By Jennifer Fermino
Step onto an Indian reservation and you're leaving the United States and entering a sovereign nation that includes free health care, a tribal justice system with its own courts, jails and police--and even separate license plates and passports.
The second paragraph and the rest of the article are reasonably accurate. They correct the initial impression created by the article. But if someone doesn't read the article carefully, the damage will be done.
Some specific problems with the article's language:
Really, the article provides no basis for using "Wild West" to describe an Indian reservation. It's pure stereotyping. "Watch out if you step onto a reservation!" the message seems to be. "Indians are a wild, savage bunch, so they'll cheat you, rob you, or scalp you!"
And the so-called "freebies" (healthcare and no state income taxes if you work on the rez) aren't really free. That's like saying Americans get free police and firefighting services. No, they pay for them with their taxes.
And Indians paid for their "freebies" with their land. It's the same kind of arrangement: You give something to the government and it gives something back. There's nothing "free" about it.
For more on the subject, see Enemy Territory as "Indian Country" and The Essential Facts About Indians Today.