posts 1 - 15 of 25
Boston, US
Posts: 205

Readings (choose at least 3 to read from the following list):

Claudio Vaunt, “The invasion of America,” Aeon, January 2015.

Philip de Loria, “The Invention of Thanksgiving,” The New Yorker, November 18, 2019.

Dennis Zotigh “Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving?” Smithsonian Magazine, November 26, 2016.

Erin Blackmore, “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women,” JStor Daily, August 25, 2016.

Tristan Ahtone, “Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life,” National Geographic, December 2018.

Slide show to go with this article:

Carolyn Smith-Morris, “Addressing the Epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” Cultural Survival, March 6, 2020.

Ezra Rosser, “Trump and the Native American vote,” The Hill, October 14, 2020.

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, "Native Americans are Afraid, Hard-Hit as Coronavirus Spikes in the Great Plains," Huffington Post, November 19, 2020.


Many people believe that Native Americans have been erased from the story we tell about the history of the United States. America was discovered….by Columbus. Let’s be generous: let’s call it an “encounter.” Its first settlers? The British and the Dutch, let alone the Spanish and French. Before 1492, this land was wilderness, waiting to be “discovered.” Were there people here? Were they people or savages? How did we depict them, describe them, study them, remember them?

If you believe in ghosts, then Native American ghosts are all around us. And yet their descendants survived. They are here but how often do we hear their voices? Are we paying attention to them? We have much to learn from the Native peoples of this country, if we are willing to take the time to do so.

It is argued that what happened to the Native Americans in this country was genocide. The definition of genocide is the deliberate killing of a group of people because of who they are, what their identities are, often with the goal of eliminating them entirely. Yet on Beacon Hill, where a bill (S.327) mandating the teaching of genocide was being discussed by the Massachusetts Legislature in October 2019 (for a text of the bill, see, and for coverage of the motives and the legislator behind it, see , take a guess: which group was conspicuously not mentioned?

In the past few years, we’ve seen untold numbers of Native women missing, sexually assaulted, and murdered across the nation. This is continuing. And the Trump administration’s position on everything from the Dakota Access Pipeline cutting across Native lands in the Dakotas to the ginormous numbers of indigenous people sick with and dying from COVID has complicated the situation and worsened the fragile situation faced by Native peoples in this country enormously.

Consider what we’ve looked at in class and the content of the readings listed above as you respond to the following questions.

  • What do we need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation? How do we fully confront the history of the Native American experience in this nation?
  • How do we address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population?
  • What apologies and amends do we need to make, if any?
  • How do we address the fact that Native peoples were murdered for who they are?
  • How can all Americans become allies so that Native Americans become fully integrated members of this society? What concrete actions can we take to move forward and build a nation with Native peoples?

Be very specific in your response, citing examples both from class, including our screening of Dawnland, and from the readings.

boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18

Misinformation and Hypocracy

Moving forward as a country something has to be done to improve the experience of Indigenous people in this country, as well as teach the general population the specifics of the genocide. In the public school system we get taught so much propaganda and false information about the Native Americans, such as Pocahontas and thanksgiving, and this gives a stereotype of the white man coming to colonize America, while simultaneously saving a group of savage tribesmen. This part of history should either be taught right (clearly not at the same age group it is being learned at now) or at the very least not in such a way that harms the view we have on this people. To fully confront the history of the Indigenous people of this country, people in power on both sides of the political spectrum need to start enforcing and implementing more protective laws for Native American people in America. This would show people that it is a matter of importance that requires unity and action regardless of your political beliefs.

For many stereotypes, in this case the stereotypes put upon the Native American population's history and current life in America, it is very hard to unteach. If someone is taught that the people the Europeans found in current day America were living in brute tribes and had no civilization in 3rd grade and goes into adulthood with that subconscious knowledge, it makes it much harder to change their way of thinking. To remedy this we have to find a way to change curriculum in early elementary school regarding the Indigenous people.

