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Luana Ross

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Native Women, Mean-Spirited Drugs, and Punishing Policies

This exploratory essay examines circumstances that lead to drug use among Native women and the effects of tribal, federal, and state policies on those convicted of drug-related offenses. This topic is an under-researched and unexplored area, and the beginning of a more detailed research project by the author. Current drug laws, welfare reform, and tribal policies destroy the lives of those convicted. The author emphasizes that the past and continuing forms of violence must be included in the analysis of Native women and substance abuse. The essay concludes with a discussion of the banishment of convicted drug felons on an Indian reservation and ponders what tribal communities can do survive the chaos created by drugs.

Native women, drug abuse, crime, drug laws, welfare reform, banishment, colonialism

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 31, No. 4 (2004): 54-62.