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Indian Reservations and the struggle to Survive by Kristina Bruno

In the young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Sherman Alexie writes in the viewpoint of a Native American Indian teenager torn between his life on the reservation and the white world that surrounds it. The novel deals with issues such as racism poverty bullying and following tradition. Arnold, the main character has many physical problems and for that, he is made fun of by both peers on the reservation and in the white well-off school he transfers to later on in the novel.
His family, like many others on the reservation suffers from poverty. Arnold is angered and saddened by the fact that the Spokane Reservation is so poor when he realizes that he is using the same school textbooks that his mom used thirty years ago. This brings up the question of whether tribal groups having their own government and being exempt from the United States government laws is a case of cultural Relativism of Structural violence. This is a very controversial issue that still does not have a perfect answer of how to address this controversy.

This story very much relates to depression in a sense that all the issues and hardships that the author describes can lead to both chronic and recurrent depression.  Here is an article that further looks into the struggle to survive on Native American Reservations: Living and Surviving on Indian Reservations.


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