To the editor — An article in your Oct. 3 edition pointed out the serious problems facing Native American tribes with the government shutdown.
It is time to address the dire circumstances that many of our Native Americans face daily. A full two-thirds of them belong to tribes locked in poverty. And, casinos aren’t the magic solution to most tribal members’ situation. Only 40 percent of America’s tribes have casinos (224 out of 562) and only 28 states allow tribal casinos. Poverty, health issues and unemployment face our first Americans on a daily basis.
Yet, you hear little about their plight. For some revealing facts, just Google Native American poverty and you will be shocked at what is happening on reservations. Churches and rescue groups travel to other countries to help impoverished people and seem to be unaware of the good they could do in their own backyard.
We pushed and shoved Native Americans further and further into isolated geographic areas that no one wanted. Tribal leaders across the country deal with very difficult circumstances daily, and it’s time for the rest of America to step up to the plate to see where these leaders could use some help.