Navajo Culture Rapidly Dying Replaced By Welfare State Internal Depression, Suicide


Navajo lady weaving on traditional loom, complex designs made from wool threads from her multi-color sheep and goats which she watches over while weaving.  Note the hogan, her stone house.


This summer, it is bad news for a number of Southwestern native tribes.  In the news are stories about suicide on the once-proud Navajo tribes of the Four Corners Region.  I know this area very well, I have had relations with other Arizona tribes, intense relations for an outsider, the disintegration of these tribes, the annihilation of their culture and their deep despair is not due to the government being cruel to them but due entirely to welfare lifestyles and money, US dollars, flowing in effortlessly causing social chaos and loss of culture.

Navajo Cops – YouTube try to cope with suicides and drink/drug addictions, 50% unemployment and no survival skills.

l have watched this from a front row seat.  I knew the tribes when only a very small child, uniformly, the tribes were wonderfully kind to me and my whole family.  They had very little and shared simple meals, we ran about with the dogs and horses and did wild and wonderful things, all outside in Nature.  And then…it all began to change in the 1960s.

Navajo, Diné, Indians of New Mexico, Arizona,1945 Documentary – YouTube

This old movie talks about the reservations, I am highly familiar with the 4 Corners tribes, been there many times.  What saddens me, watching this tourist video, is that the ladies of the Tribe wore the most beautiful clothing and jewelry, much of which I have even today.  I loved it so much, I wore it, myself, a great deal.  The velvet tops and flowing skirts were wonderful garb!


When I retired to my own upstate NY farm, I had a large flock of sheep as a fond reminder about how Navajo made most of their culture on the back of horses (we had horses, too) and I did things the old way…and the Navajo are being destroyed like my little sheep farm: free trade has turned most Navajo into welfare families.  Useless and hopeless, it is now pure hell for them all.


Recent suicides in Navajo Nation leads to state of emergency …Native Americans Have Highest Rate of Suicide:


 Russell Begaye and Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation’s president and vice president, respectively, issued an executive order earlier that month designating the third week of December and one week in June for focusing on preventing suicide after a recent spate of deaths rocked the tribe.


While suicide has long taken a disproportionate number of Native American lives, Begaye said in a recent interview with The Daily Beast that the spike in his community is new, and pointed to an unusual potential factor in the uptick: a destructive wastewater spill this past summer that impacted Navajo lands.


Begaye told The Daily Beast he was concerned that the destruction caused by the Colorado’s Gold King Mine spill last August may be contributing to the suicide uptick and that the drawn-out clean-up efforts exacerbate the struggles that members of his community…


“EPA and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (with EPA funding) provided over 1 million gallons of livestock and agricultural water, and nearly 8,500 bales of hay, to Navajo communities along the San Juan River. The agency deployed staff to the Navajo Nation Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Window Rock, Arizona, and sent community involvement staff to engage with Navajo communities impacted by the spill. The agency continues to offer the Navajo Nation support regarding data collection and analysis and long-term watershed monitoring.”


What?  The Animas river, I have played on that gorgeous river with stunning views!  Ruined, but this isn’t causing the despair.  The despair has been brewing much of my life.  Marriage is collapsing slower than black marriages which have virtually disappeared.  But the culture is definitely vanishing, bit by painful bit.


This 80 year old rug was made with natural dyes from the rocks and plants of Northern Arizona and New Mexico.  These don’t fade hardly at all.  Note the fine details, the strong design, representations of the gods of farming and animals, a celebration of the summer monsoon rains.


Woven Through the Generations: Tapestry Artist Navajo Barbara Teller-Ornelas –

The reds tell me, this is modern dyes, not made from plants like in the past.  The design is beautifully done but not even remotely as skillful a design as the much older rug. I remember the old rugs!  My family, my godmother’s family, had these, the old rugs, everywhere.  It is sad, watching all this slowly die but then, the sheep business has been utterly annihilated by free trade.


