The indigenous communities face several challenges, including exploitation of their natural resources and derogatory sports mascots. These things have reached the public’s attention, but several others still remain unreported.
These problems are interlinked to other such crises that are challenging the Indigenous communities. Most of them come from a desire to eradicate these communities or due to ongoing racism spanning for generations.
We have seized this opportunity to talk about some of the indigenous communities’ significant issues, especially in America.
Resources Are Lacking, Leading To Unemployment And Poverty
The people from indigenous communities are usually living a life of poverty.
Around 33% of the Native Americans survive in poor conditions, where the average individual earns a mean salary of $23,000 annually. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Alaskan natives and American Indians face an unemployment rate of 6.6%, which is massive compared to the national average of 3.9%. The advent of COVID-19 has worsened this condition and saw thousands of lost jobs in 2020, especially among the women of indigenous origin.
These people also live in overcrowded conditions and are likely to face homelessness. Their households are usually crowded, which was a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Violence Against These Communities Occur At Gargantuan Levels
84% of the Native American women reported violence in their lives, as per the Department of Justice. Their women and girls are also targeted and murdered 10 times more frequently than other ethnicities.
According to the Native Women’s Wilderness, these murders occur in their native places, and the perpetrators are not usually Native.
Urban Indian Health Institute published a report that stated 5,712 cases of murdered or missing indigenous women were reported back in 2016, and only 116 were entered into the database of the Department of Justice.
Violation Of Voting Rights
The people of indigenous communities have the right to vote, but the ones who live on reservations struggle to reach the polling sites.
This problem was recurring for the population and was prevalent during the Presidential election in 2020.
The polling sites are usually too far away from reservations, as stated by the Brennan Center for Justice. The Native American reservations do not usually use a traditional street address, so most applicants get their voter registrations rejected.
Natural Resources Face Continuous Exploitation
Private companies are still exploiting the land rich with resources. This tremendous rate of exploitation leaves the indigenous communities without access to clean water and other natural resources.
They also suffer from higher mortality rates, which is a consequence of the lack of clean drinking water.
According to the Native American Rights Fund, this massive exploitation of the native land disrupts the ecosystem, making it difficult for the indigenous people to hunt and maintain their subsistence.
The government needs to look into these matters and build new infrastructure, especially for oil transport, as these have led to irreparable damage to ancient Indigenous holy sites.