Why do I owe Native Americans anything?

I live in close proximity to many Native American reservations. And I am sick and tired of all the handouts that the federal government hands to these tribes! I have to see my tax dollars build casinos, houses, and pay for Native American programs that benefit you only if you have Indian “in your blood”…

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that the Spanish and White settlers mistreated the Indians when they came onto this continent. These people (non-Indian) may have been my ancestors, but I had nothing to do with these atrocities and neither did the Native Americans living today who benefit from this. (The majority of Native Americans living today hardly have suffered! I do admit that they had to face racial discrimination etc. early in this century, but so have blacks and other races). So, why do non-Indians continue to pay for Native Americans’ historic misfortune in this day and age?

Also, I would like to point out that I do not have any dislike for Native Americans. In fact, two of my best friends are Native Americans…I get into this argument with them sometimes, although I tone it down a bit because they ARE my friends.

But the bottom line of my thread is: IMO, stop spending on Indian programs that only benefit Indians who are already doing well. They don’t NEED it anymore! Keep spending on the poverty stricken tribes until we can find a way to get them back on their feet. Just as I believe we should help all poverty stricken Americans.

Every time I see money being thrown at the Indian reservations I cringe. And wonder why they deserve special treatment due to their race. How about sovereignty? Although, that may be another debate all in itself.

Man, don’t get me started on the Indian casinos…

I do not live in close proximity to any rural areas. And I am sick and tired of all the handouts that the federal government hands to these rubes! I have to see my tax dollars build roads, subsidize electricity and phone service, farm handouts and rural programs that benefit you only if you are a hick…

First nations have a right to it not only because they are citizens but because we signed treaties. It is a legal obligation. In my opinion, we owe them a lot more than we are giving right now. Do other groups deserve some compensation? You bet, but this is moral, not legal.

And what are you basing your assertions on, jeel? The fact that the US government had programs for American Indians for all those years, or the fact that some American Indian tribes are operating successful ventures?

Here in Minnesota, land of 10,000 Native American casinos, the casinos have helped the tribes come out of poverty, and have allowed them to become self-sufficient. In fact, the casinos that some tribes operate provide funding for other things, like low-cost daycare that is also open to non-Indians; treatment for alcoholism, and other programs. This helps them end their dependence on US government aid and handouts by providing income and jobs and breaking the vicious circle and stereotype of the poor, drunk Indian on the rez.

I suggest that before you make these kinds of stereotypes, you do some homework and find out what the deal really is. Hiding behind “Hey, I’m not prejudiced; some of my best friends are Indians” isn’t gonna cut it.


You don’t owe them anything. Just stop paying taxes if you don’t like it. :wally

Jeel, why don’t you just think of it as rent for the ground you’re standing on?

Incidently, do you have any information showing that the casinos were built with government money, as opposed to being paid for by loans made to the tribes that the tribes are paying back from the casino proceeds? Granted there are welfare programs for Native Americans, but I’d be surprised if Congress appropriated funds for the Ho-Chunk casino.

Since when do you pay rent for conquered land? Like it or not, a war was fought for this land, and sadly, the Indians lost. That’s just the way it is. No other country I’ve ever heard of panders to cultures it has conquered (Indians, Germans, Japanese, the South haha!) instead of assimilating them. That will be our downfall – having so many disparate and segregated cultures living together in close proximity. Just look at L.A.

Everybody (including “native americans”*) needs to just assimilate into the dominant culture instead of compartmentalizing yourselves.

*[sub]standard disclaimer: My whole family, for 5 generations back, is native american, even though not one of us is Indian: we were all born on US soil. Why is somebody any more “native” than any of us, just because they are part of some tribe?[/sub]

My problem is: Here in New Mexico, tribes with highly sucessful casinos still get millions of government dollars and still ask for more and more. By definition they are not self sufficient. Although they should be. You say that the casinos provide funding for many programs available to non-Indians. I won’t argue that, but at what cost? My elementary school is now a really disgusting, dingy casino! Not to mention all the cases of gambling addictions that have sprouted up in this neck of the woods!

I do know that the casinos have been helpful (but only somewhat) to the tribes. I know of only two Indians living in mansions after the casinos opened. Those are the governor and lieutenant governors of the pueblo that has the casino. I don’t think the money goes where it really should.

But that’s not what my OP is really about. I am talking about the reverse discrimination that is based on what race you are. Just because you have Native American blood, you get cheap housing, free school supplies, free school lunch, and countless other benefits based solely on belonging to the Indian race.

