend,

    bill

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Rich. You got it, didn't you? lol That was exactly my point, out of sight, out of mind.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Bill! Today has been a mess. I can't find my glasses. They were on top of my head yesterday while I watched the football game and now they are nowhere to be found. I am as blind as a bat without them. :-) Can see without them and can't see well enough to find them. Ain't that a situation? Anyway, I apologize because I am sensitive to those who immigrate here. I do not want them to feel that I resent the attention immigrants get. I just want Native people to get equal treatment. Isn't that a novel idea? Otherwise, I don't care. I've been taught that if you aren't making waves, you're not swimming. If someone isn't mad at you, you aren't doing anything. So there.

    Sorry I'm late again. Does "Indian time" work as an excuse?

    Hugs right back.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    We share this passion for righting such a huge wrong that has been going on long before we were the United States of America.

    I send a special thank you for mentioning the brave and heartbreaking symbol Ira Hayes from WWII flag raiser who was a prime example of our country using him up until they finally used him up for good.

    From one proud Native American to another, I thank you.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shining, I have been in love with Ira Hayes since I was a kid and have been waiting for a chance to shine the light on him. This hub has been festering for a while and I am so glad to finally have it written. I want to scream sometimes at how blind this country is to it's Indian People. Thank you for sharing my passion.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Thank you so much for raising our awareness about this. May I offer one piece from my repartee: bringing more people in direct contact with native Americans (as opposed to pictures). The opportunities are there, with turning people into "circus performers". The desired goal is a "hand shake".

  • LaThing profile image

    LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

    Great hub, and yes, you did make me more aware to all this than I was before. And to Billy, she is a nice, kindhearted person, so she apologizes ahead of time :) I am not saying that you are not, Billy! LOL

    Linda, what you have written here is the truth..... and I hope people will give some attention to it.

    Voting up and everything......

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH, that is great advice and I will put it to use. Thanks so much!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks so much LaThing. :-)

  • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

    Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

    Great, great hub! Thank you so much for bringing this issue to the forefront. American Indians have been disrespected far too long. While man may be forgetful, God doesn't forget.

    Excellent!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Linda.....Your story is powerful...and I have read the hubs you showcase here. I am aware of the unpleasant facts you raise, in terms of the Native American issues and their seemingly "invisible" existence. I applaud you for bringing this to your reader's attention.

    I do, however, want to share a little about "Native American" reality, in my neck of the woods.....A large portion of WNY, is N.A. Reservation land, with 3 major reservations within 30 to 40 miles of the town in which I live.

    Due to Casinos, Gas Stations and deli-type stores ...selling tax-free gas, cigarettes and other items, construction companies & iron workers, the N.A population THRIVES. I speak of the Iroquois Nation, largely Seneca Tribe. They have their own "everything"......businesses, companies, huge, lavish Sports Arena, Medical Facilities, where you will find the area's Top Notch physicians and medical staff, Housing, Justice System....(Peace-Makers Court).....and every enrolled Seneca (matriarch system) receives their guaranteed "annuities" from the incomes yielded by all N.A. run businesses.....This amount varies from time to time, of course, but currently amounts to $12,000 (free money, annually) sent directly to each and every enrolled Seneca, quarterly. Also, due to the massive availability of "jobs"....there is little, if any unemployment.

    They, in fact, have their own newspaper, radio stations and government facility...complete with every branch that any off-reservation Town Hall has. The N.A. youth, who attend our local schools have N.A. programs with special incentives & recognitions within our schools. They are some of our most prized athletes, academically-graced students. Not to mention that they are extremely well-cared for, fashionably-dressed, youngsters, who drive to school in their shiny, NEW, expensive vehicles.......My 22 year old granddaughter dated a 100% N.A. boy for 3 years and was lavished with gifts from him constantly. He comes from a family of 7 children, who all excel in Sports and are basically idolized by their peers and the communities in general.

    I was married to a N.A. for 14 years. We have 2 adult sons. I am not a stranger to these people nor am I "repeating" things I don't actually know.

