One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

chief says "I see the us department of interior bearing down on our little tribe with a gravel-crushing machine" what does he mean and why is the metaphor relevant to the hospital and the combine?

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Chief is referring to when the government basically crushed his village to build a hydro-electric dam. The metaphor is the system crushing the very people they are supposed to serve just like in the hospital.