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Native americans and alcohol

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independent10 | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted May 1, 2010 at 1:01 AM via web

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Native americans and alcohol

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 1, 2010 at 1:16 AM (Answer #1)

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It would be helpful if you could tell us a bit more about what you need.  What you have given us is not a question and does not really tell us what it is you want to know.

In general, alcohol has been a real danger to Native American societies ever since contact with the Europeans.  Alcohol became one of the things that Europeans and Americans traded to the Indians in return for various goods.

Alcohol became a real problem because Native Americans are, genetically speaking, much less tolerant of alcohol than are Europeans.  This meant that they became drunk more easily and became alcoholic more easily.  Thus, drinking disrupted their societies more than it did for whites.

This trend continues today.  I would argue that some of the problem today stems from lack of economic prospects on Indian reservatons, but some presumably comes from the genetic problem as well.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 1, 2010 at 1:40 AM (Answer #2)

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Enotes has a couple of resources you could use to explore your topic.

I would encourage you to read some of the works of Sherman Alexie. His novel The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven cites several personal instances of the effects of Native American Alcoholism on both the families and alcoholics.

You might also consider viewing the movie, Smoke Signals. It is also by present day author Sherman Alexie who regularly highlights the 20th century life of the Native American. You could get this movie at Amazon.com.

If you had a specific question I would more accurately address it, but for now, these are the ideas I have for you in beginning to research this topic.

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