Thousands of people have ventured onto the Fort Peck Reservation with Love Has No Color over the last 16 years and they now have a new view of poverty and third world conditions that exist right here in the US. So many people are totally blind to the conditions that exist for indigenous people in the US.
Why do these conditions continue? There are legitimate reasons that complicate forward progress on this Reservation, as well as others.
Some of the issues:
It has gone on for so long and it’s generational, making the situations chronic. There are no simple solutions that will fix these complex problems.
There are cultural and social stigmas that still exist today.
The life expectancy rates for men are the lowest in the world, rivaling AIDS-torn, third-world African countries.
Drugs, alcohol, chronic illness, and accidental death decimate this population.
There is way too much governmental bureaucracy, administration, and assistance and not enough sovereignty.
Native values, traditions, language, and culture are sometimes seen as optional instead of being guiding lights for modern times.
There is a pull to get off the Reservation and move to cities for more opportunities. Yet when they move off the Reservation, they don’t always feel like they are part of a new community. This isolation and lack of belonging have huge mental health implications.
Love Has No Color is dedicated to giving a helping hand and working in cooperation with the established agencies (notably HPDP and others) on the Reservation. We have worked to establish a partnership, rather than another well-intentioned charity.
Like a buffalo, Love Has No Color heads into the storm instead of seeking the safety of the higher ground and waiting until the storm passes.
Martin Luther King Jr. famously wrote a book regarding African Americans called, “Why We Can’t Wait.” Native Americans have also waited long enough.
A little effort to help them goes a long way for America’s Forgotten People.