'Diagnosing Native children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and treating them with stimulants does nothing to improve their educational or intellectual growth. Even worse, it sets them up for failure. Such an idea may upset the many caretakers, educators and mental health providers who think they are helping so-called “ADHD children,” yet Native children have been sabotaged by a similar mentality for generations.
Long before the ADHD term was invented, children in American Indian boarding schools were labeled feebleminded. Forcibly sent away for a “special education,” the intent was to eliminate the influence of loved ones and their “primitive” communities to make the best of their presumably inferior intellects. Influential Euro-American social scientists convinced of the inferiority of Native parents soon began applying such beliefs to their rebellious, traumatized, inattentive or merely spirited children.
And here are some other excellent articles by David Walker:
> How the US Mental Health System Makes Natives Sick and Suicidal
> The American Indian Youth Suicide Epidemic: Mental Health Professionals as Superheroes
> A Living Burial’: Inside the Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians
Finally, just to let you know, I won't be blogging as regularly on the Sharing Culture website for a time now, as I am now working on two exciting new projects, one a film project and the other a book project. Both focus on the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia. Busy times ahead.