    I merely wanted to present a positive story in this vein. The fact is, the Native Americans, HERE, did this THEMSELVES. or, in other words, no thanks to the white man. There simply is no poverty nor lack of anything. BTW....our local newspapers....are guaranteed to have N.A. news, stories, etc every day. N.A.s make up a huge portion of our overall population. Their voice is heard...loudly, clearly and daily. Personally, this makes me proud and happy. In view of what seems to be the issues elsewhere (your hub) I can't help but be very curious and concerned as to "why" this is. Thank you Linda......I truly appreciate the education.....I had to chuckle at your reference to "Indian time,"....it's a true fact! UP+++

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dexter, you have no idea how glad I am that you visited and left your simple but honest comment. It really is that simple, isn't it?

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Paula! I had to laugh when I read your great comment. I have a hub planned about the success of some tribes (the Seneca, the Pequot, The Chickasaw, etc) as a result of self governance and gamng. When I wrote this hub, I half-way dreaded that someone would raise the issue of casinos in a negative way. Many white people resent gaming on reservations you know. When I read your comment, I wanted to holler "hallelujah".

    You are absolutely right. There is a ton of great news coming out of Indian country, wonderful success stories and beautiful humantarian efforts, bright Native American minds returning to reservations to work for their people. My point is that national news media doesn't report on anything from Indian country. We send journalist all around the world (Sudan for example) to report on hunger when kids are starving in South Dakota.

    White government could learn a lot from Native Americans who know how to start and run a business and to share the wealth. That's a familiar phrase, isn't it?

    So yes, your point is well received. Stay tuned for the hub where I will rant on that one too. :-)

  • btrbell profile image

    Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

    First, thank you for this great informative hub. I have to admit that up until several years ago, I was mostly familiar with Native Americans through the story of Thanksgiving (which we all know is not all that!) I did live grow up in the Chicago, Illinois area where all the towns, cities and streets were named after tribes or NA words, yet I don't think I ever met any NA people there. I have been in Arizona for 4 years now and have to come to know and respect Native Americans. It' s not quite as Paula describes it but many are thriving here. I have been fortunate to make the acquaintance of several families and am learning so much. Thank you for your rant, it is warranted both in the ignorance and, even in a place like ours, the the bigotry. UP++++

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Glad to hear all of this. After reading your hub and leaving my comment...I had to ask myself why I haven't written a hub on OUR N.A communities........so, after you write yours.....you won't mind if I write one as well? Their "success" is quite a huge story, that can handle some publicity.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Randi! Thanks for being here today. Indians, like all ethnic groups, run the gamut between hopelessness and great success. What they do not share with other ethnic groups is mainstream media attention. The US is good at not talking about things that would force them to say "I'm sorry" or "we made a mistake". I hope to contribute to the process of changing that.

    Now that you are in Arizona, you have a wonderful opportunity to learn. There are major issues with the Native American groups there, such as the land dispute between the Navajo and the Hopi involving the mining industry. If you are interested in getting involved with an awesome charity, I highly recommend the Adopt-A-Native-Elder program. They provide life-sustaining help to the Navajo elders and traditional wevers in the aresof Big Mountain, Teesto, etc. It is a well established organization that manages it's resources well and respects the cultural ways of the People.

    Thanks for reading and for the vote up.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Paula, go for it. Don't wait on me. We can never talk about this enough and there is room for all of us. I write because I can and if I have inspired you to write about the NA community, then I have done a good thing. I can't wait to read it!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    I am so glad you wrote this hub as I agree. There was an article in our newspaper about the stolen carvings, which is just heart breaking. I wrote a hub quite some time ago when one of the last code talkers of WWII died. They were an extremely important aspect regarding our victory of that war. I feel so bad for the Indians as they face so many problems. Voted up and shared.

  • btrbell profile image

    Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

    Thank you for theinformation. I will definitely check it out. It jhas been an eye opening experience here in AZ, one I wouldn't trade away!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Pam! Thanks for the nice comment. Keep on writing lady. We need your voice.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    This is a great and timely Hub! There are several reservations here in Oregon (and Washington too). All casinos in the state of Oregon are run by different tribes, and we just defeated a ballot measure that would have allowed some non-tribal people to open a huge casino near Portland (our largest city). That would have hurt the tribal casinos a lot since they are not allowed in Portland. It was a bad idea for a number of reasons, but that was the first thing I thought of when it was put on the ballot.

