There have been books written on it, movies made about it, and movements to encourage change, yet America’s deepest scar still hasn’t healed. Native Americans still live in 3rd world conditions on reservations. There are so many struggles they encounter every day, but it’s just not disease, alcohol, drugs, suicide, crime, & poverty that causes pain - it’s an overall learned helplessness that says people on the reservation are inferior. Most people outside the reservation either don’t care or don’t know how awful it is because it doesn’t affect them directly. Politicians and government leaders have no solutions and continue to throw billions upon billions and get zero results. Can a small group of people who genuinely care actually change the conditions of the Fort Peck reservation and beyond?
The real question for all of us is what are we willing to tolerate? Once you are aware of a problem, there is an inferred responsibility to help with the solution; especially when it comes to the kids, who didn’t ask to be placed in these wretched conditions. If you knew of a neighborhood kid that was going hungry, would you keep your mouth shut and say, “it’s not my problem,” or would you get some food to this kid. Real easy, right?
How about if it was a kid in a neighboring town, or the next county or the next state? What if you had to go a little bit out of your way? Where is the line in the sand with your ability to help? The year is 2016 and we can no longer pretend we don’t know about it or the problem doesn’t exist. Ignorance won’t get the job done. The minority always drives the majority. Going back to the American Revolution that created our country, there were not many colonists enthused with taking on the most powerful force in the world the British army. Only a few who stood up to tyranny and the rest were willing to endure. Isn’t that the way it goes?
Instead of throwing money at the problem, how about changing the paradigm? Instead of focusing on the problem, let’s focus on the solution. The real solution is building up the belief and health in these kids and allowing them to share their gifts with the world. It’s not too simple or too good to be true, it’s the truth. By demonstrating to these kids that there are people who care, their sense of hope is reignited, and dreams of living to higher stands and achieving at higher levels are not so far off.
Corporate and business leaders are always looking for ways to increase the morale of their workers, to get them engaged to have more profit and productivity. Here’s an idea - take them to the reservation this summer and have them roll up their sleeves and do community service to help the kids in Montana. Be a part of the Fun Day Festival. Here’s an invitation to parents who have resistive, shut down kids that are going down the wrong road: bring them to the reservation. It will change their lives. Being on the reservation does something to relationships. You leave with an air of gratitude and understanding of how well off you are, plus a great feeling of helping the kids when they need it.
If this article sparked off any humanitarian interest in you, please contact the founder Dr. Kevin Pallis and he will personally get on the phone and get to know you and tell you about the different levels of participation. And for those people who can’t or don’t want to travel, donations of any size gladly accepted and are just a click or a call away.