As a country the US is not in the space to apologize yet. A formal apology from the government to an issue that has not been solved wont do anything. Native American populations need to be given the same funding as other neighborhoods as well as enforcing laws used to protect minority groups of people that in a handful of cases have not been followed. America can not issue a serious apology when kids of all races are being taught to not discriminate against others but at the same time get taught how primitive and unintelligent the Native Americans are. Early Americans committed genocide and it is not being taught early enough. Many people will go many years out of the education system without even hearing adequate information about the truth of the atrocities.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19


I agree that what American children are told when it comes to Native Americans, is not okay. As a generation, I think it's safe to say that 9 times out of 10, we are told the "Disney" version of Native Americans. We are told the little good stuff, like yeah the Pilgrims invited the American Indians to dinner, how sweet of them. We don't get told the rest of the story, and that's not fair. This is our country, and as a generation, we are the future of it, we can't be given false of empty information when it comes to our vital history. I do agree that kids in lower grades don't need to be told the brutal truth, but by the end of high school, students should know the truth. There's no particular way to confront the history of this, it is history, you can't change it. It should be told as the truth as far as I'm concerned. History is in the past, by telling the truth doesn't mean it will repeat itself. But lacking, to tell the truth, can only lead to negative consequences.

Stereotypes are everywhere, and no matter what facts are put against it, it still stays. The stereotypes of Native Americans will still continue here in America, you can't just get rid of that. Hopefully, by telling the truth to the people, the number of stereotypes will decrease, but that doesn't mean it will be diminished, at least not soon. One can hope at someday, the stereotypes will become so inaccurate and old that they will be abandoned.

I don't think apologies are a useful thing to do. Do the American Indians deserve an apology? Yes, thousand times over. But first off, how much significance would an apology have over 200 years later, and what would they say? I don't think that would greatly help the situation at hand. Next, when it comes to why the Native Americans were killed, there's no way to beat around the bush. The truth is the truth, you can't sugarcoat it, they were killed for who they were. If you address it indirectly, or incorrectly, what pluses will come out of that? Nothing, only turmoil. If people come out to address this, you must tell the truth, not a mixed version, because there's people out there who know the absolute truth.

Posts: 21

A Long History of Oppression

The United States' attitude, treatment, and views towards Native Americans have been, and still are, nothing short of horrific. For literal centuries, Native Americans have been oppressed in every way, shape and form. The most obvious and prime example of this is the forced colonization of the Americas in the first place, with absolutely no regard for the Native People. During this, a genocide occurred. There is simply no other way to put it. And that was not the end. From the forced sterilization of thousands of native women in the 1960's and 70's to the Dakota Access Pipeline cutting through native lands despite many counter protests, the US has not ceased its oppression of native people. One might have thought that with such a brutal, bloody and horrific history, the US would at the bare, bare minimum, treat the native people with respect. But no.

In order to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation, we have to actually listen to the Native Americans. Too many times in US history there have been decisions made concerning native land, people or resources where no Native Americans have had any say. The very first step we have to take is to actually listen to what these people have to say. Fully confronting this issue will be a longer process. Although many people in the US now acknowledge that we live on stolen land, very few people have actually wanted to do anything to make up for it or make any kind of amends. We can start by giving back some of the land that was stolen. The amount of land that the US has given back to Native Americans has been miniscule, and we can start by giving some of that back. Second, we can stop freaking oppressing them!!! The fact that the mistreatment and oppression of Native Americans has carried on this long without any kind of major action is truly shocking and sad. We need to look into the disapperance of native women and children that has been happening over the past few years, not cut through their land with a stupid pipeline, and accurately portray their history. The US's attitude towards this issue is like they're saying we have to fill in a hole that they haven't stopped digging.

Addressing the stereotypes and misperceptions about Native Americans that have been passed down among non Native Americans will be a more difficult task. This is because this idea of Native Americans has been so long engrained in many people's minds that it will be difficult to change their perception. We can begin by accurately portraying their history in our history curriculums. Right now, there is little to no historical information in our history curriculums about Native Americans, and the little information that is there is often racist, outdated and simply incorrect. There is our start. The second piece is we have to give Native Americans a platform on which to explain to us their experiences and history. We should not learn anything about Native American experience from anyone except for the Native Americans. We have heard the opinons of the oppressors instead of the oppressed for far too long.

There are countless apologies and amends that need to be made to the Native Americans. I think that the most important thing, or the first thing that we can start with, is to begin to treat them right in our society today. It would be one thing if our ancestors had done these horrifiic things and we never apologized for it (still terrible), but the fact that we continue to do the same is simply terrible. So we need to begin with investigating and stopping the disappearance and presumed kidnapping of native women, stop building stupid pipelines through their land, and begin to give them some of the land that we owe them. This is the very first step in apologies and amends that need to be made for the Native Americans.