Across the planet, ‘native tribal’ people are suffering culture shock, losing their cultures.  The women watched the sheep and wove the most amazing blankets while the men did amazing silver work, tended the cattle, cured skins, hunted coyotes, and made all the dwellings.  This vibrant, amazing semi-desert/mountain/river culture has been most effectively killed during the last 50 years with it accelerating.


The loss of culture is very depressing.  But there is a sense of what has been lost in the Tribes whereas black communities have nearly nothing to grasp except a few triumphs during Jim Crow years which saw a very vibrant culture and marriage struggling to make way against a strong tide.  The disintegration of all native cultures is a tremendous loss for all humanity.

HISTORY OF THE PUEBLO & HOPI PEOPLE INDIAN TRIBE “THE PUEBLO HERITAGE” 76024 – YouTube and old video about the Hopi tribes that live next door to the Navajo and who predate them, farming in Northern Arizona for over 1,000 years. The Navajo, before they ended up living in mostly trailers, lived in small groups who moved about with the sheep.  the Hopi, on the other hand, lived in literal cities and towns and left spectacular ruins in Arizona and New Mexico.


They were, last time I visited, very much against interacting with outsiders.  It was a very delicate negotiation to visit them.  The Navajo and the Hopi looked very similar to each other 100 years ago, today, they look more and more like everyone else and will lose their culture relentlessly as they buy into modern society.  It breaks the heart to see the video above, of ladies making pottery!  Exquisite.


Managing Hopi Sacred Sites to Protect Religious Freedom | Cultural Survival


 Over the past century, however, the sovereign lands of the Hopi Tribe have been continually reduced through takings by the United States and litigation with the Navajo Tribe. As a result of these actions, access to Hopi ancestral sites and sacred places has become increasingly difficult and, in some instances, dangerous. Shrines are also being desecrated by vandalism or “use” by non-Indians.


The religious practices of the Hopi people are embedded in the landscape that the deity, “Ma’saw,” gave to them when they entered into a covenant to earn stewardship of the earth. The ceremonies, pilgrimages and rituals that sustain the Hopi religion are inextricably linked to shrines that were established in ancient times at specific springs, mountain peaks and other sacred areas. These shrines were created in accordance with divine instructions as a permanent testament to the Hopi’s covenant with Ma’saw. Each shrine and sacred place contains an irreplaceable life essence that prohibits any relocation or alteration of the shrine.


Oh, do I know this!  The tribe living with Kitt Peak did the same and were very upset when the Kitt Peak Observatory people expanded facilities without permission.  The Tribe thought we were going to live there, not strangers!  Now, the Tribe has no access and in return, put up gates and fences to keep out outsiders.


70 years ago, the Hopi tribes were considered to be the most intelligent of all Tribes.  But the tsunami of modern life is wiping out even this, literally:  Native Americans: The Tragedy of Alcoholism



Native Americans: The Tragedy of Alcoholism
BY PALASH GHOSH @GOOCH700 ON 02/11/12 AT 10:10 AM
Native Americans of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Whiteclay, Nebraska, have filed a $500-million lawsuit against beer manufacturers for the devastation that alcohol has wreaked on their community for decades.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe said the extraordinary sum they are asking for would be used to pay for health care, social services and child rehabilitation.

As in many other Native American communities in the U.S. and Canada, alcohol abuse has destroyed the lives of many in the reservation. For example, one-fourth of the tribe’s children suffer from fetal disorders related to their parents’ alcoholism.

The illegal sale and trade in alcohol in Whiteclay is open, notorious and well documented by news reports, legislative hearings, movies, public protests and law enforcement activities, the lawsuit stated.

Not only have the plaintiffs targeted the largest beer-makers in the world – including Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing, MillerCoors, and Pabst Brewing, but the lawsuit also named four beer sellers in the town of Whiteclay as defendants.


And how bad it this for black children?  Same problems!  Same inability to cope.  Wasted: Horrifying photos of parents passed out by school bus after overdosing in their car with four-year-old boy in the backseat reveal the terrible toll of the opioid epidemic sweeping America and these are ‘white’ European stock parents.  Sad, isn’t it?  And it really is.  People are giving up hope and falling into ruin right before our eyes.


