America’s Most Vulnerable
Huskie is one of those people you wish everyone could meet. He lives in a contemporary Hogan in the Spider Rock community, through a maze of rutted out dirt ways several miles off the Canyon de Chelly road. Huskie is 80 years old. He has no transportation. He still cooks for himself but on the day we visited, he had no food that he could eat. Three years ago, Huskie had dental problems, so his teeth were extracted; he is still waiting for his dentures through the Indian Health Service. Huskie is also diabetic and needs appropriate foods.
In younger years, Huskie worked for the Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. He also worked at a nearby mission helping other people in the Chinle community. He stays active now by cleaning his home, sweeping his yard, and racking his firewood for winter. But Huskie lives alone – and nearly 100% of the time, he is alone. Too far out for the senior center to deliver meals, and too far away for the chapter’s fuel budget, Huskie now gets one visit a month from a Community Health Representative (CHR). It is crystal clear why these CHR visits are so important and why NRC supports them. When we first walked in, Huskie said:
“My life hasn’t worked out so well. I’ve been through a lot of things.
But the hardest thing I’ve ever come across is being alone all the time.”
Situations like this are common in NRC’s service area. These are the conditions that most Americans never see. They are not visible by driving through a reservation. We share Huskie’s biggest worry… “that things won’t be any better for his grandchildren than they were for his generation.” Many grandparents like Huskie are raising their grandchildren.
NRC wants vulnerable Native Americans to be remembered and to know that they matter to other Americans. Many of NRC’s services are focused on nutrition, health care, emergency services, and/or education for Native American Elders and youth on poverty-stricken reservations.