"We're a nation of people who have survived the great holocaust of the past. We're still here, we're still at the table, and we're still demanding our rights."
Government budget cuts have caused funding to dwindle for residents of this reservation, leaving as many of 85% of them unemployed and creating large gaps in law enforcement, healthcare and education. The lack of money is driving many residents off the reservation in search of work, housing and security, and the community is preparing for further cutbacks. The image above describes all too eloquently the effect this is having on the community. They are fracturing, unable to keep their members together without substantial resources to sustain them.
What is the alternative? In a community consisting primarily of low-income families who rely on government aid, cuts like this are catastrophic. However, the seemingly unlikely prospect of the return of funding would still not provide a long-lasting solution. Low education rates and a high rate of alcoholism, perhaps due to the lack of job prospects, seem to stall progress before it begins.
I don't believe the answer is in monetary aid or in new trailers as suggested by this video. Government aid can instigate growth but inhibit progress, and is not guaranteed. Education reform could have a progressive impact on this community. The present must be addressed in light of the future, and not the past.
Watch Cutbacks on "The Rez."
My online brainstorm and sketchbook. Here's what I'm working on and what I'm inspired by.