    Oh, don't forget Sherman Alexie, a great native-American poet and fiction writer. His life has been interesting to say the least, and one of his stories was made into a favorite movie of mine, Smoke Signals, a story about life on the Res.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    X - hi! I love Sherman Alexie too. I started to include him but for the sake of space, I could not list all my folks. Smoke Signals is one of my favorites too, as is Powwow Highway. Congratulations on the citizens in Oregon, defeating the measure on gaming. Yeah! There are some amazing people in Indian Country and rarely do they get any attention. Most don't care as long as their People are doing well. But, they still deserve the recognition.

    I appreciate your commenting and sharing good news!

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA

    This well-done article is excellent and hits close to home. I am one quarter Native American, but know almost nothing about my grandmother, not even the tribe I am descended from. I never met her, no one would ever mention her name, and it bothers me to this day, and I am almost 60. My father, her son, refused to speak of her and my mom (Italian) knew very little about her, too.

    I know she was from somewhere in N.Y, she was supposedly very beautiful and that my grandfather had to buy off some city officials to change her birth records so that they could legally marry. By the time I came along, she had divorced from my grandfather.

    Gaming on reservations has helped some tribes greatly, but severe poverty still exists on most reservations. I know history and I know what we, as a country, have done to the Native American people. I also know what we still continue to do, or not to do, for our Native Americans.

    Scott Brown offended me deeply when he attacked Elizabeth Warren's claim that she had Native American roots. His suggestion, to "just look at her", made me furious, because as someone who is one quarter Native American, one quarter German and one half Italian- I am truly one of the whitest people in America. I have extremely fair skin, green eyes and my hair? Let me just say, as a child I was a toe-head and now that I am older, my hair is that very same childhood color.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    Good hub, Linda. And I loved Paula's comments. I'm not sure about the federally recognized Native Americans in Arkansas, but I know you can't swing a cat without hitting one of us who is not government-sanctioned. I blame a lot of Native American problems on who’s who on the fed’s books. The government is too concerned that people not under the tribal umbrella might lay claim to some “Indian rights. We have several NA casinos in western Arkansas, and they are bringing in a lot of money. I think that creates the “haves” and the “have nots” of NAs in certain parts of the country.

    Another thing that needs to be brought out about Native Americans: They are some of the most spiritual people in the world, or at least they were until they were beaten down by Christian missionaries and their schools. But their religion is put down as pagan superstition.

    Another BIG discrimination is the medical community. Nothing is ever written of genetic diseases of Native Americans, like sickle cell is to African-Americans or celiac is to Jews. As a result, most doctors are ignorant of genetic diseases of Native Americans. NAs have a propensity to be allergic to chlorophyll and dairy, for one thing. I developed gall stones when I was in elementary school, and finally gave in and had surgery in my early 20s. One doctor asked me if I had Native American blood. When I told him yes, he said that “teenage Indian girls” had the highest incidence of gall bladder disease in the world.

    By the way, I have been in love with Graham Greene for years! Voted you up ++. Please rant on!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jillian, yours is an all too familiar story. Many in the generation you speak of married Indians but were never able to speak of it. For many, who want to know their heritage, the paper trail ended with those marriages as most were, as you said, had their birth records modified or, they lied on the Census to protect their families. The issue of what an Indian looks like is one of my pet peeves. I will write about that one soon. :-) I was a tow-headed blonde as a child too but age took care of that. At 57, I get more brunette with each passing year. No grey ones yet though. lol My skin loves the sun and I turn berry brown with very little exposure. Without it, I have a natural medium complexion but...I sure look like a white lady. That whole fiasco with Scott Brown made me ill.

