Saturday, June 9, 2007

Suicide Indians

Wow. I know that life on Indian reservations in this country is rough. This excellent article in the NYT today talks of a suicide pandemic (three suicides and countless attempts) in South Dakota:
Here at Rosebud, when six high school girls were approached at the Boys and Girls Club one recent afternoon for their reactions to the suicides, four said they had tried suicide. The four compared notes on their methods — two slashed their wrists, two overdosed on pills — and their motives. “There are a lot of reasons,” said Areina Young, a 16-year-old cheerleader at Todd County High who overdosed on sleeping pills and codeine in February. “We have a lot of issues.”
It's a combination of things, for sure. It seems to me that there are few cultures valued less in this country than American Indians. Many schools in these rurual areas stuggle with students just as much or more than their inner-city counterparts. The good news is that South Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan introduced a bill to provide some funding to prevent more suicides, but the sources of the problems remain somewhat intangible.

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