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My elder, Kathleen Holloway Johnson, who is a CPN citizen through two families, allowed me to interview her. We belong to the same tribe and are second cousins. The increased resources provided to the populace have led to enormous growth for our Native American tribe. The resources include housing, prescription drugs, and student grants. Both of them have played a crucial role in ensuring that our tribe and community continue to expand their social and economic spheres of influence. The growth of the tribal members has been significantly impacted by the presence of employees in the area (Andrews et al, 2016). Most people who are attracted to the area by job opportunities mostly find themselves having to reside in the area since some from different parts of the country (Wetzel, 2015). In doing this, the employees from the various work hubs that have been stationed in the area end up dissolving in the way of life of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and it is for this reason that they are considered to be an addition to the tribe.
This community treasures the smallest offers given to them such as free dental and eyesight checkups and leadership training for the young people. The town also considers additional members to their community as an additional resource (Low, 2016). It is for this reason that the city enjoys welcoming new members to the same since it believes in numbers as their primary resource.
The community, however, has been affected due to the increase in the number of people with criminal records. These people cannot be able to secure most of the jobs available in the community, and thus most of them end up being a liability to the community (Pearce, 2017). They become a liability since they have to get their daily needs, but they cannot secure jobs that would help them in ensuring this happens and they are therefore forced to go back to crime. The tribe is putting up measures that are meant to assist the CPN citizens with criminal records secure jobs that they can handle. Nevertheless, some of them are hard nuts to crack, and they end up being whisked away by the same criminal cycle due to their ignorance (Mosteller, 2015). It is this lot that is acting as a liability to the Native American tribe. If jobs could be offered to these young CPN men and women with criminal records, then vices like poverty would be significantly alleviated.
The tribe is however not welcoming the brewery that is to be erected in the area despite the job opportunities it would be creating. Locals, including Kathy, are entirely against the investment idea due to the immorality it would bring with it. They argue that alcoholism has been a bone to chew for the tribe and if the brewery is to be delivered to the area then the menace could be worsened (Schultz & Rainie, 2014). Kathy, as a representative of the tribe, would only support women in leadership, just if they were smarter than the rest of their competitors. This shows that the community is not after gender equality as much as it is for good governance. This is a rather wise move since it even empowers the women to go an extra mile if they want leadership positions and excludes the possibility of getting positions due to sympathy.
The responses I received from the elder show characteristics of both similarities and differences to how I would respond to the same. To begin with, Kathy is comfortable with the additional members of their tribe as a result of employment in the area. I would also respond as she did only because all positive changes, including economic growth, would have to begin with an increase in the tribe’s population.
On the issue of employment considerations, Kathy is against the employment of people with past criminal records. She argues that the citizens with illegal files should not be given equal opportunities with the other citizens. Kathy says that they have to be thoroughly screened before being offered any employment opportunity. This is contrary to my opinion where I would prefer equity in jobs, regardless of whether an applicant has a criminal record or not. The criminals are given their necessary punishments to reform them, and this, therefore, means that once they are released, then they are improved. It might not continuously be the case, but I think they deserve a chance just like anybody else. If they are denied the possibilities, there are likely to fall back to their past criminal activities. There is also a difference in response where Kathy shows no interest in knowing how many of her community members have past criminal records. If I were the elder, I would be interested in the statistics as this would help me understand the community’s workforce.
Kathy agrees to the notion of helping all the tribe’s citizens regardless of their criminal records but backs this up with some conditions. She says that she would only help those willing to be maintained. I also agree on the same as no force can be applied to ensure that all the citizens of the tribe are kept. Kathy also foresees the move to help the citizens of the tribe, mostly those with criminal records, as an excellent move to alleviate poverty. I would even agree with this since the tribe’s citizens with criminal records would be given a chance to work and therefore earn what is rightfully theirs and avoid involving themselves in crimes and drug abuse. This would all work together to and ensure that all households can meet the needs they bare and therefore doing away with the high poverty levels.
The move to erect a brewery in the area was tackled by Kathy as a very cynical move, and she was entirely against it. She is concerned about the social upbringing of the community and fails to notice the positive externalities that the project would give to the locales. I fail to agree with this response. The brewery would be a very original project as most of the unemployed people in the area would end up getting chances in the firm. There would also be an increase in population due to the other workers in the factory who will be from different areas. The increase in people would be a resource to the tribe since they believe in people as resources. Finally, I would wholeheartedly agree with Kathy’s response on women leadership. She does not believe in gender equality. Instead, she feels the best being given the power to rule. Although it is contrary to the laws in every country today, it is a rather wise move since it reflects real equality.
This location where I conducted the interview is a rather quiet community, where they believe in togetherness and hard work. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation consists of people that are so loving and welcoming shown by how they treat all their guests as special guests. This can be attributed to their belief of having large populations as a resource. The area is not densely populated and so are the employment opportunities. The tribe is a mix of some races, therefore, elaborating their love for unity and peace (Poindexter, 2016). It houses some citizens with previous criminal records but has measures that it has set to help them.
The people in the area majorly depend on employment as their primary source of income (Pearce, 2017). The employment opportunities have been brought about by the many investors who take an interest in investing in the area. The community is a beehive of activities as every member of the city is busy trying to make ends come together for their families. This is except a small number of jobless individuals who lack opportunities due to their criminal records. The leadership in the area majorly comprises of men and very few women (Wetzel, 2015). I would attribute this to the justifications given by Kathy on choosing leaders, not to fill some gender gaps, but leaders who have proved to possess aspects of good leadership.
Andrews, W. J., Becker, C. J., Ryter, D. W., & Smith, S. J. (2016). Summary of US Geological Survey studies conducted in cooperation with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, central Oklahoma, 2011–14 (No. 2015-5182). US Geological Survey.
Low, J. N. (2016). Gathering the Potawatomi Nation: Revitalization and Identity.
Mosteller, K. (2015). Potawatomi Allotment in Kansas. From Indigenous Communities and Settler Colonialism: Land Holding, Loss and Survival in an Interconnected World. Eds. Zoe Laidlaw and Alan Lester. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 214-232.
Pearce, M. W. (2017). Imagination, memory, and engagement: expressing indigenous and non-indigenous geographies.
Poindexter, E. (2016). Expanding horizons, expanding self: an incentive to get out of the classroom and start using art to explore your community with placed-based arts investigation.
Schultz, J. L., & Rainie, S. C. (2014). The strategic power of data: A key aspect of sovereignty. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 5(4).
Wetzel, C. (2015). Gathering the Potawatomi Nation: Revitalization and Identity. University of Oklahoma Press.
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