Published December 28, 2018
There are 573 federally recognized Tribes and about 300 other Tribal communities that remain terminated or unrecognized by the federal government. Indian gaming has provided the ability for a few Tribes to make a difference to their communities. The majority of Tribes however, utilize gaming as work programs. Indian gaming is heavily regulated (more so than commercial gaming) and has not met the need for economic development for the majority of Tribal communities. Indian Country is still working to build capacity to support their citizens and implement programs that support cultural sovereignty – the things that make us who we are as unique and diverse cultures.
The Association on American Indian Affairs supports capacity building by providing training and technical assistance, and advocating for better outcomes from federal and state programs. The Association needs your help to address the statistics:
✩ The performance of students in Bureau of Indian Education schools is consistently below other public-school students, including other Indian students. However, school performance among Native youth is positively influenced by local knowledge, language and culture as well as community involvement.
✩ Native youth are more likely to be arrested and referred to courts and are four times as likely as white youth to be detained. However, culturally appropriate alternatives to detention can decrease recidivism and benefits the community.
✩ Indian families were two times more likely to be investigated by state child welfare workers and four times more likely to have their children removed and placed in foster care than their white counterparts, though the numbers of abuse and neglect are the same as those of white families. However, where the Indian Child Welfare Act is implemented in partnerships between states and Tribes, such discrimination is not found.
✩ There are more than 180,000 ancestral burial remains still in museums and federal agencies, and thousands more in foreign museums and in private hands. Native American sacred and cultural patrimony is still sold in domestic and foreign auctions, though such items have been looted and stolen. However, Native Americans continue to work together and with AAIA to bring them home, and continue their prayers and ceremonies to support the health and welfare of their communities and the world.
✩ The Trump administration has diminished protections for sacred lands, such as Bears Ears National Monument, and allowed gas and oil pipelines to continue without proper consultation with Tribes. However, AAIA and its partners continue to stand up and fight these efforts to diminish the health and sanctity of the lands that will sustain us, and the generations after us.
We still have a lot of work to do – but there is hope! The Association on American Indian Affairs will continue our grassroots efforts to protect sovereignty, preserve culture, educate youth and build capacity! Please make your end of the year commitment to AAIA so that we can continue these important efforts for our communities.
Thank you for your continued commitment to Indian Country!