Native American Stereotypes Essay

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Native Americans How long have people lived in North America? No one knows exactly. Some Native American legends suggest that people have lived on this continent for countless generations, ever since human life began. Some scientists confirm that Native Americans were indeed the first humans to inhabit North America. They also say that humans first arrived here at least 30,000 years ago, perhaps much earlier. In order to ever begin to help anyone from a different culture I think its important to understand as much as possible about it. In this paper we will begin our understanding of Native Americans. People had already been living in the America long before the white man ever “discovered” it. These people were known as the Native Americans.…show more content…
"Three of the most common stereotypes characterize Native Americans as: (1) savage, depraved, and cruel; (2) noble, proud, silent, and close to nature; or (3) inferior, childlike, and helpless." (Norton, 533) Even the language of the Native Americans has been described as "snarling", "grunting", or "yelping". 'The Matchlock Gun, by Walter Edmonds compares nameless Indians to trotting dogs, sniffing the scent of food." This example goes back to stereotyping Native Americans as being savage and animal-like. Some characters in literature are not given proper names. By not naming the characters in books, it depersonalizes the actions of the individuals, and generalizes them to all Native Americans. Here are three ways in which the Native American culture has been portrayed stereotypically. "First, culture may be depicted as inferior to the white culture."(Norton, 533) The attitude that Native Americans were "saved" by the Anglo-Saxon culture, Depicts their own as being inferior. "Second, their culture may be depicted as valueless, and thus not worthy of respect."(Norton, 533) By focusing on only the negative characteristics in the Native American communities, value is taken from the positive. The real differences in the Native American culture may be ignored, while others, like violence and alcoholism are seen as their only cultural

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