Most reading this blog have backup resources like an education or job skills and will survive well into 2021 and beyond. Adults and kids on the Fort Peck Reservation can’t be so sure.
From depressions to war, bank frauds, 9/11, and stock market crashes, one predictable constant does not change: its devastating effects on the Reservations.
It isn’t just about the drying up of much-needed resources like food and essentials, the lines at the food markets, or items always on backorder. It isn’t just about the restriction or total lack of much needed medical and health services. Many people have a romanticized view that everything can be done online, but it can’t!
Sports and after-school activities have been curtailed, modified, or abandoned. These kids can’t get back their childhoods and formative years.
And people are suffering.
There are so few ways on the Reservation for the kids to relate to each other and socialize. These kids only have community and culture to hang onto; there is no wealth on the Reservation to hide behind. It’s this deep connection to ancestors, culture, and native values that keep things going, even in times of despair.
As bad as the immediate effects are, there is a gray, bleak picture of the future being painted for America’s Forgotten People.
When we were on the Reservation for our annual Christmas on the Reservation celebration, we had to adhere to strict guidelines in order for us to be able to hand out gifts, articles of clothing, boots, toys, and food. We were grateful to be allowed to help.
While we were giving out the presents, we heard many teachers explaining (not complaining) that they missed having the real-life experience and touch of in-classroom learning as opposed to remote learning. These teachers felt frustrated with having faces on a screen, but nobody there learning. When the kids are in a classroom, it’s hard keeping their attention. It’s a real handicap attempting to capture a kid’s attention with remote learning.
We have received many donations from people new to Love Has No Color during the pandemic. These donations are building up which will allow us to have the largest summer celebration we have ever had in August.
I’m inviting you to get involved now. Help us bring love and hope to the Reservation.