At least, that’s the way it was for too many years, says writer David Treuer in this Salon piece, in which Treuer – who is Ojibwe from Minnesota’s Leech Lake Reservation – ventures into the world of a casino-wealthy tribe.
Specifically, he goes to the new Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa in Palm Springs, run by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. Treuer, who’s written three novels and a collection of essays on Native American literature, uses the trip as an occasion to riff on the evolution of reservations.
But Indians, he writes, “(quite annoyingly) refused to die. Instead, we got stronger. We bred. We survived. And in many places, despite the crushing poverty and lack of opportunity, we’ve managed to thrive,” he writes. And, once he and his wife, who grew up on New York’s Tonawanda Reservation, have settled into the luxury of the Morongo casino, he marvels “that we (Indians, that is) actually own all this – not my wife, of course, but this, this casino. We own it when we are really expected only to be two things, dead or poor. I thought to myself as I settled into our room (which was as beautiful as the tower that encased it): ‘I just might win after all.’”
The man can write. To find out more about Treuer and his books, check out his Web site, here.