Ambrose Lincoln

I met Ambrose in downtown Gallup. After I told him about my project he was willing to be part of it.

Gallup is right next to The Navajo reservation and the entire area is called “Indian Land”. The conditions on the reservation are often on the level of a 3rd World country, a fact that most Americans are not aware of.

The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous territory of 26 000m2, which sprawls across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, and is the largest land area assigned to Native Americans within the USA. On the Navajo Nation, where about 170 000 people live amid geography ranging from arid desert to alpine forest, at least 18 000 homes have no electricity. Water hauling is very common. Tourism, mining, and agriculture are the mainstays of the economy but they provide dwindling revenues and the unemployment rate is about 40%. Native Americans die at higher rates than other Americans from tuberculosis (500% higher), alcoholism (514% higher), diabetes (177% higher), unintentional injuries (140% higher), homicide (92% higher), and suicide (82% higher).

Suicide is the second leading cause of death behind unintentional injuries among Native American children and young adults. Navajo had additional health problems from exposure to the deadly dust created by uranium mining—a lethal legacy that persists in the degradation of the land. Children and adults have had illnesses ranging from asthma to thyroid disease, and these problems finally led the Navajo to ban uranium mining on their land in 2005.

Ambrose is living on the street. He told me that he had been in a fight the night before but promised me that the guy he was fighting looked much worse then him. His story is heart wrenching and stands for for a culture that is still suffering from the loss of their land and their heritage.

Knowing some of the shortcomings on the reservation I asked Ambrose what he would tell the president if he would get the chance to talk to him.

My hope is that this interview raises the awareness about what is happening on the Navajo reservation and that because of that Native Americans will get the help and support they deserve.

Please show your support for doing so by sharing this post with as many people as you can.

To Listen to Amrose’s take on life please click here.

“Ambrose Lincoln” Gallup/New Mexico 03-20-13 at 5:25 PM

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