The Tohono O'odham Nation

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Not necessarily a broad scope issue, but an issue nonetheless, the situation of the Tohono O'odham Nation is a problem that must be handled by the United States and Mexico. The people of the Tohono O'odham Nation reside on a reservation in what was their original land in southern Arizona. This area of land stretches beyond the Mexican border, which has caused a problem for the Tohono O'odham. Mexican drug cartels have begun using the people of this nation as drug carriers, as it is easy for them to cross the border without trouble from the government due to the land being their own to govern. This creates a problem in the community of the Tohono O'odham because the rich and powerful drug cartels are able to offer them large sums of money or possessions in order to transport drugs across the border. Tohono O'odham children and teenagers are targeted by cartels to smuggle the drugs because they are easy to influence with large sums of money and appear less suspicious to law enforcement. If they accept these rewards in exchange for their services they run the risk of being arrested, which is happening to more and more of the Tohono O'odham Nation in the recent years. 

The Desert Diamond Casino and the Golden Hashan Casino on the reservation bring in a lot of money for the law enforcement of this nation, which has resulted in the means to arrest many offenders. This increased crime threatens the Tohono O'odham Nation because as scrutiny from the government increases, the chances of the natives losing their land to the government increase. 

The United States contributes to this problem with the large demand for drugs in our country. Americans can help this problem by creating a fund for Tohono O'odham law enforcement in order for them to be able to handle the issue on their own and avoid interference from the United States government. The people of the Tohono O'odham Nation have had their land for centuries and losing the reservation would have a huge impact on their culture and the way they operate. The future of these people lies with the handling of this situation.

 

For Additional Reading:

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1208/120820tuscon.htm

 

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/state/tohono-oodham-nation-fighting-new-drug-business-trend

 

http://search.proquest.com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/docview/362610770

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1 Comment

I found this really interesting. I had never even heard of the Tohono O’odham Nation let alone their land issues and involvement in drug cartels. It’s sad that Native American populations today are in such a struggle for money and resources that it’s near impossible to pass up opportunities for money, especially the large sums that these cartels are able to dish out. It’s a shame that due to other people’s actions and mistakes is putting the Native Americans and their reservation land at risk. Because the Mexican Cartels are taking the Native Americans and their desperation for granted, the Natives run the risk of losing even more of their already sparse land. I think it would be very beneficial for some sort of fund to be opened up for the sake of the survival of the Tohono O’odham nation and their land preservation. Perhaps offering some of our resources and law enforcement to combat these drug and illegal actions can benefit majorly. We need to stop thinking of American and the Native Americans as a situation of “us and them” and start working together to fight these persistent issues and start building both of the economies. By providing some assistance and services, not only can we help in fighting the drug war on a whole United States basis but also aid in helping the Native Americans by decreasing reservation corruption and increasing beneficial economy and reservation growth.

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