Each reservation is a little different, so I can only speak to what I knew. The reservation I grew up on has two waring tribes on it, the Sioux and Assiniboine. I personally don't have enough Indian in me to do me any good. (In other words I do not qualify to be tribal.)
The reservations were meant to keep the Indians at bay and have done great damage to the peoples who have become dependent upon them. The societies were beaten up and put down and the pride taken away. There is a general feeling of trying to restore the pride today - but after the fact this is difficult when you are trying to obtain something you don't understand.
Today the governments are separate with their own police force, laws, and judicial on the reservations. An Indian cop cannot arrest a white, nor can a white cop arrest an Indian - or so it was when I was there. They have their own judges. They are technically a nation within a nation. On some reservations this works well and they are responsible to those they serve and some are not. Mine was less than responsible. I actually watched an under age vehicle manslaughter walk free without a trial or arrest. She was not old enough to drive, but was drunk and killed the man in the car with her. I could give other examples - but I do not wish to dwell on the negative.
It really was a carefree environment for me. Everyone talked to everyone and everyone knew what you were up to. I went back for my 25th class reunion a couple of years ago. I felt completely safe. At the street dance that night fights were expected and a source of amusement. (It was a slow night - there were only two chick fights.) But I had not been there more than 5 minutes and young people were asking me for a light or striking up some other conversation. I had to laugh when the bar tender started telling me about the dance floor in the basement of the Sherman. I had my wedding reception down there before he was a dirty thought in his daddy's eye. It is a very different world on the reservation. I still talk with an accent LOL
The reservation I grew up on has two waring tribes on it....
What did they war about?
The reservations were meant to keep the Indians at bay and have done great damage to the peoples who have become dependent upon them.
If the reservations dont exist, wouldnt that be forcing Indians to fit into a society they dont want to fit into?
I did however hear that the US government have kept none of their promises they made to the Indians. I dont know if this is just rumour or not, because I havent read anything about it and you are the first person I have ever spoken with who lived on a reservation. I have met a couple of people with Indian blood in them, but they never lived on reservations.
They have been at war for longer than any of them know why. LOL
If reservations had never existed they would have been far better off. The reservations were created to diminish the tribes. Now they are an addiction that they don't know how to break away from. They create a situation where the tribe becomes a welfare state. With welfare states, a person forgets how to take care of themselves and looses pride. It is a horrible form of slavery. They have everything we do. But they are getting it for free. Anything we get for free, we don't appreciate. There are many things I have not wanted to do, but they were good for me to do them. I believe they would be far better off if they were not under the reservation system.
The US Government has broken many of the promises made in the past, but we are making up for it now. But the promises are not good for the people. Those who move off the reservations have much more pride. They are able to do for themselves and because of it, often have a better idea of where they came from.
Wow, what interesting insight into the life on a reservation! Thanks for sharing.
I'm multiracial and mixed with many different types of Indian; Seminole and Sioux are two of them I believe. I've never been on a reservation though. It's a part of my heritage that I'm unfamiliar with but always wondered about.
Are tourists allowed to visit the reservations? Are their hotels, cafes etc there?
I have a different take on the whole thing. Yes, things are rugged on many reservations. The historical reasons for this are way to complex to get all the way into here. Colonialism and racism is the short story.
To answer your question, Mell, yes tourists can visit on reservations. Many different rez's are located in very beautiful parts of the country and have tribally owned and operated facillities. I think that a google search for "Indian Casinos or Resorts" would lead to many good options. Depending on what part of the country you are visiting, there are many places to visit. Go to a dance. There are powwows, open to the public, all over the country, all year round. A search for "powwow calendar" or something like that would list 100's both on reservations and in urban areas. Ask permission when taking pictures of people. Be sensitive. Each reservation belongs to a people with a unique history and culture, so generalizations don't work very well. Some tribes have museums on their reservations and are glad to share their history and culture with visitors.
Absolutely there are visitation and things to do on reservations. A powwow is a must! Try a little puppy dog stew and Indian tacos while there. Actually in Browning in the summer there is a place where you can sleep in a tepee. I just don't believe you can continue to blame the past for not going forward.