American Indians

April 28, 2006 • Volume 16, Issue 16
Are they making meaningful progress at last?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Nicole Boswell, an Indian high-school student in White Earth, Minn., dreams of being a psychologist on her tribe's reservation.  (AP Photo/Minnesota Public Radio, Dan Gunderson)
Nicole Boswell, an Indian high-school student in White Earth, Minn., dreams of being a psychologist on her tribe's reservation. (AP Photo/Minnesota Public Radio, Dan Gunderson)

Winds of change are blowing through Indian Country, improving prospects for many of the nation's 4.4 million Native Americans. The number of tribes managing their own affairs has increased dramatically, and an urban Indian middle class is quietly taking root. The booming revenues of many Indian-owned casinos seem the ultimate proof that Indians are overcoming a history of mistreatment, poverty and exclusion. Yet most of the gambling houses don't rake in stratospheric revenues. And despite statistical upticks in socioeconomic indicators, American Indians are still poorer, more illness-prone and less likely to be employed than their fellow citizens. Meanwhile, tribal governments remain largely dependent on direct federal funding of basic services — funding that Indian leaders and congressional supporters decry as inadequate. But government officials say they are still providing essential services despite budget cuts.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Native Americans
May 05, 2017  Native American Sovereignty
Apr. 24, 2015  Native American Youths
Apr. 28, 2006  American Indians Updated
Jul. 12, 1996  Native Americans' Future
May 08, 1992  Native Americans
Jan. 18, 1991  Is America Allowing Its Past to Be Stolen?
Feb. 17, 1984  American Indian Economic Development
Apr. 15, 1977  Indian Rights
Nov. 08, 1972  Preservation of Indian Culture
Aug. 24, 1966  American Indians: Neglected Minority
May 26, 1954  Changing Status of American Indians
Apr. 13, 1949  Problems of the American Indian
Apr. 22, 1929  The Administration of Indian Affairs
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Diversity Issues
General Employment and Labor
Health Insurance and Managed Care