Friday, May 15, 2009

Fathers Day in Indian Country..........

Federal funding for Indian reservations to fight gang violence is pretty funny to my 86-year old Dad, Douglas Parisian. You see, Doug spent his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Law Enforcement. Gangs weren't "in style" during his career with the BIA which ended in 1985 upon his retirement while working on the Crow Indian Reservation out of Crow Agency, Montana. Dad is a pretty straight shooter and worked on many reservations across the Great Plains where I grew up. He thinks that alcohol is bad for Indian Country simply because Indian country can't handle it. Dad doesn't drink alcohol, he quit "cold-turkey" long before I can remember. He thinks that people should be responsible for their children and be good parents. He thinks that people who have children should think more about raising their children in a 2-parent family rather than themselves and jettisoning marriage when things get rocky. He thinks that if more Dads were being responsible Dads there wouldn't be gangs and gang violence. He thinks that being healthy is the responsibility of each person in what they eat and how they exercise. He thinks that casino gaming, the "something-for-nothing" mentality is bad for Indian country and that tribal employees who gamble their paychecks away should not be allowed to do so. He thinks that tribes can't have it both ways, to talk "tribal sovereignty" and the associated jurisdictional issues with their hand out to the Feds for money. He thinks that on so many reservations the biggest violators of the game and fish codes are the game wardens. He thinks that spending money for more law enforcement isn't addressing the causal issues of violence, gangs, drug use or bad health on reservations. He thinks those answers have to come from Indian Country itself. He thinks more money isn't a cure and won't change behaviors.

Maybe, just maybe, he is right on all of those things. He knows being a good father takes work. He was good at it.

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