Bringing Awareness to the Needs of Native Americans

by PammyMcB

Our Mission

We are a non-profit Christian group dedicated to bringing awareness to the needs of the indigenous people of the United States of America. Our goal is to help fulfill the needs of Native Americans by teaching them of the love and compassion of Jesus Christ and the Christian society. We will work on a holistic level to bring awareness of their poverty rates, education problems, health concerns, public safety problems, and environmental problems.

Poverty

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for your’s is the kingdom of God. ~ Luke 6:20

The percentage of American Natives living in poverty is higher than that of Anglo-Americans. The unemployment rate for the indigenous people of the United States is high and income levels are low.

According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Approximately one in four Native Hawaiian children is living below the poverty level.
  • Approximately 32% of American Indians and Native Alaskans live below the poverty level.
  • The unemployment rate for Native Alaskans is 14.29%.

Because of poverty, Native Americans have a higher risk of health concerns, both physical and mental. They have educational issues, including but not limited to the loss of their heritage. Native Americans have many public safety concerns. Poverty has also caused housing problems for Native Americans. All of the problems and concerns that the indigenous people of the United States face can be tied to poverty.

This website has been designed to help you understand more about American Natives and the problems that they face. Click on the links to the left to get to the required section. If what you need assistance which is not covered in this website, please contact us. Our contact information is also on the left side of the page.

Hunger

Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. ~ Luke 6:21

Poverty and hunger go hand-in-hand with one another. Many Native American children do not have enough to eat because their families do not have the money to buy nutritious food. Though they may qualify for some government assistance, it is often not enough to take care of this very basic need.

Native American Health Care

And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. ~ Matthew 8:2-3

Mental Health Needs for Native Americans

According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the suicide rate is for Native Americans is 1.5% higher than the national rate. Serious depressive disorders and substance abuse among the Native Elders are greater than those disorders among non-natives. Most Native elders lived during an era when they were not allowed to speak their Native language. They were not allowed to teach their children of their heritage. Native Elders were often the target of discrimination. They live with a distrust of the United States government. Substance abuse has always been acceptable in Native American culture. It is an essential part of their belief system.

Physical Health Needs for Native Americans

Only about ½ of Native Americans are offered healthcare through their employers. Those who are not, cannot afford healthcare and do not seek medical care for that reason. The rate of cancer in Native Elders is higher than in other ethnic groups. It has been speculated this problem has been caused by military testing on Native lands. The rate of illness in Native Women is higher than that of other ethnic groups. Many Native women are HIV positive. Because of their poverty rates, prostitution is a prevalent problem for native women. Most native women cannot afford proper healthcare, therefore they do not get treated for most illnesses.

Education

Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God. ~ Mark 10:14

Education is the answer to liberate Native Americans from many problems that they face. There is government assistance for Native American schools however, they disregard teaching the heritage of the Native American youths. This loss of heritage causes a loss of cultural identity. A loss of cultural identity can lead children to become depressed, abuse substances, and join youth gangs.

Heritage (Culture, History, & Language)

If we try to preserve the Native American culture, we can help to prevent these problems. These children need to be taught their Native language in their schools. According to the W. K. Kellog Foundation, Native American youths that are taught their Native language at school do better on achievement tests. They need to be taught their history. Most Native history is handed down by word of mouth. We need to get educated people to write down Native histories before they are lost forever.

Teaching children of where they come from and who their ancestors are can give them a better sense of cultural identity. This can help to keep them interested in school, thus decreasing the drop-out rate of Native American Youths. Another way that education can be beneficial to ending the poverty levels of Native Americans is to incorporate some of the cultural rituals in the classroom. Because it is important to preserve their cultures, the classroom can be a tool to teach the children what these rituals mean, and why these rituals are important. Many of the rituals include dancing. These can be taught in lieu of physical education classes, or in conjunction with physical education classes.

Other ways to educate Native American children is to teach them to become self-sufficient. We must teach them how to care for themselves properly. Native Americans must learn the importance of healthcare. They need to be taught the damaging effects of alcohol and drugs.

