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Cuts from sequestration have hurt reservations

2013-07-28T00:00:00Z 2013-07-29T15:29:07Z Cuts from sequestration have hurt reservations The Billings Gazette
July 28, 2013 12:00 am

The federal budget cuts that were put into effect this spring, aka the “sequestration,” have affected many of us. Certain programs have fared better with the so called “Sequester Exemptions.” But to the Indians it has been devastating.

On reservations in America's most deeply impoverished communities, where there is 85 percent unemployment, housing programs are being shut down. Despite the overwhelming problems with alcohol, meth, suicide and crimes against women, the police force is being cut to the bone. (For example at the Pine Ridge Reservation there are now only nine patrol cars on duty to cover an area the size of Connecticut). Heath care is moving toward emergency-only medical services. Head Start funds are being slashed, the school budget is disappearing, and Meals on Wheels for the home-bound elderly is being cut. From birth to the grave all native peoples are being afflicted.

As American Indians, we have had our lives, our land and our culture taken from us. We thought it couldn't possibly get worse, but it is.

Join with us to reverse this latest violation.

Lou Wright

Billings

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