The American Indian
The Native American Ordeal
- Native Americans have been overlooked since the times of Christopher Columbus, being purposely slaughtered and mistreated. Oh, yes, the European ideals are much better, the idea of backstabbing and ignoring the needs of the community. This type of thinking leads to the misunderstanding of these harmless, intelligent civilizations.
- Values, Culture & Religious freedom. The Native Americans' values were in constant conflict with Europeans. It was illegal in their culture to hoard food or goods. This type of thinking led the Europeans, who were led by greed and individualism, to believe that Native Americans are inferior and should not even be considered human, rather
- Opression - The Native Americans were opressed because of beliefs of the ignorant people who were incouraged by both government policies and by stereotypes in the media.
- For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and the most misunderstood Americans of us all.
- This is where people get most of the stereotypes of a Native American. The dime novels and other ficticious books of hairy savages who were prepared to scalp any helpless person. These tales led to the death of almost every nation, almost a complete genocide of Native Americans. The government realized that to destroy the native cultures, the Native American had to become like whites. The government took the children, made them learn english, and observe Christian religions. In schools, it was forbidden for the children to speak their native language. It almost worked.
- Today - The Native Americans are trying to re-establish their culture. They must look to their elders to help them because the elders know the old language. Today there are three major issues going on between the government and Native Americans involving land rights. The first is when Native Americans' sold cigarettes on their land without charging tax. Another conflict in that in Washington, they have been setting up casino's on their reservations and gambling on them. Because gambling is illegal in the state of Washington, the government is trying to put an end to it. The third problem is the selling of illegal fireworks on the Native American plantations.
- While some Indian resistance was crushed by dramatic massacres, for the most part Native Americans were subdued by a combination of disease. alcohol, food rationing, the cooperation of indian collaborators, and the theft of children for boarding schools -- a situation not radically unlike today.
- Nevertheless, even against these overwhelming odds, the traditional cultures and religions (and even some governments) survived. Technologies and practices adapted to western society, but the core values of Native peoples remained, including their strong relationship to the land.
Link Into Some Native American Sites
Genealogy of the first Americans
History of Native Americans
Definitions of American Indians
American Indians - Stereotypes or Reality
A man outside the norm of the times was William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, because he treated the Delaware tribe with respect and honesty. He was one of the few who actually followed his treaty when he signed one and when he bought off the Native Americans it was for a fair price. It ia unfortunate that more people of his time did not take advantage of the knowledge of the Native American