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Tim Giago: The survival of Indian people is taking a new turn

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: 113th, aca, congress, native sun news, poverty, republicans, tim giago
     

The following editorial was written by Tim Giago, Editor Emeritus of the Native Sun News. All content © Native Sun News.

The survival of the Indian people is taking a new turn
Editorial By Tim Giago

The Republican controlled Congress has voted to cut the Food Stamps Program by $4 billion dollars. This is supposed to save the poor people from themselves.

Representative Kristi Noem, who was elected by all of the people of South Dakota, joined the right-wing Tea Party advocates in supporting this stupendous cut.

The Republican Congress is now about to drive the bus of sensibility off of the cliff by threatening to shut down the government in order to dismantle the so-called ObamaCare, or as it was originally named, The Affordable Care Act.

It is quite easy for members of Congress to sit back on their fat haunches and not give a hoot for the health problems of the rest of Americans. After all, they have one of the best health care policies to be found in this country. In this land called America that touts itself as an example of democracy and fair play, there are more than 40 million Americans without health insurance who fall through the cracks.

But this isn’t just happening on the local scene. There are thousands of Americans, white, black, Hispanic, Native American, etc., who will go hungry when the budget cuts on food stamps take place. It makes us wonder what in the world is happening to this country. It is well documented that the rich are growing richer while the poor are growing poorer, and that seems to be the new norm in this country.

Those poor people now getting food stamps and other subsidies will soon be subjected to drug tests and other infringements on their democratic rights in order to qualify for the programs. Apparently the Republican Congress is of the opinion that all recipients of food stamps are also addicted to drugs and alcohol. And if you test positive for drugs, you will be eliminated from the food stamps program.

Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said, “Congresswoman Noem just voted to go all-in on the Tea Party’s kamikaze mission by voting to shut down the U. S. Government unless her demand to give insurance companies free rein over health care is met. With this vote Noem just told the people of South Dakota that House Republicans will shut down the government if they can’t make insurance companies richer by giving them free rein to raise rates and take away protections that keep families from getting sick.”

There will also be some dramatic cuts to the funds allocated to the Indian Health Service coming down the road and you can bet your bottom dollar on it. There are new Congressional people now looking at the sovereign status of Indian nations and they are beginning to question its authenticity. Collectively they believe that treaties signed between the Indian nations and the U. S. Government are now antiquated and have no place in the America of today; so tighten your seat belts all of you tribal leaders out there because we, as a people, are headed for a very rough ride.

The wars for the survival of the Indian people have never ended and they are about to get worse, but this time it will be the lawmakers and not the law breakers that lead the charge against us. Stay tuned to Native Sun News because we will keep you informed and educated on this upcoming battle.

Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is President of Unity South Dakota. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1990. His weekly column won the H. L. Mencken Award in 1985. He was the founder of The Lakota Times, Indian Country Today, Lakota Journal and Native Sun News. He can be reached at UnitySoDak1@knology.net

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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