There's a big, harmful stereotype surrounding Native Americans living on reservations, and it's that there are more than a few of them who are enjoying, fat, tax-free checks cut from their big casinos that are out of the government's grasp.
It's a perception that isn't rooted in reality, according to Twitter user @lilnativeboy, Allen, who shared some bleak photos that put the reality of reservation life on blast for the world to see.
It's not pretty.
Thread of what it was like to grow up on the Navajo Reservation here in New Mexico— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017
In his series of tweets, he highlights the problems people face on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. It's hard to believe that there are entire communities of people living in an industrialized nation who are exposed to the conditions he lists. As Allen explains it, there are homes without electricity, running water, or even addresses which makes navigating or receiving any deliveries difficult, to say the least.
Obtaining clean water was a struggle.
No water means we do dishes in a bucket & if u wanted to take a shower you heated up water & got a wash cloth and used that to wipe ur body— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017
Since we had no electricity we used gas lamps & flashlights!!! If we were cold or needed warm water we built a fire— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017
He reports that trash removal services were non-existent, so residents were forced to dig holes and burn their garbage.
The remoteness of the reservations meant that daily dangers that have been mitigated or can be dealt with swiftly in modern societies pose much greater threats.
If you were being attacked or ur house was on fire or you got bit by a snake ect there is no such thing as 911 on the rez— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017
According to @lilnativeboy, it was not uncommon for non-residents to come into reservation land to sexually assault Native American women.
Hospitals and grocery stores were nearly non-existent.
His tweets sparked a larger conversation about the grim situations many Native American families suffer right here in the USA. Even having access to decent food is a struggle.
idk if this was the same for you, but having to train dogs to hunt the huge rats too— ur fav native أوتوم (@lilsadhoe) August 20, 2017
Apparently the problem isn't just in America, either.
So if you didn't know, now you know.
So this is how us rich natives live with our government checks and casinos 😊— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017
& just note I took all these pictures today and my family and many others who live on the rez still live this way in 2017— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017
How can you help?? Spread awareness and educate others who are ignorant to our issues— . (@lilnativeboy) August 20, 2017