Have you heard about Attawapiskat? If you’re in Canada, probably; if you’re in the US, probably not. In a nutshell: a Native community in Northern Ontario declared a state of emergency over third world living conditions a few weeks ago and the Canadian government’s response was, “We gave you $90 million, what’s your problem?”
Now there’s an investigation into where federal funding has gone, the reserve is being run by a third party and there are all kinds of batshit racist comments flying around because many people who are unfamiliar with how Native reserves function (and the history of their creation under colonial rule) think it’s ridiculous that anybody could receive federal funding and still suffer.
You can find information on Attawapiskat here and the topic more generally here. A google search will also lead you to a jillion news links where you can sort the wheat from the chaff on your own if you like.
Native issues tend to make it into the news in Canada more than in the US, so while I find this all to be horrible, I also see this as an opportunity for people to learn more about living conditions on reserves and, more importantly, the system that led to them in the first place.
I could rant about this forever but instead I’ll just encourage you to listen and witness and think about the social, economic, political and legal frameworks that led to this situation in the first place. Do some research. Learn about the Native history of the place you call home and about who those people are today. Don’t erase Native history from the landscape and don’t allow the Canadian and US governments to continue to make Native issues invisible.