Even though people might think everything is perfect or better in the U.S., it isn’t. Ask the Native Americans. People think houses are clean, beautiful, and almost perfect. They think it’s very safe, and they think that employment is excellent. You get super rich, and everything is just so much better.

However, Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation lived in houses that looked abandoned and dilapidated, with trash and unhoused people everywhere. Everyone was without houses because there were no good jobs. In fact, about 89% of the population was unemployed. The reservation system started in 1851 when the government forced Native Americans to move west because the government believed Native Americans were different from them. That’s why we now study the Indian Removal Act, the Indian Appropriations Act, and The Trail of Tears.

In my family’s experience, my experience with all of these, my housing is average, with enough space, but some things need to be fixed.  In terms of employment, in my opinion, and experience, both of my parents are unemployed now. At first in my home country, both parents worked as teachers. When they came to the U.S., my mom had to work in a factory, while my dad worked in the factory and as a security guard. In New York, they are unemployed.

At the Pine Ridge Reservation, suicide increased by about 10%. One in three women were raped. Wild animals were in the dirty playgrounds. Medicine was scarce. There was a lot of alcoholism due to all the stress they had.

In my experience, there are a lot of school shootings, sex trafficking, rape, alcoholism, and suicide. There have been many school shootings, kids dying, and suicide. Rape is still very high. Sex trafficking is still around, and kidnapping. That’s why there are drills about the shootings. That’s why I am not allowed to go home by myself. That’s why my parents don’t trust anyone, and, low-key, make my life impossible.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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