The removal of the southern Native Americans was devastating to the Five Civilized Tribes. They were forced to leave their land and move to the west on reserved areas of land. Some left peacefully, others stayed and fought. The U.S. government tried to intervene and create treaties, but also enforced removal. The government didn’t do much to protect the Native Americans, nor were they able to enforce their own laws regarding Native American land and treaties.
They often involved the outlawing of traditional social systems, values and spiritual beliefs. Whether these policies were misguided humanitarianism or malicious attempts to wipe out the Indian way of life, the effects of these policies were devastating. The undermining of beliefs and ceremonies meant that Aboriginal people could not practice many of the healing methods that had been so important to their well-being. Being Indian was often times illegal, frowned upon, but worst of all, something to be ashamed of. Being part of mainstream Canadian society was something to aspire to.
The lessons that McNamara teaches can be viewed all throughout the course of history and should be used as a guideline for the future. Lesson One: Empathize with your Enemy i. Columbus’ Treatment of the Native Americans: The Native American people were drastically different than the explorers of the New World. They believed that nobody owned the land; the idea of land ownership didn’t exist in their eyes. Instead of recognizing the Native American World View, Christopher Columbus and his men took advantage of the Indians by enslaving them and subduing them with violence in an effort to acquire land and riches. Clearly, Columbus should have empathized with the Native Americans by respecting their values and negotiating through fair trade rather than violence and deceit.
“The Problem with Finding Identity in American Popular Culture” Who defines the identity of a group of people? Thomas King in The Truth About Stories describes how government policies have influenced popular culture’s perception of who is Native American as well as the role of “the literary Indian” in the Native American community (King, 34). These definitions have penetrated society’s view and behavior towards Native Americans as well as influenced how this group of people view one another. The problem with popular culture’s perception of Native Americans is that the images of the “Indian” are completely fixed, therefore preventing their identity from changing with the rest of society as time goes on. For centuries, governments have had the power to identify what is a Native American.
This led to conflicts and therefore partially led to the destruction of the Native American way of life. The white Americans quickly claimed land and would move the Plains Indians around as they saw fit, usually affected by where gold had recently been discovered. This culminated in putting the Native Americans on reservations. In many of the agreements and treaties signed over land the settlers would claim never to go back on their promises “as long as grass grew” and “the mountains stood”. Breaking the promises would have shown the Native Americans that the settlers thought little of their intelligence, and also would instil a lack of trust in the settlers, as now every apparently solemn vow to not attack certain areas or to treat the Plains Indians better etc.
Many of the Native Americans suffered from disease, starvation and death because of the forced relocation to the west. A change in climate and environment did not assist with the relocation of this society that had first existed on the American soil. This tragic incident is most remembered as the “The Trail of Tears”. Furthermore, the lack of compensation, by the government, to the Native Americans destroyed, the already diminishing, numbers of their eastern tribes. Many Americans opposed the removal of the Native Americans and argued that they too had been civilized and should be allowed to remain on the homelands, specifically Davey Crocket.
The Native Americans were outraged by the white people trying to take their land that was set aside for them. The result was reservations wars broke out between the white people and Native Americans. As battles broke out, reformers wanted to put in place a new humane policy. The policy was to destroy native ways but save the Indians from themselves and make Indians into what white people thought they should be. After the reservation wars broke out and the conflict between the Native Americans and whites continued to rise, the new focus was the idea of civilization.
This is where the Louisiana Purchase spurred several more of its type and where it was acknowledged that land was absolutely necessary for American advancement. Unfortunately, this affected the Native Americans already living on the land, and they were slaughtered and relocated in the most inhumane of ways. This changed my thinking in that it brought more awareness to me of the terrible injustices that were done to the Native American population. Zinn points out some significant numbers that show how low the Indian population dropped after the settlers got their sights set on their land. However, while I can inwardly mourn the loss of a historic culture and people, I am grateful that the country now has the land and assets that make it a superpower.
“I have often wondered at the savagery and thoughtlessness with which our early settlers approached this rich continent.”In this sentence alone lets the readers know how he felt towards the early settlers that they were inconsiderate, selfish, unruly group of people that didn’t really know better in a sense. 2) What is the author’s intent in using the term, “half-breed children” in the 2nd paragraph on page 69? How does the previous sentence lead you to understand his use of this word? “The few who stayed, who lived among the Indians, adopted their customs and some took Indian wives and were regarded as strange and somehow treasonable creatures. As for their half-breed children, while the tribe sometimes adopted them they were unacceptable as equals in the eastern settlements.”I believe the author intended the term “half-breed children” to mean multiracial because in the previous sentence it leads me to understand that the settlers that were growing a custom to the Native American
It was a widely held belief that Indigenous people were an inferior race and would eventually die out. Many policies enacted on them had a greatly detrimental effect upon their cultural heritage. Policies such as the forced Indigenous people off the land and into government reserves, the assimilation policy tried to force Indigenous people to adopt a Western lifestyle by giving up their traditional lifestyle and beliefs. They were expected to live and act like ‘white Australians’ but were denied equal wages, work conditions and welfare benefits received by other Australians. Other policies attempted to ‘breed-out’ Indigenous Australians by pairing an Indiginous individual with a white partner.