Just recently, I attended one of the Native American House sponsored events. At the event, Chaske Spencer who was cast in the Twilight saga spoke about his past and growing up as a Native American. Spencer grew up on an Indian reservation in Idaho and was exposed to alcohol at a young age. Both his father and sister were alcoholics, as well as a few other members of his extended family. When we talked about Indians and alcoholism in class, I did not realize how big of an issue it is on reservations to this day. Spencer described numerous occasions of alcohol abuse on the reservation that he grew up on. He told one specific story that I found pretty shocking. While partying on the reservation, Spencer was in his early teens at the time, the people that lived there did not hold back from drinking alcohol even in front of young children. Spencer described an incident where he and other Native Americans were drinking, some even doing drugs, while a baby walked around freely in the midst of everything going on. At the time, this seemed a little bit twisted to Spencer but at the same time seemed normal. On the reservation Spencer lived on, alcohol was consumed freely without the consideration of the affect it may have on the younger generations of Native Americans living on the reservation.
I did a little bit of research on this topic and found an interesting statistic. According to the MPR News Website (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/10/17/indianfasd/), the fetal alcohol rate among Indians is 30 times higher than it is for caucasians. The problem of alcoholism on Indian reservations is recognized and recently there have been more efforts to help the issue than there has been in the past.