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Old 02-03-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
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Article about Wind River Rez Crime

Here's a New York Times article about the crime rate on our rez. Not everything is 100% accurate, and things don't seem as bad as the article makes them out to be here.

Bad things do happen, as they do anywhere else...but where else could I live and not ever worry about locking my door?

The comments are interesting, not all hateful, like most online article comments made by non-natives that live close to reservations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/us...?_r=1&emc=eta1
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
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wow, i just had to sit and digest it. Marrisa's story, her parents omg. so sad. it is like reading a sampling from a paper around my rez.

it is hard to understand if you do not live in it, how you can feel a love for your home. why you want to stay there.

this is my home, that is all i can say. what am i supposed to do? turn my back on it? no.

this is an area that MD and i really differ. he was not raised on his rez nor is the Oneida rez as well scary as the one i come from.

when i was reading the artical, i was thinking,
you see the same things, the same plauges.
grandparents raising the babies, the parents out high, drunk, in jail, or dead.

two of my cousins are now on trial for the murder of thier friends. another tribal member, this boy they grew up with all thier lives. he was beaten, partialy decapitated, and burned.

drugs are killing us. we did not get here over night, and we will not recover from this over night.

i do not want to live anywhere else.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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I know the feeling!! I want to respond to the article and to each and every commenter, clearing some things up, and agreeing with a lot of the comments.

First off the "surge" in officers mentioned in the article was a joke. They did a lot of traffic stops, and never responded to calls individually. They would wait for 3 officers to get there (and mind you - these were park rangers, mostly) and then they would attempt to get a handle on the situation. There was a lot of harassment of motorists, but no breaking up of underage drinking parties, drug busts, or anything major. They were quick to think the worst of people and tried to pry invented charges out of any witnesses.

Another thing to clear up in the article is the 'fracking' that has possibly poisoned the water table...this is in an area 'reclaimed' from the reservation and inhabited mostly by non-Indians. The tribes still own the mineral rights, which is good, because it's a rich natural gas field. These pockets are very close to the surface, and some ranchers there have even hit gas pockets while drilling for water. There's youtube videos with them lighting tap water on fire, but even the State of Wyoming disagrees that the fracking caused the contamination. But the big controversy is between the non-natives living there and the drilling company - who provides many natives jobs, btw.

Not to say the water situation is good. Fort Washakie has an award winning water system, and the best water anywhere, as far as I'm concerned. But in most other communities, you need to haul drinking water. Some places you could boil it. Where I lived for awhile getting well water near some non-native ranches doing massive irrigation - YUCK!! Boiling it would not make it any better. It was slimy and corroded faucets and stained all sinks, toliets and tubs black!

Another misconception in the article is about the 'ghosts from the 1864 massacre' article. Maybe there are ghosts around, but the massacre happened in Colorado.

But yeah, I wouldn't live anywhere else either. This is Indian land, and a lot of the commenters are saying, "just move....do away with reservations." Geez, wasn't the rest of America enough? And it's bad enough a lot of non-natives own reservation land - you want to take the rest, too???

The big problems are alcohol, drugs, outside bad influences, tribal govt corruption, poor health care, poor educational systems, and lack of housing.

The casinos here are good things - they provide jobs - and for the whole community, non-natives included. This is kinda getting out of whack at one casino where they're hiring non-natives over tribal members, but hopefully this will be put in check.

There's a lot of employed people on the rez through tribal govt, schools, oil & gas, and the few other businesses here. Lots go to work in town, lots move away (and either work, go to school, or don't do so good there either).

There is a lot of dysfunctional families - but most are doing pretty good despite all of it. Even the grandparents and elders around nowadays were products of the boarding school system. How can you learn to be a functional family unit that way?

The tragedy of Marissa Spoonhunter breaks my heart. How a brother can do that to his sister is unfathomable, but we will never know the whole story. But for the record, the boy she was caught with was not related by blood, even step-cousin is pushing it. He had the misfortune to be my charming and good-looking stepson, and had recently turned 18. I don't think anybody gave him a good shaking on his birthday and told him that you keep hands off minors now!!! And who knows how this older guy intimidated him into helping him after the fact. Geez, he just saw him murder his own sister, why would he think that he wouldn't do the same thing to him?

Overall, I think articles about reservation need to be published. It opens a lot of people's eyes to the situation. Of course, the prejudiced people will blame the Indians, others will blame the govt, and a few will have ideas for improvement. Bucking the status quo is the hard part.

I'm even getting complacent with the situation - kids drinking, living with no water, no heat, poor health care. It's hard to keep fighting for every little thing.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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thankfuly with the casino money we have been able to build a clinic, dental and eye, as well. we have a beautiful adult living unit that conects to the clinic. all the rooms face the lake and have a kitchen and bathroom. that is where i am working right now, with the emergancy services.

there are two language classes a week here and people are going, that is a good thing. that is what will save us, what will bring us back. our culture is in our language. something that non indians do not understand.

i will post some articles about my rez tomorrow, heading off to shower, sketch some ideas for maileena's shawl and crash.
there was a federal gov't. invasion here.
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