Identity Essay

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Native American studies has stimulated the growth of my identity with regards to the Native Americans. When I started attending Native American studies at the beginning of this semester I began to notice the slight resistance I had to this subject. I found that surprising, I didn't know why I disliked the topic at first, maybe it was because of vague concepts and ideas that I had picked up from other people disliking the Indians from my past. Alternatively it also could be the confusion and frustration it seemed that some people expressed when speaking of Native Americans. Regardless of the source of my prejudice I felt I wasn't going to enjoy this class. I am not sure when, but something in the Native American studies class started to spark an interest in me. I began yearning to learn more about different native issues. I realized that if I put some effort into learning about the Indians I would not feel as much opposition to the subject when it was brought up in daily life. My goal morphed from wanting to pass the course, to instead striving to have a solid opinion on this subject, and furthermore to be able to have a clear and knowledgeable conversation with someone about Native Americans, without having to feel uncomfortable about it. So what about my opinion on specific Native American issues? I have also changed some of my political views on Native Americans because of this course. One of the things that I came to learn that encouraged me to think more about this subject were that the reservations are supposed to be sovereign from the United States. I had never heard that before in my life! Learning about the treaty period is another topic that really struck me because once again I had never heard about these treaties before. I began to apprehend the gap that has been made between the Native Americans and the majority population, especially

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