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.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    if there is any race of people that need to be treated fare and with respect it is the Native Americans. I don’t care who you are these people live in the worse poverty ever and no one cares they are out of sight and out of mind I’m not talking about the big Casinos and what they get. The people on the reservations that you can not see and never read about are totally forgotten. This county has made concessions for a number of races, but the one who was here before any of us is forgotten.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      And Obama wants to give all sorts of free benefits to illegal aliens – our Native Americans should have prior considerations!

  2. Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I wish I can help him give the guy something. Respect

  3. Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I wish that I could be there for Huskie. Our government lied to our natives then and still are now. Let's give them the respect and care that they deserve.

  4. Millie Kennedy
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Yep! We have a pretty sad history as Native Americans and Alaska Natives in this great country of ours. Out of sight; out of mind. I am glad I found this blog exists today. DOYaxshin! (Thank you in Tsimshian).

  5. Posted April 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    American Indians don’t get all the attention because celebrities don’t see any photo ops. Its better to pretend they care while getting pictures taken in Africa. Which is a tax write off for them…

  6. Deborah Tincher
    Posted September 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Millie, do you believe your ancestors were born upon this land? Too many Native Americans are on the offensive, Ms. Slaton was saying something good, and you twisted it. We all must get passed the prejudices and hatred that has been brought forth if we are to survive as America. We need to stop making every little thing a problem and instead work toward fixing the existing problems!
    And, Millie, do you ever look at the members of many of the Native American tribes? The native blood is running quite thin and if I saw some them, even on their lands, I would not think they are of Indian blood. I 'look' more indian than they do! So, maybe, just maybe, Ms Slaton has a bit of native in her too.

  7. Posted December 5, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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