    Thank you for reading this and sharing your story with me. Keep chasing those roots. I've been chasing mine for over 30 years

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MizB! Howdy! I don't even want to talk about BIA cards and why Indians are the only US born group that has to carry an ethnic id to prove who they are. It makes me crazy. As for religion, I agree. However, I don't like generalizations so to clarify, Indians are like any other race of people. Some are spiritual and some are not. The principles of their traditional spirituality is beautiful and simple. The dominant society has tried to lay claim to it by wearing feathers and hanging dream catchers on their walls but without the language and stories and ceremonies, it is not much more than a hobby. I strongly detest white people dressing up like Indians and dancing at Powwows on weekends, then putting their polo shirt back on on Monday and going to work in corporate America acting like a white man on Monday. A hub for another day.

    Genetic predisposition to illness is no joke. The DNA of Native People is very different but medicine chooses to overlook it. More money for the pharmaceutical industry, I guess.

    I hare your affection for Graham Greene. :-) Thanks for a great comment today.

  • Claire Fenton profile image

    Claire Fenton 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

    Really insightful article, Linda- enjoyed reading. This is definitely something I'd never realized and I appreciate you bringing it to our attention. I also tweeted this for you (@cfentononline) to my local news outlets.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Claire, hello! Welcome to hubpages. You're going to love it here. Thank you for reading my hub and for forwarding it via twitter. I am still twitter dumb, even though I have an account. That was very kind of you. With that attitude, you will be very successful here on hubpages if you are patient. I look forward to getting to know you better.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

    lrc7815 -- marvelous Hub and thank you so very much. I have Comanche heritage but like many others -- records were destroyed and my great, great grandfather (according to my dad - now deceased also) was called a "squaw man" which is highly insulting as you know. Strangely enough I "looked like an Indian" as a child as pictures will attest. My Indian heritage was the bain of my maternal grandmother's existence and she nearly scrubbed me to death -- guess she thought she could wash my color away? In any event, I've written for some time on the "Indian" subject on Hubpages -- including masquerading white men (as were mentioned in this Hub) and also about the tragic murder of the Lakota/Sioux White Buffalo Calf. By the way, the white man has decided the calf was not murdered (although it was skinned, too) but died of a cattle disease. Totally enjoyed your rant, my dear, and please -- rant on! Best/Sis

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Angela, your words make me very happy. I have enjoyed some of your hubs on the subject and felt the love and respect you have for your heritage. This genre is my passion but I feel such responsibility for writing about it well that I haven't written about it nearly enough. With such a warm reception as this one received though, I am encouraged to do more. Thank you so much for sharing my love and for the support.

  • profile image

    SilverGenes 4 years ago

    This is an excellent hub, Linda! The timing couldn't be better since I was asking myself this very question the other day while reading First Nations news. Very little hits the mainstream. In Canada, there is a lot of prejudice and misunderstanding among different cultures and it reminds me of a kindergarten class when social skills are not yet developed. No, children are kinder. Perhaps we should learn from them.

    One woman stands out for me in particular. She was a Chief and the tribe were in the middle of land claim disputes when she fell ill. She shared a hospital room with me. During this time, she experienced a devastating personal tragedy but she still led others, even through her grief. She gave me a great gift in the middle of the night - an eagle feather that had been bound by her grandmother in leather and beads. It has kept my spirit high in the worst of times and as she said, one day I will pass it on to another. What kind of society ignores such strength, compassion, and wisdom? I'm in agreement with billybuc - who cares if someone is annoyed at your rant. Rant on and raise awareness!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Wow SilverGenes. That is quite a story. Your hospital roommate must have been a good Chief to her people as it is their job to put the People first. it is a tough job. There is a misconception about Chiefs among the dominant society. Most think the Chief has all the power but nothing is further from the truth. The gift of the feather is amazing and I am sure it is a cherished gift. That is the beauty of Native People, they realize that we do not own things. We borrow them, use them, and then we are to return them or pass them on. The Constitution of the United States was founded on the principles of the Iroquois Confederacy and yet our country (and politicians) seem to have ignored all that was embraced in that document.