Sorry. I’m not hiding behind the fact that my two best friends are Indian. Where in the world do you get that I am hiding?

My homework has been watching my quaint hometown turn into a mini Las Vegas, watching my neighbors struggle for water rights while Indians use to their hearts content, and see Indian programs run by corrupt tribe members.

Like I said, I think the money is spent unfairly!!!

Beat me to it Joe.

Well, many are fond of saying that America is the greatest country in the world, this is a way to prove it.

*Originally posted by manhattan *

Bad comparison :wally

Think so, huh? All the “benefits” you describe evaporate the minute any beneficiary decides to take Joe_Cool’s advice and join the collective.

You can live almost anywhere in flyover country and I’m still subsidizing your phone bill.

Stop stealing my money to pay your phone bill, and perhaps we’ll talk about what the correct amount of compensation is for the United States’ consistent violation of treaties we made with sovereign countries. Until then, kindly regard the log in your own eye.

sov·er·eign (svr-n, svrn) adj. Abbr. sov.
Self-governing; independent: a sovereign state.

manhattan–the only problem with the tribes being considered sovereign is the word independent above.

So, is the treaty that the US is abiding to really with a truly sovereign nation?

Oh, and what are you talking about regarding phone subsidies? I guess I’ve never heard about you paying for my phone service in flyover country. (BTW What is flyover country?)


One diffrence is paying indians is racist:)

However we don’t owe indians anything for the conquest, we owe them because of broken treatys. Of course we don’t actually owe them anything but it helps to gain trust of countrys before you stab them in the back.

Yup. They lost. And they keep losing. It takes a lot to make up for centuries of institutional racism and attempted genocide. But hey, every Amerind has all the same opportunities as us white folks, right? Oh, I guess they don’t huh? Oh, well it must be their fault.

Somebody please shoot me the day I “assimilate” to someone else’s idea of what is normal. :rolleyes:
You, Joe, are not to blame. Nor are you, jeel. Not personally. But we pay for the faults of our parents. You may think that saying, “Ok, that’s it, guys, it’s all over–we’ll drop it if you will” can make up for all the past events that have led to the current state of affairs, but it ain’t necessarily so. The present isn’t a vacuum.

You’re certainly entitled to your opinions. However, Native Americans aren’t the only special-interest group in America. Veterans get money, housing (in the form of guaranteed loans), medical care, and other goodies – all for putting on a uniform. This doesn’t benefit you, yet most of us would think you a tad cold if you opposed it.

Farmers, as has been mentioned, get money, land assistance, loan assistance, crop insurance, and subsidies – all for growing food.

Native Americans have been dealt a crummy hand. Their homelands were invaded, their numbers were decimated by the invaders and those who were left were assimilated into “white” culture. The American government forced them onto some of the worst land in the US, denied them the dignity of their culture and livelihood, broken every promise ever made, and now that some of them are starting to break out of this, people like yourself are whining that it’s not fair?

The way I read the OP (and correct me if I’m mistaken) is that you’re miffed because the Native American people near where you live are perceived as getting away with taking your hard-earned tax dollars, and dammit, you’re not getting any. Then, to soften the whine, you use the classic “some of my best friends are Native American”.

BTW, if you don’t like the casino, don’t patronize it.


Every Amerind DOES have the same “opportunities” as us “white folk”. Name one that does not.

My parents did not hurt the amerinds- nor did my grandparents(altho there were some serfs in Ruthenia, but that is a different stroy…), etc etc. If YOU feel guilty, or YOU owe for YOUR parenst- pony up. I don’t.

Man I love this line:)

The following statement from the OP is completely false:

“The majority of Native Americans living today hardly have suffered! I do admit that they had to face racial discrimination etc. early in this century,”

Some reading material on suffering:


I have seen discrimination practiced against natives for my entire life. Just recently Lola was discriminated against solely on the colour of her skin. I could easily find 50 native people who could tell you of how they have been discriminated against during their lives.

Being that I am white I really have no idea what it would be like to have people treat me differently just because of the colour of my skin or ethnicity. There isn’t much racism practiced against Scotch/Irish/Swedes like myself.

jeel - Where the hell have you been living to miss this?

Where I live the rates of alcoholism,F.A.S., F.A.E., child abuse, drug abuse, suicide, and death are much higher in native communities than they are in non-native communities.

If this is not suffering please tell me what suffering is?