Accidents and suicide are the leading causes of death among young Native Americans. And brazen humor may get to the heart of the problem.
By Mary Annette Pember
Born and raised on the rez, he tells the audience, “Hey, I’ve been through it all. Drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse. I’ve been abandoned and physically abused.” The topics might seem too dark and inappropriate for tonight’s audience of youngsters and adults, but JR knows that these rez kids, like himself, have been through it all. His message is simple yet profound. The act of publicly telling his truth and laughing in its face sends the message that Indian people can be proud and successful no matter what has happened to them.
Below: "Comedian J.R. Redwater brings serious hilarity to Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Ft. Totten, North Dakota." (Mary Annette Pember)