There is no way to justify or excuse the fact that Native Americans were killed for who they are. The US is a country that preaches "freedom" and "justice" and that anyone can be anyting, no matter who they are. Yet there are still people being killed for simply being who they are. There is no good way to go about "apologizing" for something like this, if an apology for this kind of event is even possible. I think that the best thing to do, once again, is start by getting justice in the present, and stop mistreating Native Americans today.

US residents also need to be allies to Native Americans in order for them to become fully integrated members of society. This largely needs to be on their own terms. If we do this on our own terms, and make decisions on behalf of the Native Americans, we are simply repeating a long history of thinly veiled racism and oppression. Once again I think that the best thing that we can do is simply listen to the Native Americans themselves, and what they want from us and society. For too long, we have been ignoring their voices and deciding what is right and wrong on their behalf. Another thing that might make a better functioning society between Native Americans and non-Native Americans is literally just giving some of their land back. The amount of land that has been given back to the Native Americans, is once again, absurd. This is one of the best concrete actions that we can take to begin to build a better society with Native Americans.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 24

Lessons on Native American History

In, “Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life,” the author talked a lot about how the media only focuses on negative aspects of the Native American population. Especially how, “focusing on health disparities, Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life, economic disadvantages, poverty, or addiction”. This calls for there to be more positive aspects of Native Americans that can bring more perspective to those who are unaware of their culture. There needs to be more information on Native American history, I would suggest there to be Native American courses. During last class, I learned so many things about Native Americans that I wish I knew sooner. I also noticed how most of my peers didn’t know much about them at all either. We must take Latin for 4 years, we must take a second U.S. history course where we hardly go over Native American history even though we thrive off the land we stole from them. It's unfair that we ignore their history so often. It's unfair that the only time I hear about that "In 1675 MA, there was a law passed stating it was illegal for Native peoples to enter Boston and only in 2005 Mayor Menino repealed the law." I think that there should be more representation and in a sincere and respectful way. Because there are still slurs and types of hate speech used against Native Americans till this day. We see this in sports team logos and names, advertisements, food products, and more. Yet these “representations” are used in a negative tone which shouldn’t be the case. I think that we should teach people about Native American history that will bring more appreciation for this population. America as a whole must apologize to the pain we have caused to Native Americans. From the settlement of Jamestown in 1807, to the Trail of Tears, and the missing and murders of Native American women and children today. Now to call for an entire country to apologize or pay amends is a lot more to ask than it should. As some people believe the stealing of land and killings of Native Americans is justified, which I believe is wrong. With more education and lessons about Native American history we can make steps towards an accepting and progressive society.
Boston , MA, US
Posts: 16

Native Americans

For starters I think not giving kids misinformation about thanksgiving from an early age would be a step in moving forward to better understand the experience of Native Americans. Correctly representing them in media would be helpful as well. We cannot be teaching information about Native Americans from a white man. We need to listen to Natives’s experiences and let them educate us about their culture. Instead of letting stereotypes of Natives have a platform with a children audience, it would be helpful to inform children of the misperceptions the world has such as at home or at school. This land is the Native Americans’s land and they should have control over it. As well as benefits from the government.
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

History of Native Americans

If we want to move forward as a country we need to educate everyone on the history of Native Americans and what we did to them. We need to first acknowledge the horrors that were committed against them and then work with them to improve their lives here in this country and attempt to fix what we did. If we want everyone to be educated on this topic we need to stop sugarcoating the truth. If we start teaching the next generation of kids the truth then maybe we will see the stereotypes and misperceptions decrease over time. But being educated on the topic doesn’t help if we do nothing about it. I think the best thing to do is to just listen to what Native Americans want and to fulfill their needs so that their lives here in America improves. Many times in history, they do not get to decide what happens to them and I believe that needs to change. They definitely deserve a long overdue apology but I don’t think we should apologize unless we are certain we can build upon it. Words mean nothing if there is no action.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

What we can do

One of the most important things, if not the most important thing, we must do is preserve the memory of Native Americans. It is not enough that we put them in a couple units of American History or just know them by the “people who were here before Columbus”. First, Columbus day must officially be replaced with “Indigenous People Day”. Out of respect for Native Americans we must not celebrate someone who began the genocide of their race and had a history of abusing Native Americans. I also believe we must also protect Native American areas, or what is left of it. We should dedicate land plots to Native Americans in each state. Like Plymouth Plantation, Native Americans can have their own dedicated land and can be used for educational purposes. There has been so much history of Americans forcing Native Americans to leave their lands. In the article “The Invasion of America” by Caludio Saunt, he argues his point with a video of how Americans took the land and a timelapse of it showing the progress over time. We must not forget our crimes and face the true reality of what Americans did. Even then, it is difficult to fully remedy the sin of stealing 1.5 billion acres of their land. America has progressed into the 21st century with very few reparations made towards Native Americans. We must teach more about their race and include them in conversations of diversity. Preserving their memory is the best thing we can do now.

