Kevin Abourezk: An open letter to President Obama
"I want to personally thank you for the $3 billion in direct funding and $500 million more in bonding authority you've given to Indian Country in your $787 billion economic stimulus package.

I can't think of a group of people who have a greater need for economic stimulus than Native people, who suffer a 25 percent rate of poverty and a median household income 30 percent less than that of all Americans.

Still, I hold a number of reservations (no pun intended) about some of the stipulations on these Indian stimulus funds as they affect my tribe.

But before I lay out those concerns, I need to mention a few statistics about my tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota:

• My tribe suffers a 34 percent unemployment rate. That's compared to 7.2 percent for the entire United States.

• Of those who are employed, 80 percent live in poverty on my reservation (compared to an overall 12 percent poverty rate for the United States).

• The per capita personal income for Todd County, which lies entirely within the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, ranked 66th out of 66 counties in South Dakota in 1995.

Given these economic challenges, my tribe ranks as one of the neediest in the country, and also one of those least likely to win stimulus funds given the requirements of the stimulus money."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: An Open Letter to Barack Obama (RezNet News 2/26)

Related Stories:
Kevin Abourezk: NCAI website tracks Indian stimulus (2/20)
Kevin Abourezk: Congress poised to act on IHCIA (2/12)
Kevin Abourezk: Tribes hit by Daschle withdrawal (2/6)
Kevin Abourezk: The Year of the Indian just starting (1/30)
Kevin Abourezk: Sisters protect Wyandotte cemetery (1/23)
Kevin Abourezk: Be inspired by Obama inauguration (1/16)
Kevin Abourezk: Indian Country asks Obama for $5.4B (1/9)
Kevin Abourezk: Looking back on a year in limbo (12/19)
Kevin Abourezk: A bailout for Indian Country (12/11)
Kevin Abourezk: Optimism on Indian health bill (12/5)
Kevin Abourezk: Frank LaMere celebrates in January (11/26)
Kevin Abourezk: Daschle's chance to prove it (11/21)
Kevin Abourezk: Stereotypes and Thanksgiving (11/14)
Kevin Abourezk: Ceremony honors tribal veterans (11/7)
Kevin Abourezk: Native voters flex power at the polls (11/4)
Kevin Abourezk: Means shifts sovereignty stance (10/30)

This story is tagged under:
Search
Share this Story!

You are enjoying stories from the Indianz.Com Archive, a collection dating back to 2000. Some outgoing links may no longer work due to age.

All stories in the Indianz.Com Archive are available for publishing via Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)