Avery B. New Mexico

Native Americans Have A Voice

Do we, Native Americans, have the right of freedom of speech? If so, then why do we have an oil company trying to destroy our sacred land with a pipeline? Why do we have slow communications towards hospitals or police officers that we really need? Why are we being punished around for something we are fighting for to protect? There are so many people who are trying to take away what is ours.

Dear Future President, 

  We need more respected people who will come to our rescue, who will help us, not abandon us. We are dealing with lots of issues that others do not face in average life styles such as suicides, race, and our economy. Even though it doesn't seem like we have problems, our suicide rates are more than ever. It is said that "Native American have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnicity, and higher than the general population".

 In the community that I used to live in, the Navajo Reservation, we deal with housing problems, homeless citizens, and most of all, slow communications towards emergency medical services. It nearly takes them an hour or more to get the help we need. Some of our people are nearly suffering from their pain. Sometimes it doesn't feel like they are trying to help us at all, like we are being left behind. It's hard to see our own kind walking around, begging for food, seeing our kind living poor house conditions.

 In South Dakota, people are fighting for their land to not be destroyed. Many innocent citizens are being peppered sprayed and bitten by dogs but they still have the strength to not give up. These people are so dedicated to bring their belongs, set up camps, even bringing their livestock! They are doing this because of the "free speech reasons" and many Native Americans believe that rightfully owned by the Standing Rock Sioux under a nearly 150-year-old treaty.

  Most all of our population are in prisons. Is it because our color? Our ways of culture? Or how dress? Some are unexplained. The biggest problem we ever had are murder cases unsolved. The meaning equal rights is that everyone is the same. By everyone, I mean every race. The important question is that are we "equal" with everyone else? If so, why is that our murder cases have been looked at and put aside. About "45 unsolved murders and 11 other homicides that reservation officials said resulted in light prison sentences." This isn't right, not even close to "equal rights". We've dealt with so many problems but we are still standing and fighting for what is right.