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Blogs / Professional Fellows Exchange Program / Understanding the inclusive development for the Native American: Lessons from Ponca Tribe and Cherokee Tribe

Understanding the inclusive development for the Native American: Lessons from Ponca Tribe and Cherokee Tribe

Last week was I traveled to Ponca City and Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Briefly, this two-day travel has given me a new perspective of development among native entities in developed country. 

In several places around the developing countries, the native community usually is recognised as marginal community in the term of space, social as well as in economy aspect. They lack access of basic services, inadequate of proper sanitation. They receive so much “gift” from many philanthropist’s, but unfortunately it doesn’t match with what exactly they need. Economically, they also usually tied on patron client relationship from the capital provider. Inadequate sanitation, combined with the lack access to clean water has largely contributed the some health problems. These situation is a common phenomena in development country.

However, what I found in this two-days travel was that inclusive development and inclusive social services had been demonstrated very well to served the native american. In general, they still lived on their own living concept. They still embrace traditional belief. Although they appeared quite different with the common people of america, but there is no different on social relation and reaction regarding their identity.

I visited Ponca City for a health fair. At the fair, several NGO, government bodies and the university units demonstrated their services. Before the local community entered to the hall, we prepared everything. Each of stand opened for free discussion. They served the community for health consultation. I was so amazed that the community were so welcome at the fair. They assumed that it was a great chance to ask their health problem for free. 

Obviously, the Ponca community is unable to categorised as an another “social class” among the great society. They appeared as they way they are. Although some sources has argued to me that there’s still ‘special service and facilities’ for the native, but in my point of view, government has provided everything they need.  

On the next day, I visited Cherokee Heritage Centre. Located on the grounds of first Cherokee national female seminary, the cherokee heritage center was established in 1967 as a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture. Experience the living history of 1710 cherokee life, the unforgettable trail of tears and indian territory lifestyle at the Cherokee Heritage Centre, the heart of tribal history and culture. 

In this area, I entered to a rural cherokee village. I felt so lucky, that I can found what I expected before coming to the US, the native village. it was so amazing. Although it just a museum, but I believe that it was appeared just the way the genuine is. On the other side of the rural village, i entered to another Cherokee village that reflected what Cherokee was before the colonial occupation.

Conclusively, native american has received a special place among the federal policy. They receive a great attention from many parts of group. All I want to express is that it gave me a new perspective of inclusive development of social class in US. This period of fellowship won’t enough to explore more about how the US government maintain the native. 

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