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February 1986

The Neglected and Abused Children on Indian Reservations: A Low-Priority, Nonvocal Group With Few Vocal Advocates

Author Affiliations

496 Sherwood Way #2 Menlo Park, CA 94025

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(2):89. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140160007002

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Sir.—Drawing attention to the high incidence of child neglect and abuse on many Indian reservations in the United States is long overdue. Too many children on the reservations will never come close to developing their God-given potentials because of extreme emotionally and morally impoverished family and home situations. The healthy, child-rearing concept involving the "extended family," traditionally an admirable trait among the Native American people, is now uncommonly to rarely noted. On the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Fort Yates, ND, where I have worked, there is an incredibly high 70% alcoholism rate and an astronomically high 80% to 90% unemployment rate. The physical and emotional problems many of these children incur because of the poor social and home situations are of a magnitude that a lot of people would have to see to believe.

In any society, if an abnormal situation continues for a long enough period of time,

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