Conversations must be had about what happened and we must address our wrongs by educating our youth about it. We must not let history repeat itself. It is difficult to bring back the Native American population to what it was so we must not let it happen again.

Americans must also not turn a blind eye to present day Native American issues. In Carolyn Smith-Morris’ article “Addressing the Epidemic of mIssing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls”, she brings attention to crimes committed against the Indigenous people population. Like the Black Lives Matter movement we must also make sure we bring attention to issues of all races and help give everyone a platform.

In Dawnland, becoming an ally of the Indigenous population must be taken seriously. I think the educational program they have is a great leap forward. The only thing missing now are people willing to take time to understand and become an ally. As an American people we must change our attitudes towards Native Americans.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

The Not-So Heroic White People of America...

Taking this class has really made me open my eyes on how little we actually know about Native Americans and their treatment in this nation, and I think the fact that we have to take a special class in order to learn about their full story is just wrong. We always learn about this glorified version of Thanksgiving, and how it was a beautiful feast where the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Wampanoags bonded over their survival of the harsh winter in New England. What we don’t learn, however, is the full story behind Thanksgiving, which is told in Philip de Loria’s article titled “The Invention of Thanksgiving”, and the fact that this whole idea that it was a mutual feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags is simply not true--they weren’t even invited. In fact, at the second “feast”, the Plymouth colonists had the head of the Ousamequin’s son mounted on a pike in their town. Yet this is the holiday that Americans celebrate every year without ever acknowledging that this was the real history behind this holiday where the whole point is about kindness and being thankful.

Not only are we taught in school this eurocentric perspective of Native Americans being savages, and painting the picture that white people are always the heroes in history, but it is also shown to us through films and stereotypical caricatures of Native Americans. Most notably are Disney’s films, Pocahontas and Peter Pan. In Peter Pan, they have a whole musical scene of racist portrayals of Native Americans singing the song “What Made the Red Man Red?”. I always knew that it was offensive and racist towards Native Americans to call them “red”, but I never knew about how the term came about until we learned about it in class. The fact that it was a term used for people who were killing Native Americans and selling or buying their scalps, and is then turned into a song in a Disney movie for children is just sickening. It is horrific and I am uncomfortable to picture and learn about this history, but I feel like it is something that everybody should know and learn about at some point in their lives. There should be a widespread effort to either acknowledge or ban these films where it has an inaccurate portrayal of Native Americans in order to not allow these stereotypes and misperceptions to spread. However, I also understand that the damage has already been done, and as such, more films, such as Dawnland, should be made to spread awareness and show the true stories of Native Americans. I never knew about how Native American children were up to 20 times more likely to be in foster care than other children in America, and I certainly did not know about their mistreatment in these homes where they were essentially forced to get rid of their Native American cultural identity. Watching and hearing these people talk about their personal stories facing discrimination has really opened a whole new perspective for me, and I think more films like this should definitely be shown to people.

So this brings me to the question about what more we can do, moving forward, about the fact that Native Americans were murdered and silenced for hundreds of years, and their voices are still not heard even in this day and age. Like most children in America, I learned about Native Americans in our history textbooks, but only the part about how they lived before the colonists came. We learned nothing about what happened when they did come and what happened afterwards. It wasn’t until 8th grade when I got a glimpse of the full picture of what the colonists did to the people already here. First of all, we, as a nation, should make some sort of statement acknowledging the fact that this is part of our bloody history, and that we understand that we are living on their lands, not the other way around. But apologies and acknowledgements, at the end of the day, are just words, and do not hold much significance until there’s actually action. I think there should be some sort of change to the history curriculum to teach kids about the real history behind Thanksgiving, even if it is gruesome and disgusting. What is more disgusting: the fact that such terrible things happened, and yet, it has been glorified into this image that these “savages” were “conquered” and “tamed” by the heroic white people of America, or the fact that the population of Native Americans went from millions to a couple hundred thousand because of these so-called heroes?

