The New York Times’ editorial board published an opinion piece today titled “Abandoned in Indian Country” where the board lends its voice to issues long since lingering in Indian country that has been made even worse with cuts under the sequester.
One of the cuts the piece addresses affects the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and it’s already overwhelmingly understaffed police force, which will see a 14 percent budget cut that will be more than $1 million. The cuts have already lead to 14 officers being let go. As The Times points out, there are now nine patrol cars to cover “a 2.8-million-acre reservation plagued by poverty, joblessness, youth gangs, suicide, alcoholism and methamphetamine addiction.”
The piece also highlights the cuts to the Indian Health Service, which unlike Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ health was not exempt from the cuts.
The board addresses the drastic cuts Indian country is feeling in education and mental health facilities as a whole. Highlighting the drastic numbers of suicide attempts on the Pine Ridge reservation – 100 in 110 days, and the recent shuttering of two mental-health facilities.
The Times piece comes two weeks after former North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan addressed the glaring issues with the sequestration and its affects on Indian country in his NYT piece “Broken Promises.” RELATED: Dorgan Says Sequestration Just Another Name for Broken Promises