Thank you Governor Richardson for raising the issue of Native American affairs in the United States. It is essential for polticians to give voice to those who have been systematically silenced both historically and currently in the Americas.
I am a Canadian, and the state of Natives (First Nations) in Canada is comparable to that of the United States. The United Nations has recently identified the living conditions on First Nations reserves in Canada as being similar to third world/developing countries.
I disagree, however, when you state that Native Americans should be treated equally and not be given 'special treatment'. Of course all humans should be treated equally but the present day Native American, as you illustrated through your evidence, is not on an equal footing as the average U.S. citizen. The current conditions of Native Americans is demonstrative of the increasign socio-economic stratification occuring within the United States. The increasing divisions between classes in the U.S. is unacceptable. This is precisely why I oppose lobbyists -- there are no lobbys for the marginalized or the modern-day untouchables.