The Imposter
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Moving Forward

Moving forward, as a nation, we face essentially the same issue we do with African-Americans in regards to things like reparations. While those two situations are distinctly different, there is a constant theme here in America of needing to pay back those who we've caused reprehensible damage to. To me, the problem seems to be very apparent: America refuses to truly confront their past failures as the land of the free. Dating back from the manifest destiny mindset of this land's colonizers, to the legislation put forth by our political leaders to continue to marginalize Native Americans, and even the legislation put forth to try and help these communities-- none of it is enough. We continue to teach the whitewashed "twistory" of our nation to all of our younger generations while refusing to acknowledge our misdoings. We can change the names of as many holidays as we want, and while I cannot speak on behalf of all Native Americans (although I do share some ancestry myself), I feel that the general sentiment is the concurring theme of: not enough. And, frankly, I'm not sure if it ever will be. The lands stolen, children taken, lives ended, all at the hands of our Nation, via legislation or other means, are all unforgivable an sin that should stick with America for as long as it exists. However, as long as a false history is imposed upon our younger generations, we will never be able to properly face these problems.

Until the curricula we distribute to all of our children is diversified and led by objective truth and not propagandic narratives, we can never truly face the horrors we've committed as a country to entire groups of people simply because of how they look. Yes, the forms of reparations and acknowledgements are appreciated, but there needs to be more. Things such as labor and land acknowledgments MUST be required, everyone should know the truth. More legislation is needed to rightfully attempt to fix the psychological, physical, emotional, and whatever other type of damage America has done to our Natives. We have to find ways, as a country, to try and raise participation for Natives in our country so that they can feel represented and they can decide what they would like to do, not the other way around. Us pushing the narrative that WE need to help them is what got us here in the first place. Such as with the Native American schools to "educate" and "civilize" them shown in the film. America needs to get rid of their white savior complex.

Posts: 21

Reparations: Put Your Money and Land Where Your Mouth Is

I believe first and foremost in reparations. This entails returning control of American land to its original inhabitants and financial recompensation (e.g. government subsidy and scholarships). It is inhumane that, as the original occupants of North America, natives are confined to (small, often impoverished and resource-lacking) reservations today. While Columbus day has been renamed to Indigenous Peoples Day and there recently (2019) was a national Native American Heritage month established (November), it hardly makes up for the genocide and enduring marginalization of native people. In my opinion, it’s much more important to include native history in education curriculum than to continue making national holidays for native people, as acceptance only comes with understanding.

As with other identity-based subjects, Native American history/heritage/culture/language classes should be taught by native people. An example of this done wonderfully would be the Ojibwe classes taught at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, led by a Native American professor. These classes, however, are a rare example, with Native American culture being taught by merely a handful of higher education institutions, and those few existing are focused on history and genocide instead of the joy of native groups’ culture and language. While acknowledging and recompensing history (“twistory”) is important, it is also important to celebrate and remove the negative connotations and stereotypes associated with natives’ lifestyles and cultures.

I believe that Claudio Vaunt’s article “The Invasion of America” addresses another important nuance in the history of Native Americans. He touches on the toxicity of white American imperialism, and explains that “The most jingoistic of Americans strive to put a positive spin on the nation’s century-long investment in slavery and equally long commitment to white supremacy…” which in turn spread to treatment of Native Americans through the lens of “‘We’re the ones who took all of your land but introduced you to Christianity.’ Many Americans share a deeply held conviction that the US embarked in 1776 on an as-yet unfinished journey to attain the universal ideals of freedom and equality.” The idea of Native Americans as uncultured, unintelligent, and uncivilized despite the fact that many groups were skilled agriculturalists and saved the first European settlers from death by starvation, is deeply rooted in Manifest Destiny. It’s also presumptuous to assume that every group wants “freedom” as defined by the white American, as we are all aware now that freedom is perceived differently depending on your racial/ethnic/national background. Plus, before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans were free and unrestricted by the colonial system established in the 1500s that continues today.

It’s with that sentiment that I believe there is absolutely no need to integrate Native Americans into American society. There is room to coexist; reparations and returning land will give natives space to thrive without subjecting them to American (capitalist) “success” at the cost of assimilation. Rather, they should be able to succeed on their own terms, whatever those may be. Integration simply echoes assimilation. As Impostor so concisely stated, integration reeks of white saviorism.

