In other parts of the country, today is a day of mourning. The Indigenous people of North America had their lives radically altered after 1492 (when Columbus sailed the ocean blue).
I spent much of yesterday watching Into the West, a miniseries that explores the rise of westward expansion and the subsequent Indian Wars. After watching the end parts, depicting life on reservations... I did some research
- Native American s living on Tribal land are 82% more likely to die from suicide.
- "A survey of death certificates over a four-year period showed that deaths among Indians due to alcohol are about four times as common as in the general US population and are often due to traffic collisions and liver disease with homicide, suicide, and falls also contributing."
- American Indians are 20% more likely to have heart disease than other Americans and to die from it at a younger age (American Heart Association, per Indian Health Service, 2001). American Indians are 600% more likely to die from heart disease than other Americans, 226% more likely to die from diabetes, and 600% more likely to die from tuberculosis (2006, Indian Health Disparities). Disparities related to rates of cancer and cancer treatment are also higher than for any other Americans (2005, Native People for Cancer Control).
And on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Near Wounded Knee)
- As of 2011, population estimates of the reservation range from 28,000 to 40,000. Numerous enrolled members of the tribe live off the reservation.
- 80% of residents are unemployed (versus 10% of the rest of the country);
- 49% of the residents live below the Federal poverty level (61% under the age of 18);
- Per capita income in Shannon County is $6,286;
- The Infant Mortality rate is 5 times higher than the national average;
- Native American amputation rates due to diabetes is 3 to 4 times higher than the national average;
- Death rate due to diabetes is 3 times higher than the national average; and
- Life Expectancy in 2007 was estimated to be 48 for males and 52 for females
It's devastating problem... and I don't know how it can be resolved....
I'm going to go be depressed... and eat some chocolate now.