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13 responses to “Navajo Culture Rapidly Dying Replaced By Welfare State Internal Depression, Suicide

  1. melponeme_k

    I’m sorry, Elaine, but as a Native American myself….I have no pity.

    The Asians are FIRST CASE PROOF that you can be in modern society AND keep your culture intact. They once fell to drug addiction and gambling as well (the reason why the British gained the upper hand for awhile) but they climbed out.

    The reasons why Native Americans have failed is the same reason black culture is failing they have swallowed the victim pill. They would all rather sit and cry poor me.

    Why don’t I have pity? I’ve seen the casinos. I’ve seen the gambling and the drinking. I’ve seen an apparently intact family leave their 12 year old daughter at a gambling video arcade to go pull slots. The said girl was dressed in a halter top and short/shorts. Gee, I wonder if she has about 5 children now and sucking at the poison teat of welfare. My guess is yes.

    My eyes are dry. All tears gone. I’m sure I would be called an Apple at any of these reservations. Well good, I own that name. I’m not on welfare. I don’t have kids I can’t afford. I finished school. I didn’t get one penny in Native aid from the government for school. Not one nickel.

    Simple answer, they didn’t want to act white…well here is the result…extinction. According to your stories Geronimo is the same from beyond the grave. Stupid is as stupid does.

  2. Wow m_k: I am thinking that “man” needs freedom and purpose and roots to survive. Also true of us “crackers”. Our gov. teaches victimization so that they can rescue us, period. Gives them votes and job security. Booze and drugs help and are apparently important to U.S. economy. Long term examples of this mentality: when we give up freedom for security we will lose both!!! And we will “wallow” in our escape with alcohol and drugs. Observed this doing P.T. in Alaska. Also diabetes, alcoholism and children with FAS. And some wonderful example of family love and care, thank goodness for that.
    Please, Elaine, or anyone: Explain problems with “free trade”.
    Thank You

  3. emsnews

    Free trade means the price of sheep and wool fell from $250 a head for my flock to less than $50 a head, causing me to shut down and all the other sheep people were forced to bail, too.

    And it hit the northern Arizona tribes very, very hard, too. They don’t have large flocks anymore. There used to be sheep all over the NE farms, too, all gone without a trace.

    I used to be in this huge sheep co-op. It no longer exists. Killed by free trade.

  4. Ken

    I don’t know if this is a problem elsewhere, but in Michigan’s upper peninsula the native american population has been ruining their health with “huffing.” This involves putting gasoline in a plastic garbage bag, and then inhaling the fumes. You can see young men walking down the road, staggering and with a slight tremor in their limbs, all due to “huffing.”

    To my knowledge this hasn’t caught on anywhere else, not even in the blackcommunity. But I could be wrong.

  5. melponeme_k


    Again, I would like anyone to point out to me how the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other Asians have entered the dominant culture fully and still kept their heritage intact. If they can do it, so can any other culture.

    Remember this. Because we will be on the receiving end soon.

    The CIA weaponized our culture marks (not the actual culture) thereby destroying our real US heritage. The Chinese may use the same tactics and we’ll be awash with Middle Kingdom destiny.

    However back to the matter at hand.

    I am Alaskan Native. I don’t suffer from depression. I’m not overweight. I don’t have diabetes. I don’t gamble and I don’t drink (at all).

    What is the difference? CULTURE. The culture of the tribes have gone rancid. The reason why? MONEY. Native entitlements, Welfare, Affirmative action. Like the Blacks, Native Americans don’t have to push themselves in school because anyone who is even remotely conscientious will be rewarded well past their effort.

    That Native arts are dying is very sad, as well as language and stories. But then again, how many other cultures have been killed over the centuries? The destruction is normal. Apparently.