Boston, MA
Posts: 20

The Most American Of Us All

I think as a start, we need to start recognizing the complicated history of America’s relationship with the indigenous peoples who were on this land before us. In reality, the history is not that complicated. When Columbus first arrived in 1492, he decimated populations of people that came before us and erased this history. To better understand the Native Americans’ experiences, we need to listen to the voices of Native American peoples. For far too long, their voices have been erased and suppressed from America’s history. We cannot confront the history of Native Americans without including Native Americans’ narrative in the telling of America’s history. As Sam Hasselby puts it in his article “The Invasion of America,” “ A history that glosses over the conquest of the continent is partial, in both senses of the word. It misleads people about the past and misinforms their debates about the present.” When schools teach United States history, they need to include Native American voices. They need to include the genocide that allowed us to exist on this land as we do today. People cannot stand in solidarity with or try to make amends for the genocide of Native Americans without being taught our history. Our history has been skewed to make White men seem holy, but it leaves out large parts of the narrative. We cannot understand the experience of Native Americans without amplifying their voices and telling the full history of our nation. To fully confront the Native American history in this nation, we need to listen and change our actions now. We cannot continue to displace Native Americans. We must respect Native Americans and their land.

We cannot address the “twistory” surrounding the Native American story without actively trying to combat the misinformation that has previously been spread about Native American history. We need to acknowledge and spread the true history of this country, no matter how uncomfortable it may make people. Americans cannot deny our history simply because it makes people uncomfortable. We need to start acknowledging this history on a national scale, which the Trump Administration has failed to do. Unsurprisingly, “the Trump Administration would like to deny this history, wrongly categorize Indians as a racial group, and disavow ongoing treaty relationships.” Despite efforts from Native American tribal governments, Trump has failed to recognize America’s past, and he only perpetuates these negative stereotypes. We need strong leadership that acknowledges and combats these stereotypes, which begins with endorsing the spread of accurate information about our nation’s history. Our leadership also needs to prioritize the lives of these people. The fact that a law was in place until 2005 banning Native Americans from entering Boston, whether enforced or not, is unacceptable. The rights of Native Americans cannot slip through the cracks. Schools also cannot keep teaching from history books that continue to neglect this part of our history. We need recent and accurate history that respects Native American people.

In terms of addressing the fact that Native Americans were killed for who they were, it starts with this nation coming to the universal agreement that the act of Europeans coming here and colonizing these people was a genocide. We need to acknowledge that this is not up for debate. Native Americans should be included in teachings of genocide. We cannot only teach genocides for which the United States is not guilty. It is ignorant to not address this history. We can be allies to Native Americans by standing up for their rights, and advocating for the protection of their lands when they are being threatened. I also think simply acknowledging that we are living on stolen land is a powerful way to express allyship with this community. We must be informed of and celebrate Native American history and culture. We can support Native American advocacy groups and acknowledge the inequalities that still exist within indigenous communities and our nations. We need to address the inequities that exist in our country that harm Native Americans, like those in our healthcare system that were exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19: “Native people are 2.8 times more likely to be infected than whites, 5.3 times more likely to be hospitalized and 1.4 times more likely to die, according to an August report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” This startling statistic shows that our nation is not equally protecting Native Americans.

We cannot build a nation with Native peoples without respecting them, their culture, and their land. We cannot further harm their already small portions of land. I believe reparations must be made to account for the lives and land lost due to settler colonialism. One of the largest takeaways I got from Dawnland was the loss of identity the Native Americans felt when they were removed from their homes and from their culture. This is something that cannot be fully restored, regardless of what action is taken retroactively. We can, however, make sure other Native Americans do not suffer this identity loss again. We must work to respect and appreciate their culture and ensure it will be a part of the American story.

Boston, Ma, US
Posts: 18

Native Americans and the US Government

In general the US doesn’t do a good job of acknowledging the bad parts of its history, and I think that’s especially true when it comes to history regarding Native Americans. I think that establishing commission dedicated to acknowledging the US’s past, like we saw in Dawnland, is a start, but we also need to make a non-white washed version of Native American history more widely taught. As it says in the article by Claudio Saunt, it is essential that we teach the history of what the US government did to acquire Native American territory, and really think about how we have colonized their land. The best way to battle widely spread stereotypes and misconseptions is to stop teaching mythic stories to children, and actually talk about the reality of what has happened to Native American populations in the US.

