Excellent article regarding alternatives to public school monopolies in poor places. Although the article is references African Americans, you could replace African American for Native American, and it would fit our reality perfect. We need alternatives to Government controlled schools. This includes “public” school districts and Tribally controlled private Tribal or Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Schools located on our reservations. Its not about the administrators, teachers, or even parents, its about the students. Their well being should come first. Government controlled schools on the reservation are failing our students. The path our of poverty is through education. Howard Fuller in the article states, “Education options in low income communities – charters, vouchers and tax credits for private schools – is the best hope for eliminating multigenerational poverty and the possibility of more tragedies like that of Michael Brown.” He speaks the truth. We need an “all the above” educational policy at the tribal and community level. We need competition in education and educational outcomes. If not, we continue to fail the current and future generations.
People are doing what people do best in hard times. They change. They diversify. They make lemonade out of lemons. Many people are becoming small time entrepreneurs, and that is a sign of a vibrant and dynamic economy. This story happens to be about some citizens in Los Angeles, but it really needs to be about why there is a lack of entrepreneurs on the various Indian reservations around the country. I am not talking about those reservations that have lucky geography and are blessed with a Casino. No, I am talking about the poorest of the poor places in this country. The surest way out of poverty, is to be an entrepreneur. You may not get riches being an entrepreneur, I am surely not rich, but you get control over your life, over your fate. Instead of being beholden to the Federal Government or some Tribal Government, Native entrepreneurs can be the captain of their own ships. This idea is not new. I did not think of it. But the one thing that I have noticed, is that the majority of the initiatives to help foster entrepreneurs on reservations are run by Tribal Governments. This has been a mistake and will continue to be a mistake. Tribal Government is not our friend. Tribal Government hampers development. Tribal communities need to band together and form their own Community Development Corporations, to foster community based entrepreneurs that will truly help our reservation based communities create jobs and wealth. The story below is one example how people, no matter the circumstances, will survive, will adapt, or they will starve.
This is my first post. So I will keep it short and sweet. This Blog, SmokeSignalz: Dispatches from Indian Country, is meant to be my thoughts and ideas about my life in Indian Country plus other random musings. I just turned 40 years old this past May, and so as I move into the best part of my life, I hope that I will faithfully log my ideas down for you to read and to interact with me and each other. Daniel
Believe me, I am a cat lover, ask my wife. We have four adult cats and seven new kittens, and they are a part of our family, and we love them. But cat shelters? I know there is a large population of abandoned cats and dogs in our cities and suburban areas. I do not want to minimize the situation out there. But society should try and solve the shelter needs of people first. I live in a place, the Wind River Indian Reservation, in Central Wyoming, where there are hundreds of people, literally without a permanent home. Many live on the streets, in motels, their vehicles, and mostly with extended family. At one time, I had 17 people living in my home. Resources should be raised and spent on people. Once every person, families with children, veterans; has a home, then we can start to look at innovative ways to shelter cats and other discarded animals. That is another topic for discussion, abandoned animals, especially on Indian Reservations….