High Suicide Rate Essay

828 words - 4 pages

In most American families parents are overjoyed as a result of the happiness and success of their teenage children. Across America teenager are enjoying their “rite of passage”, such as friends, after school activities, sports, vacations with their families and their first car. At the same time, little is known of the extreme poverty and despondency existing within the reservations of the Native American communities. Many Native American families are still struggling with the pain and anguish their ancestors suffered during the ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of the 1800’s such as the Trail of Tears.
A long family tree of mistreatment and undue suffering in addition to present lack ...view middle of the document...

Moreover, in many households one or both parents are forced to seek employment outside the reservation, leaving the grandparents to assume the role of parenting. Overcrowding is a chronic problem as extended families live together combining their resources in order to provide basics needs. It is common for 3 to 4 generations to live together in a small home. Furthermore, families are living in homes made of mud and old used wood, many without electricity, indoor plumbing, sewerage, heat or refrigerators.
Alcohol and drug addiction are rampant among Native American adults and teenage children living on the reservations. According to the Indian Health Services, the rate of alcoholism among Native Americans is six times the U.S. average (Ghosh, 2012). Children are left to fend for themselves while their parent or parents are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both. As a result, many children have no parental figure of authority to guide them in the right direction. Left to supervise themselves, children are joining gangs, committing crimes and committing suicide. Additionally, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Nebraska one-fourth of the children suffer from fetal disorders as a result of their parent’s alcoholism (Ghosh, 2012).
Native American teenagers living on remote reservations are isolated from the rest of society. Many without electricity to run computers or television are prevented from “keeping up” with the times and communicating with others. They are restricted to a small network of friends, often those with bad influences....

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