It ain't easy being Indian... (June 2016)

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country
This topic of Native health is so immense, so traumatizing that I don't know where to start or where to end. The logical answer is to begin at the beginning.
Native American Indians have been under genocidal assault by immigrants since they got here. European immigrants saw what they thought of as wild, untouched, fertile land that was scarce in their countries. In fact, we Indians had been here for millenia and had civilizations that had risen and fell because that way of life is unsustainable and we lived happily and healthy. That changed quickly with the arrival of the first immigrants.
First contact has Columbus (I hate even mentioning his evil name) writing in his journal about the Taino People and how healthy and good-looking they were. He and his evil crew then proceeded to enslave them and then decimate their entire population for gold. Later Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and were saved by Indians from starvation and death. The Pilgrims brought nothing but their racist beliefs and diseases that we had no natural immunity to.
Blankets infected with smallpox were given to Indians as gifts. Entire Nations perished because there was no cure and were wiped out by the Pilgrims and the immigrnts who followed after them. We have been murdered outright and been subjected to biological, chemical and mental means to achieve our annihilation from this, our homeland. Yet, under extreme pressure to just give up we never have. We are still here.
We Indians did have sickness and old age symptoms but not the multiple viruses and diseases that were used as warfare by the immigrants that were common in their former homes. Our people were very wise and skilled in natural medicines and remedies. Those plants were put here by Creator for our use and are still used today. However, Big Pharma has taken over and is medicating our entire American population into zombies.
Personally I have a lot of physical issues that I seek help for because why should I suffer if I don't have to? Every time there is a pill for that. I also suffer depression and anxiety and see a therapist and there's also pills for that. When I go to my appointments there are always a great many people who are patients and those who work in the health care industry. I say industry because that's what it is. Don't get me wrong, I admire people who choose a profession to help people. To all of them I thank you from my heart. You are special and I appreciate what you do for those in need.
My issue is that the American health care industry profits from our illnesses and have lobbyists in Washington D.C. that buy congress to ensure it stays that way as the status quo. In short, corporations are making money based on our health crises and if one cannot pay too bad or you are in debt for the rest of your life. I believe the reason cannabis is outlawed is that it can cure cancer and other multitudes of ailments. You see, the US Gov can't regulate it and make money off it but that is slowly changing.
However there are more critical health issues in Indian Country. Ask yourself how and why so many destructive drugs are infiltrating our reservations? Chemical warfare. I personally don't know anyone who has not been affected by the heroin, methamphetamine and opioid deaths in their families. In my former job as Graves Registrar I met with family members who suffered great losses directly due to overdoses and chronic drug use. Sadly, the cause of death was always hush-hush in respect for the survivors but everyone knew.
Suicide is also an epidemic in Indian County. I cry and rage about it yet I understand the hopeless feeling that one sometimes experiences in life. I feel this is another genocidal tactic that sucks the soul out of us and we see no future. Oppression is the means that take us down a dark road into depression and sickness of spirit. To you I say I love, you are needed and seeking help is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Plz just do it, Ricey sez.
The good news is there is help out there and many success stories like my friend Christopher Shabaiash who I had a deep conversation with about his addiction to opioid pills. He struggled daily with it and eventually went to a methadone clinic to ease the withdrawl symptoms for years. After the birth of his third child he realized it was no way to live and is drug free now with zero needs to do it again. Chii miigwech for sharing your story with me, I'm very happy you are now well.
We Indians face many more challenges to stay healthy than anyone else in this country. Yet, I see many more positive changes if we have access to good health care. I know there any many Indians who live in remote areas that need help desperately and I hope this vital issue is addressed now.
To all my readers I wish you well and good health. We have to be responsible for our own well-being. Love Yooz!!!

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