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Tim Giago: Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"It would be nearly impossible for a natural disaster of this magnitude not to have pointed out some very serious flaws in our systems of government and I was keenly interested in the opinions of some of the black politicians. Several addressed the failure of President Lyndon Johnsonís War on Poverty and cited this failed war as creating the circumstances leading to the position many of the very poor black people of New Orleans found themselves in after the disaster.

Perhaps they are oversimplifying the impact of the state and federal welfare systems that became so prevalent during the War on Poverty, but what they had to say reminded me of the many failed welfare programs to be found in Indian country.

What happened in the aftermath of Katrina pointed out the weakness of a system that places welfare dollars at the top of lifting people out of poverty. Money to build businesses and homes, create jobs, and to raise the level of education in the schools and colleges on the Indian reservations is the answer, not more welfare dollars.

It is this lesson we learned from Katrina that will have the biggest impact upon the poor people of Indian country and in the rest of America."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: The lessons learned from Katrina (The Native American Times 9/19)

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