    I am so happy that you read my rant and shared your story today. It was just what I needed. :-)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    You know what, Linda, I appreciate how pissed off you and Bill get about what's going on in the world. I may be considered an ostrich because I refuse, absolutely refuse to watch the news. I know what's going on in the world and I choose to ostrasize myself from the global behavior. I live my life looking for the good and govern myself to offer what I have to those who have not.

    Living life with what you have to give, relieves us of the stress of what the world doesn't have. I cannot live my life in stress over what I cannot fix. But I can fix one person at a time through my attitude and positive nature. One person at a time. As you can and what comes from the heart. I can't climb a mountain, but I can climb a hill and pass on the baton.....

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, we all have our place in this world and our work to do. If we were all the same, nothing would be accomplished. I am blessed not to let the woes of the world bring me down. Instead, they motivate me to push harder. That's my destiny. I don't expect anyone to be like me. You do your thing, I do mine, we both make a difference and that's what matters.

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

    Linda, thank you for this. You do not need to apologize for speaking the truth, and anyone who is offended by the truth will never know the truth.

    You will never know how much I appreciate this article, and the information you share within.

    Thumbs up, UAI and shared, will pin to Amazing HubPages and will share. I will also bookmark this to read over and over again.

    The 1st picture you have looks like my Great Grandmother.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shyron, thank you so much for the visit and the generous compliments. This one is a subject that I am very passionate about and have been disappointed that the article did not get very much attention. Notice that I did not say I was surprised, only disappointed. The dominant society doesn't want to deal with, hear about, or correct the injustice of the past or present. I am so happy that someone found this hub today and understood it. Thank you!

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

    Linda, you are welcome, it is a long story as to why I understand it.

    Someday it will be told.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    This was an informative and interesting read. You've brought out questions that deserve to be answered. It is sad that Native Americans do not get more positive attention, recognition for achievements, better health care and an equal share of coverage for newsworthy events that seem to go unnoticed by the media who seem to focus on things such as sports, weather and celebrities.

    My grandparents immigrated to this country and were treated like second class citizens, paid half of the going wage for equal jobs and worked as children in dangerous jobs. Still they suffered far less than the tribulations of the Native Americans.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Peg, thank you for taking time to read my rant. This is a real passion of mine and I felt it was time to release some of my frustration. Thank you for understanding. You mention that your grandparents were immigrants. In truth, the only people here who aren't immigrants are Native Americans. Still, many (depending on their country of origin) were and are still treated as second class. It's so unfair.

  • Angela Blair profile image

    Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

    Today, in re-reading some of my favorite Hubs -- I came across this one again and still find it stellar. In my musings I remembered the old joke about the government/white man speaking to an Indian. He said, "Hello there. . . I'm your government and I'm here to help you!" How ironic, huh? Best/Sis

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Angela Blair (Sis), you have made my day. The greatest compliment (in my opinion) a writer can receive is to have a reader return to re-read their work. I am walking on clouds because of you. You are such a wonderful writer. It makes your return to this hub even more special. THANK YOU!

  • Sami Hanson profile image

    Sami 3 years ago from Kansas

    Amazing. I am glad to see someone else say the things that many people refuse to. I live in Lawrence, Kansas, which stands the first "Reform School" that Native Americans were shoved into as children. Stolen away from their tribes, their parents, and forced into "White" culture. Of course it is no longer a reform school, but now it is Haskall University--- free education for Native Americans. Child graveyards are scattered along the campus, Indian ghost children have been sighted in different buildings--- it just holds many negative memories for the culture.

    I have had neighbors who are from different Native American tribes throughout the country, and I have gotten to learn about their history, their backgrounds, etc. You covered many of the key hardships that Native Americans face today. Also important to note is that the teenage suicide rate of Native American teens is higher than for all other teenage American populations. It's saddening and disgusting how these people have been treated.

    Thank you for the links. I have bookmarked them and plan on keeping up with those outlets.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sami, you are well informed and I am so glad you left a comment here about the teen suicide rate. I believe the new statistic is that teen suicide among Native youth is 4 times higher than any other ethnic group. Thanks so, so much.

Click to Rate This Article