  6. Lou

    Sheep farming gone, jobs gone;

  7. Lou


    As ‘Utne reader’ noted, ‘I hate Oswego, the people walk by the crack house on the way to a ‘Save Tibet’ benefit.’

    IOW- The brainwashed WHITE people want to save Tibet [no, a bumper sticker declaring that wont do] BUT WONT SAVE THEIR OWN LANGUAGE, CULTURE, BORDERS AND THE WHITE RACE, WHICH IS DISAPPEARING.

    [anyone who disagrees with this is a fool].

  8. emsnews

    I had a front seat to the transition. It happened very suddenly, starting in 1968 when LBJ tried the ‘great society’ stuff. It hammered the Tribes and made the black community disintegrate nearly instantly.

  9. JimmyJ

    @melponeme_k – The Asian cultures you speak of in my experience don’t associate much with the so called dominant cultures they are within but preferentially they retain ties back to their own dominant cultures of their home country. Even folks that have immigrated from China for example, though in Canada for decades, hang around by themselves and barely speak English here in Vancouver, but they go back ‘home’ all the time to get culturally recharged.

    The American First Nations and Africans retain no dominant culture of their own being completely dominated by colonizing cultures. In BC where I live some of the northern reserves are utterly bleak and solidarity among different Nations is even so tenuous as to provide little relief.

    It’s worth also pointing out that there are Chinese native peoples that are not Han and they suffer the same troubles as North American natives since they were colonized by Han culture (oversimplifying). There are colonized cultures galore in human history that simply went from dominant to gone, demonstrating that sufficient colonizing (or outright warring) will achieve long lived damage.

  10. Lou

    LBJ tried the ‘great society’ which made the black community disintegrate nearly instantly. WHY?

    I say LBJ was the worst president of 20th Century. [Immigration Act, Vietnam war, Guns and Butter].

  11. melponeme_k


    They were well on the way to obliteration, but they fought back. We see it in their reemerging eminence.

    “In BC where I live some of the northern reserves are utterly bleak and solidarity among different Nations is even so tenuous as to provide little relief.”

    In the US these reservations were formed as containment with blood ties to MONEY. Natives could not collect entitlements without being reservation prisoners. They can’t receive school aid etc. without proving BLOOD QUANTUM of Native heritage.

    They swallowed this poison because hey, EASY MONEY.

    And they stayed to collect, and in just a few generations, are sickly and ignorant.

    The time for tears for them is over. That did not work. Now it is time for intervention, tough love. Someone has to tell Natives and Blacks to STFU and be adults. It has to be done now. Or we get brutal ethnic cleansing.

    We will all live to see this, we’ll see the masses cleanse the muslims in their midst. We’ll see our cities being blockaded. The last of the Natives will die out.

    The only ones who can save them are themselves.

  12. kenogami

    Melpomene, I believe that numbers are very important. In the Americas, 95% of the natives were wiped out by european-african-asian diseases for which they had no defense as they evolved independently from all other continents for > 10000 years. As a consequence, they became small minorities in their own lands.

    In Asia, even if they were conquered by Europeans, the natives were still a huge majority in their own lands. With their very strong and old culture, they recovered.

  13. emsnews

    All the Romans were totally wiped out of England and much of France, the Low Lands by invaders. Yes, wiped out entirely. Not one survived. Ethnic cleansing is very ancient. The Romans boasted about doing this. They were brutal and very systematic. Then it happened to them!

    Imagine that! Lessons here!

    The loss of society of the Tribes happened very rapidly in the last 50 years, I watched it happen with amazement and horror. It greatly saddens me.

    Many Tribes were, like the one I knew so well, very poor and lived in huts they built themselves and cooked food they raised themselves and they did everything…themselves.

    Today, they live in housing built by others, mostly trailers, and raise little to no food, no longer make their own clothing, everything is dead now, they exist to consume stuff made by others and it is killing them like poison.

    As it is killing other ethnic groups even European ones, anyone who falls into this lifestyle, dies a slow or even fast death from despair, self-hatred, boredom, whatever. They have no reason to exist anymore and know this.

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