I think it would be impossible for the US to make full amends to Native American for all the atrocities, but that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done. We need to give more aid to Native American communities and show that we do care about helping them. We need to address issues that effect Native American communities like missing and murdered Indigenous women or the effects of COVID 19. We can’t change past mistakes but we can try to help Native communities in the future.

Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 16

How COVID is affecting others differently

Here is Boston, we have handled COVID to an extend, we haven't been the best but we are by far not the worst. According to article "Native Americans are Afraid, Hard-Hit as Corona-Virus Spikes in the Great Plains.", back in November 2020, two of the worst states were North Dakota and South Dakota, which are home to 5 to 9 Native American tribes. This is an issue because ever since the beginning of the pandemic, Native people are 2.8 times more likely to be infected by the virus than white people, and 5.3 times more likely to be hospitalized. The president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Rodney Bordeaux says that him and his people are scared, which is rightfully so. The leaders of the Dakotas took their time to instate a mask mandate, which is a primary factor in the states having such a high virus rate. It is also noted that the Indian Health Service, which provides health care to many on reservations in the states, have been greatly under-resourced, which is an even bigger issue now with the global pandemic.

Moving forward, I think as a country we need to come to the realization that the virus is serious and if those who have access to necessities do not take precautions, then those who aren't as lucky, like those living on reservations in the Dakota's, will not have a high chance of making it out of this pandemic well, not only health wise, but also economic wise.

More recently on social media, I have been seeing people talking about the missing and murdered Indigenous Women in the United States. The article "Addressing the Epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.", talks about the statistics, such as in a 2010 survey which found that "more than 84% of American Indian/Alaska Native women (1.5 million people) experience violence in their lifetime, 67% were concerned for their own safety, and 41% had been physically injured from physical violence by intimate partners, stalking, and sexual violence.".

That information alone is disturbing because as a woman in todays society, my heart goes out to all of them. I believe as a society, we owe them all an apology due to the fact that stereotypes have made them more susceptible to assault.

Similar to the last article, the article, "The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women", speaks about the mistreatment of native women in the world. This article specifies on the forced sterilization of thousands of Native American women by the Indian Health Services in the 1970's and 1980's. The aftermath of the forced sterilizations is still present in todays world.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 19

Becoming an ally

I had only had little knowledge about the history of the Native Americans. When we were in class learning about it, I hadn’t known any of that information. Just by watching on video during class, I’ve learned so much about Native Americans’ past and the effects it’s had on them. Native American children were separated from their families for no reason. They were put into foster care with white families in an attempt to forcefully culturally assimilate them. Oftentimes these children were abused emotionally, physically, and sexually. Some say this was a cultural genocide, and I agree. Forcefully taking children from their homes and assimilating them to “white culture” so no culture at all, is an attempt to actively destroy cultures. If I didn’t know about this, I’m positive that millions of other students and even adults don’t know either. That’s the issue. To better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation, we have to learn about their history. I’m not talking about what we learn in elementary school when we learn about Thanksgiving. We need to learn their real history.

In the “Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?” article, you really learn about how problematic America’s version of Thanksgiving is. From early ages, children are learning stereotypes and misappropriation of Native American culture. An excerpt from the article, “When children are young, they are often exposed to antiquated images of American Indians through cartoons, books, and movies. But Thanksgiving reenactments may be their most active personal encounter with Indian America, however poorly imagined, and many American children associate Thanksgiving actions and images with Indian culture for the rest of their lives. These cultural misunderstandings and stereotypical images perpetuate historical inaccuracy.”. In order to change this, we have to teach children about actual Native American culture, not our Americanized version of it. We spend so much time in history classes relearning some of the same material year after year. I already know about the Columbian Exchange. We need to incorporate Native American history into our curriculum, in order to fully confront the history of the Native American experience in this nation. I learned so much from one class and one video, imagine how much we could learn in school if we spent time learning about other people’s history.

Americans can become allies to Native Americans by learning how to be an ally, learning about their history, and learning about our privilege. We need to make sure that Native Americans feel listened to and validated. It’s just recently where their culture is resurging, and we have to realize what we did to them. Show that you actually care and that you want to hear their stories. Recognize that it’s not easy for them to tell their stories and experiences, but be patient. If we take these steps, we can better become allies to Native

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