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While many tribal elders still believe casinos will hurt the preservation of native culture, many argue that native culture was being decimated anyway.  At least now there are native controlled hospitals and clinics, language immersion schools for the youth, and all manner of cultural preservation techniques.  Filmed interviews with elders, digital storytelling, and most importantly, the preservation (and rebirth) of native languages are some of the many side effects of casino profits.

Indian women are no longer systematically sterilized when they control their own clinics.  I've been to households where the kids can keep secrets from their parents, 'cause the kids can speak the language better.  The growth of native filmmaking, particularly digital, is a huge new feature of reservation life.  On the whole, casinos (despite some abuse as in every culture or business) have turned around reservation life.

Plus everyone gets a cool pickup truck.  (OK, i'm not minimizing the intense problems that still exist on many reservations... unemployment, suicide, alcohol.  But they're gradually diminishing.)  Health care alone  is a huge win.

I've heard a thousand jokes about how the tribes have found a way to stick the needle in the vein of the culture which tried to eliminate them.  

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Aug 20th, 2007 at 10:49:07 AM EST
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