We need to stress the importance of a good education to these children. Hopefully, by letting Native American children know that we believe in them, they can begin to believe in themselves. This can help to lower their dropout rates. The more educated people living on Native lands, the lower the poverty rate will be.

November Is Native American Heritage Month
 
Public Safety

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. ~ Luke 6:27-28

According to the Native American Times, the federal government for the United States of America does not give the Native American communities enough assistance with law enforcement. The government has recently proposed to cut funding to Indian Country. Although national crime rates have gone down, violent crime rates have gone up on Native American lands.

Youth Gangs

Due to the recent loss of cultural identity, Native youths seek a sense of belonging and identity elsewhere. The youth gangs on reservations give these young Native Americans that sense of structure and belonging. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, approximately 75% of these gang members are males and 10% are females, both under the age of 18 years old. On 40 different reservations, 75 tribes have reported gang activities. 40% of youths 13-17 years of age fear they will not live into adulthood. Most of these youths were exposed to gangs in cities and / or detention facilities. After their return to the reservations, the gang problem has spread to many other youths.

Discrimination

Indigenous Americans do not have the same rights that the rest of the nation does. They do not have anyone to represent them in business. They do not have diplomats. This leads to the exploitation of the Native Americans. There are many discrimination related crimes that are committed against Native Americans because of their lack of rights.

Substance Abuse

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Native Americans have a higher rate of substance abuse than any other ethnic group in the United States. The rate of substance abuse among Native American youths between the ages of 12 to 17 is continually on the rise.

Crime Rates

Currently the crime rates in other areas are also on the rise. Native Americans are twice as likely to be victims of violent crimes as any other ethnic group in the United States. These crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Rape – approximately 90% of Native American rape victims were raped by individuals from other ethnic groups.
  • Murder
  • Assault
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Robbery, Theft, Larceny

Environmental Problems

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~ Job 12:7-10

Flooding and Erosion in Alaska

Flooding and erosion in Alaska is a major problem that must be addressed. Because many of the Native Alaskan villages are located on the coastlines or on the shores of rivers, the Natives have to consider relocating entire villages. This ever growing problem is partly due to global warming. Because of the global warming, the landscape of Alaska continues to change. Many Alaska Natives do not qualify for federal assistance to help preserve, protect, or save their villages.

Rural Development

Native Americans continue to ask for funds to help with the rural development of their reservation lands. If they were able to get funds for such development, they could lower their unemployment rate which is higher than the national average. With a lower unemployment rate, the poverty rate could become lower. This would increase the rate of self-sufficiency for Native Americans.

Housing

Though housing has recently approved on Native American land, many Natives still live in deplorable housing. Many of their homes are overcrowded, old, and shabby. Overcrowding is a serious problem that Native Americans face. A lot of the older homes have no plumbing. Affordable housing for Indigenous people of the U. S. is difficult to find. When they do find affordable housing, an entire family may end up living in a travel trailer or shack.

Military Hazards

The U.S. military is responsible for exposing Native American lands to toxins. Most military bombing ranges, and practice ranges are located near Native American Reservations. Some of the military testing areas are now abandoned. The abandoned testing areas contain unexploded munitions including those containing nerve gas.

How Can You Help

There are many different ways an individual such as your self can help Native Americans. Here are just a few examples:

Volunteer

For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother. ~ Mark 9:35

You can volunteer in a Big Brothers / Big Sisters program that specializes in indigenous youths. You can volunteer to tutor or teach at one of the reservations. You can volunteer to interview the tribal elders of their heritage and history in an effort to preserve the history of indigenous Americans. You can transcribe the interviews to give to the younger generations a written account. If you are not in an area close to Native Lands, you can volunteer with many of the various organizations that help Native Americans. Here are some examples.

Habitat World

Indians.org

Plan a Mission Trip

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. ~ Matthew 25:35-36

You can contact the various tribal councils and plan a mission trip to one of the reservations. You can also join a mission trip that has been planned by clicking on the following link:

Native American Ministries Directory

Donate

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for your’s is the kingdom of God. ~ Luke 6:20

There are many different things that you can donate to help Native Americans:

  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Toys
  • Money
  • Books
  • Bibles
  • Blankets
  • Furniture
  • Toiletries
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