To Stay or Not to Stay on a Reservation

In: Social Issues

Submitted By cetho70
Words 312
Pages 2
Native Americans who decide to stay on the reservation often do so at a great cost. The cost is one perhaps more evident to a materialistic American than someone true to the value system of many Native American tribes. The cost is measured in terms of career potential, the ability to experience cultural diversity, and income. Jobs are scarce on many reservations and contact with outsiders somewhat limited. This means that Native Americans are prone to having what might be considered a lower quality of life than if they were to pursue educations and careers outside the reservation.

In contrast, Native Americans who do stay on the reservation are quick to list the many invaluable benefits of remaining. The richness and distinctiveness of a tribe's cultural identity is a priceless treasure to those who remain to absorb it. In addition, the shift in values from the materialistic, ambition driven American value system to a more family and spiritually oriented system is rewarding on a personal if not financial level. The reservation, even one which is several thousand members strong, is likely to feel more like an extended family in contrast to the lack of connection which is common to big cities full of migratory individuals.

Considering the benefits and drawbacks of remaining on a reservation, I would be honored if I had the opportunity to live on one, and I would chose to stay. The uniqueness of the reservation life, which admittedly is full of challenges, still has the potential to be so soul satisfying that I would chose that way of life. For me, the greatest challenge would not be whether or not to stay, but rather how to bring the best elements of outside life to the reservation. Therefore, I would stay on the reservation but work to improve access to jobs and good schools along with other…...

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