Sunday, July 8, 2012

the res

Madeleine Kruhly's recent post at The Atlantic, "What America Looked Like: The Struggles of the Navajo Nation in 1972," is the most recent in a series of "What America Looked Like" articles. The article includes several photos taken 40 years ago from one of Arizona's Navajo reservations by photographer Terry Eiler, including these:

The author notes that at the time of Eiler's visit, "the unemployment rate in the Navajo Nation was around 32 percent," but that things aren't much better now. She says:

A 2011 statement from the Navajo Division of Natural Resources reported the Nation's poverty rate at 37 percent with incomes well below federal guidelines. Almost half of the Navajo population is unemployed [...] Still, 38 percent of households lack electricity and running water; 86 percent do not have natural gas service. And in addition to these alarming figures, the Nation is experiencing an educational drought: high school students are dropping out in large numbers.

Kruhly concludes:

What's unfortunate is that few people seem to pursue these problems, and even less are aware of their existence. The Navajos have beautiful and unique traditions to offer -- not to mention a history that's longer than the rest of the country. But their community is endangered, and barely anyone is paying attention.

No comments: