posts 16 - 29 of 29
boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

The Hidden Past

Native Americans have been constantly treated badly throughout our history. Their struggles have been covered up and hidden by the American’s nationalist views. We seem to believe that we are better than the Natives, even though we were the ones who stole their land and took advantage of them. We must see this history and study it because otherwise we wont see the problems that the Natives have and still are facing. I believe that Native Americans should be more focused on in US history classes and that their current struggles should also be discussed. Before this class I knew a little bit about Native American history from taking APUSH however I really didn’t know how awful it was in full. I believe that if more people knew the native AMerican history they would be more considerate towards them and want to change the way they are treated. As Michael Roberts says “We don’t show up in Media, we dont show up in textbooks, and we don’t show up in everyday conversation”. We are neglecting the people and their past. I also think we more often need to involve the word “genocide” to this native American removal. Since we are American’s we like to sugar coat our history but we must realiuze that this was literally a genocide and an attempt to remove a whole group of people.

Stereotypes are placed on people because others want to feel more power over them. Something that really amazed me was the forced sterilization of Native people. Lawrence in this article says that doctors believed that Natives (as well as other minority groups) did not have the intelligence to use methods of birth control properly. This is something that is straight up wrong. These doctors took away Native women's right to have children because they thought they were too dumb to take care of themselves. Between 20-50% of Native Women in 1970-1976 were sterilized. This sterilization was mostly performed without permission and therefore was again an act to try to get rid of the Natives and take away their rights. This was less than 50 years ago. These acts were justified by stereotypes of these women being dumb. If we learn about Native American’s deeper we can learn that they as people were never stupid, however, the American’s just took advantage of them and had more people and power against them.

There are so many apologies that we need to make towards the Native people as of now. We need to make the past abuse towards them clear instead of continuing to celebrate Columbus and the foundations of our country. Trump is still referring to COlumbus as a “great Italian” and “legendary figure” which he said in the Proclamation on Columbus Day, 2020. We must acknowledge that America isn’t all great and that we founded our country on the backs of the Natives, just to push them all out. At this point I think it is really hard to make amends towards the Natives, however I think that just recognizing the pain we’ve caused them is definitely a start. On Top of that we need to protest against any injustices that are still happening towards them today.

The murder of the Natives is something that is hard for people to address. They don’t want to see that America would do something like this, because we consider ourselves the land of the free. We will hold countries like Germany accountable for their past (holocaust) however, we don’t want to see that we are just as evil and how we valued our country’s success over the lives of these people. We need to realize that we murdered these people just because we thought we were better and smarter than them. Inorder to do this I think we need to talk about it more and not try so hard to hide it. If topics like these showed up in the media and the news more often we would see the evil and the pain that we’ve cause the Natives.

It is definitely time for us to more foward with the Natives and move past our discrimination towards them. In order to do this we must show our support towards them by educating ourselves and pushing for change. NAtives are a small group and they can’t fight for change all alone. They need all Americans to come together and realize that they need justice for what they are going through to this day. They should have an equal ground and equal opportunity as anyone in America does. If we move past the discrimination we still have against them we can give them equal oppurtunities to thing like jobs and healthcare that can really help them.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Native Americans in early education

To better understand the experiences of Native Americans in this country, it has to start at the roots, education. It is way too common that Eurocentric ideas are placed into young people’s minds and can be very difficult to change those ideas unless people really want to learn about the lessons that have basically been hidden from them. So many children have a false depiction of the native american population due to the glorification of things like Columbus day and Thanksgiving which are told from European settler’s point of view.

To undo these stereotypes that are presented in the American education system, people need to address that what we have been taught is not always correct. Things such as naming the Washington football teams, “The Redskins, ” is especially dark considering the background to the development of the name. Like we learned in class, this name comes from the brutal tradition. After hearing this, the fact that anyone would even consider naming a team after that is part of the problem. With this, as a sign of respect, we owe it to the Native american population, to change the name of all school mascots that are named after native american tribes, events, or in some cases genocide.

Another thing that the Native Americans deserve to have is their land back. If there was a way to get it all back, that is what they deserve. However, since that is virtually impossible, they should be getting as much land as possible, not have to pay taxes, and be granted things that would rightfully belong to them had it not been previously stolen.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 31

An American Responsibility

The story of Native Americans in the US has been built on lies and stereotypes that are meant to make it easier for Americans to confront or even ignore the horrific past of the nation whose history we are often so proud of. Happy stories about thanksgiving meals between European settlers and Indians hide the much darker truth, the deaths of Native Americans on a catastrophic scale from the introduction of European diseases and white supremacists to the Americas. And while so many Americans choose to disregard the actual past of our country, they also continue to deny the facts of the present. As mentioned in Carolyn Smith-Morris’s article, “Addressing the Epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” Native American women are ten times more likely to be raped or murdered than the national average, and in regards to the Covid 19 pandemic, according to Sarah Ruiz-Grossman’s article, “Native Americans Are Afraid, Hard-Hit as Coronavirus Spikes in the Great Plains,” Native Americans are disproportionately affected by the virus due to less access to medical care that is often necessary for people with Covid 19. Still, many people do not view these problems as serious enough to warrant a decisive response.

Like so many problems in the United States, we can better understand the struggles of Native Americans in the modern day by factoring the related information into our education systems. Aside from classes like Facing History, most history courses do not devote enough time to explaining the Native American experience throughout the history of the US, or do so without connecting it to the modern day. By devoting substantial amounts of time to learning about Native Americans in the past and the present, we could raise a generation of Americans that recognize the immense pain the US has caused to Native Americans, and how we can take action in order to help them today. In this hypothetical class, time would also be spent discussing stereotypes of Native Americans, where these stereotypes come from, and why they are incorrect and offensive.

No positive change can come about without recognizing the responsibility we as Americans have to support Native Americans and give them the help that they may need. For example, we should provide them with better schools, improve their access to healthcare, create more housing for them, and support employment programs. The problems that Native Americans face were brought about by the US, so therefore, it is the US’s responsibility to make up for those mistakes and solve the different Native American nations’ problems.

People also need to understand that Native Americans are affected by current politics just as much as all other Americans are. For example, the Native American votes had a big impact in Arizona, which significantly helped Biden in his victory in the presidential election this year. As mentioned in Ezra Rosser’s article, “Trump and the Native American Vote,” Trump has made multiple offensive remarks relating to Native Americans, such as calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas and saying that Christopher Columbus was a hero because he “tamed the wilderness” that was America before the arrival of Europeans. In the election, most Native Americans voted for Biden, and their decision was certainly influenced by such harmful remarks.

While many Americans may be uncomfortable with the hard truth that Native Americans were killed in massive numbers simply because they were Native Americans, we can not sugarcoat American history in order to create a false narrative just so people feel more comfortable. Denying history is one of the first steps in repeating it, and as Americans we have an obligation to ensure that Native Americans do not face the same struggles that their ancestors did only a relatively short time ago.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

Addressing the Past and Present History of Native Americans

When discussing the creation of this country, it is more than relevant that we discuss the peoples who suffered as a result of the creation. When Christopher Columbus came to the Americas in 1492, he brought with him a series of diseases as well as violence to the Native people of the land. As a result, millions upon millions of Native Americans were killed leaving a very small number of them left. The killing of Natives then became a trend throughout American history. This history is very frequently not talked about or is talked about very briefly. What is talked about even less is the current treatment of Native Americans in this country.

Let’s talk about the history of Native Americans in the United States. When discussing the horrifying massacre of indigenous peoples, most tend to think of the arrival of Columbus which resulted in millions of native deaths. While this is significant, the brutality against these peoples didn’t stop there. Examples of horrific acts of brutality against Native Americans were the Massacres of the 1860s. These Massacres are known as the Bear River Massacre in southern Idaho, the Sand Creek Massacre in eastern Colorado, and the Washita Massacre in western Oklahoma. These Massacres carried out by the US Army occurred as a result of California legislation by the state’s governor at the time. He stated, “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between races, until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected,” (Aeon). This legislation was a result of the discovery of gold in idnigennous land in California. These massacres resulted in hundreds of Native Americans being murdered. For those who weren’t murdered, their homes and food supply were destroyed.

Now let’s talk about something more well known, Thanksgiving. Though Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated by millions of American families each year, not many know about the origin of the holiday. For many Natives, Thanksgiving reminds them of the colonization of their land that led to the slaughter of their people. After the “first” Thanksgiving in 1621, where Squanto, a translator for the Wampanoag Confederacy, and about 90 of his warriors sat down with the pilgrims to enjoy a feast, havoc ensued. When Squanto died the following year, the pilgrims led a campaign against the Pequot Natives that killed hundreds of their men and enslaved their women and children (Smithsonian Magazine). This attack was completely unprovoked as the Natives helped the pilgrims adjust and survive in the new land. Most Native Americans see the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to celebrate their culture and be prideful of who they are.

A lot of Americans who are aware of the atrocities against Native Americans in our history, tend to believe that it was truly all in the past. This is most definitely not the case. Native American women, tend to face higher rates of assault, murder, and kidnappings than any other group in America. For example, according to the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, Native American women are murdered and sexually assaulted at rates as high as 10 times the average in certain counties in the United States (Cultural Survival). This is just one of the many startling statistics that led to the creation of #MMIW which stands for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. This hashtag is finally starting to gain traction and people are beginning to recognize that these women are being taken at far higher rates than anyone else. I believe the traction of #MMIW is an important first step in bringing our country further away from ignorance, this ignorance being the lack of acknowledgement of the current treatment of Native Americans in this country, and I believe that what needs to follow is more coverage in our school system about the past and present of Native peoples in this country.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8

We can understand the experience of Natives Americans if we are all taught about it. The true history of Native Americans should be required to be taught in US history classes. Whenever a significant historical event is taught in class, Native Americans should be included in the conversation. Some people only think about the Natives Americans in relation to the pilgrims and thanksgiving but we should learn more about how they were treated throughout history.

The stereotypes and the misrepresentation of Native Americans must be addressed. This can be done by teaching people what really happened to the Natives. They were pushed off their land and the history and heritage was destroyed.

America needs to apologize for geocoding the Natives. Their land was stolen from them by the Europeans. Their culture was erased. They were forced to assimilate by the United States government. We should give back land to the natives because they are the rightful owners of it. Additional government assistance should be provided for the natives because of what happened to their ancestors.

Americans can become the allies of the Natives and help them integrate into society. Their culture needs to be included in mainstream culture. Native Americans should be represented more in television shows, movies, and in the media. If the natives are included more into our culture people will understand them better and become more accepting.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 26

We Cannot Speak for the Native Peoples

I don't know if we will ever be able to give Native Americans the reparations they deserve, or right the wrongs of the European colonizers. However, I do believe we can start with education, and the spread of accurate information on the Native peoples, and how white America has stripped them to their bones. This starts in schools. I was so disappointed that in my whole 5 years at BLS, this class was the first time I had ever gone in-depth about the history of the Native Americans, the not white-washed one taught from textbooks. We need to be shown the full story, for example, how the so-called “battles” were actually massacres, and how it is often not mentioned that the Natives actually fought back, and were not conquered willingly. We need to amplify Native voices, narratives, and perspectives. No non-native will be able to truly understand what it is like to be Indigenous, with only 2% of the population remaining, and a story so spoken-over people often forget it exists. However, we can listen, and learn, and teach those around us the history they may have never been taught.

To fully confront the history of Native Americans in this nation, we must start by addressing and ending the racist stereotypes and misperceptions perpetuated and normalized in America today. I think 2020 has brought a necessary change and seeing many companies and sports teams rethink their racist logos or names is encouraging. The fact that the Washington “Redskins'' were allowed to slip by with that name for so long is beyond me. In my mind, there is no way the person who came up with that name and logo did not have racist intentions behind their choice. They have now changed their name, along with many other teams and companies, which is great but I think they must also do more to raise awareness towards Indigenous history and erasure. It is not enough to just change your logo, name, or phrase. They must educate themselves, give apologies to the Native peoples, and spend the rest of their time as an institution dedicated to shedding light on Native’s horrific past and present.

I say present for a reason. Indigenous people are still facing not just discrimination, but violence and persecution. One example of this was found in Erin Blakemore’s article “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women'', in which she sheds light on the practices of the Indian Health Services. They were extremely racist and believed that there were already too many minorities causing trouble in America and that Native women were “bad” at correctly using birth control, so they would lure women in for seemingly harmless procedures and actually tie their tubes, which they told women was reversible, even though it is permanent. This was in an effort to lower Indigenous populations even more than settlers did when they first came here. Another example of violence and exploitation Indigenous communities have faced was talked about by Carolyn Smith-Morris, in her article “Addressing the Epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls''. This title is no exaggeration. Native American women and girls are sexually assaulted and murdered at a 10x higher rate than some other counties- and by people outside of the native community. These cases are often ignored or swept under the rug, and written off as girls “running away”, or in such remote places that it falls under no one's jurisdiction. A federal report found that “more than 84% of American Indian/Alaska Native women (1.5 million people) experience violence in their lifetimes, 67% were concerned for their own safety, and 41% had been physically injured from physical violence by intimate partners, stalking, and sexual violence”. Addressing this problem is not simple, but must be done. If there is no jurisdiction, make a new one. If a mom is worried her daughter is missing, LISTEN. Police need to take these reports more seriously, as it could save many lives. It is appalling to me that the police who signed up to“protect and serve”, are neither protecting nor serving the Native community, simply because it isn't convenient for them.

Americans, especially those who may have had racist or uneducated pasts, owe the Indigenous people an apology. While it may not fix everything, it is important to at least acknowledge the pain and suffering that settlers caused Natives, and how white Americans perpetuate that system today. Those with privilege must use it to fight for change. We need to apologize for whitewashing their history, killing off so much of their population that certain tribes went extinct, and most of all for stealing their land. I think it is despicable that the holiday is still named after Christopher Columbus, and that he is still glorified as if he wasn't responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. The Natives deserve that holiday, and I don't know why this only occurred to people recently.

Although everyone in the world is dealing with Covid currently, the Great Plains are being hit especially hard, and it has been disproportionately affecting Native peoples. In a Huffington Post article written by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, she lists that “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”. Now some may think this is due to carelessness or unsanitary conditions, but they would be wrong. The Natives who inhabit the Great Plains imposed their own mask mandate when the governors of the Dakotas failed to do so. They did absolutely everything they could, but they still had to travel off the reservation for some necessities. It is due to other people's negligence that Natives are seeing such a disproportionate increase in cases. Along with this, their hospitals have been majorly under-resourced, and many Native people are scared to go off the reservation for outside hospital care (it is also very far away). Along with this, Trump tried to block $10 million for Covid relief to these communities. I hope that with Biden/Harris coming into the White House, change is made.

For all Americans (not just white) to become allies, we must not automatically assume Natives want to “integrate” or “build a nation” with those who are living on their land, that settlers stole. We need to recognize we cannot group them into one narrative, because each Native person is different, and they don't all want the same thing. However, as I mentioned previously, we all must become more educated, and spread awareness of what is happening in/to the Native communities. Let Native people determine how to be an ally, and let them voice the concerns they have. We need to listen, rather than assume. We have so much work to do as a nation, and we may never be able to fully repay them for the damage done, but we can try.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

The Elephant

The story of the true origins of the United States of America has long been covered by years upon years upon years of sugarcoating and lies. From the Thanksgiving stories every American has been fed since birth to a few children’s history textbooks even stating that indigenous peoples agreed to do the things that colonizers forced them to do, America takes action to make sure that most who do not actively seek out the information themselves never fully realize the atrocities that occurred at the hands of colonizers and that led to the foundation of the country they live in today.

And when those things never sink in for the majority of the population, it leads to false ideas and stereotypes. It’s why there are sports teams named “the Indians” and “the Redskins”, and why a few Americans don’t even realize that indigenous people still exist today. It’s why the average citizen doesn’t know which tribe’s land they live on. It’s why people live in ignorance of issues that are affecting Natives in the present day.

It’s like if someone took the elephant in the room and put a cloth over it to make it look like a table. A few notice the elephant and actively point it out. A few others don’t notice it at all. Most people know that an elephant is there, but choose to use the table anyways.

Anyone whose ancestors willfully settled on this land has an obligation to not just learn the truth of the effects of settler colonialism on Native Americans here but also to do something about it. Or to put it in terms of the elephant metaphor, anyone who willfully entered the room has an obligation to not just understand that the elephant is there but also to help get the elephant out of there. Obviously, getting an elephant out of a room would take much effort from a large group of people, but it has to be done.

Learn about real indigenous history and issues affecting indigenous people in the present. Recognize the land that you are on. Get others to do the same. And most importantly, do what you can to support indigenous peoples and their liberation movements today.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

Make Their History Known

After everything we read and saw this week, I am troubled by how much we don’t know about the history of Natuve Americans. We only only learn so much about it in school, but it is nothing compared to the truth. As children we make hand turkeys in school and are taught about the peaceful thanksgiving that the Native Americans and settlers shared, Dennis Zotigh in his article “Do American Indians Celebrate Thanksgiving?” in the Smithsonian Magazine stated, “The Thanksgiving myth has done so much damage and harm to the cultural self-esteem of generations of Indian people, including myself, by perpetuating negative and harmful images to both young Indian and non-Indian minds. There are so many things wrong with the happy celebration that takes place in elementary schools and its association to American Indian culture; compromised integrity, stereotyping, and cultural misappropriation are three examples.” Which emphasizes the point that Much harm has been done to generations of Indian people by perpetuating negative and harmful images. Overall, yes elementary-school children are too young to hear the truth, but teachers and educators need to explain the truths of Thanksgiving in all American schools sometime before high school graduation.

Carolyn Smith-Morris in “Addressing the Epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” in Cultural Survival, states, “Native American women are murdered and sexually assaulted at rates as high as 10 times the average in certain counties in the United States—crimes overwhelmingly committed by individuals outside the Native American community.” Native Americans have been murdered and still are just because of their race, America needs to honor these people and address what has been done to them. We need to teach their history accurately, whether that be in schools, or creating museums. We need to allow Native Americans to fully become members of society while embracing their culture. Much more needs to be done about the ongoing treatment of Native Americans and these are just a few.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 18

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

For many decades, the citizens of the United States have had to deal with the aftermath of the malicious acts that previous generations of American citizens have committed. As newer generations have entered the world, people have been more informed about the history of their nation, and many have tried to repair the damage that previous generations have done. For example, the Civil Rights Movement was brought about as an attempt to bring an end to the discrimination minorities have faced for many decades. Being aware of our past allowed for these kinds of movements to thrive. People that were impacted by the policies placed in the United States at the time had the numbers to voice their concerns, and they were able to get the US government to listen to their concerns. For Native Americans, however, their voices haven’t been heard in the past, and they even have trouble voicing their concerns today

About 1.6% of the US population are made up of people who are Native American. Despite the fact that Native Americans resided in the American continent far longer than Europeans, their numbers have dwindled so much since European powers began settling colonies. As a result, it is less likely that the voices of Native Americans would be heard by the US government. Previous generations of Americans have tried their hardest to erase as much Native American history as possible. Not too many people today are well versed in the history of Native Americans in this country. If we are to address the stereotypes and the misconceptions that have arisen, we must combat it by educating ourselves on the history of Native Americans. Part of the reason why there hasn’t been a massive movement when it comes to the rights of Native Americans is because there aren’t many people who are aware of events in history such as the Smallpox epidemic and the Trail of Tears. If we made changes to our education system so that Native American history is taught at a much greater level, we would see a rise in people wanting the government to do something to improve the lives of Native Americans that remain today.

As the article by Carolyn Smith-Morris mentions, there has been an epidemic where Native American women are murdered and sexually assaulted at far higher rates than average in the United States. Malicious acts such as these need to be addressed and acknowledged by the US government if we are to bring an end to these high rates. These incidents must be made known to the public so that they could apply pressure to the US government to do something about it. We also must bring an end to this “cultural genocide” that has been brought upon against the Native Americans. It is a form of censorship that has caused many people, including Native Americans, to not know as much about the history of those who resided here long before the Europeans. Congress must pass new laws that protect Native Americans, and we must do everything we can to preserve their culture.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Amplify their stories, cries, and calls for our help

I believe that what we learned today is an essential part of US history and this shouldn’t be knowledge that is confined to high school courses about United States history. There is too much history and suffering of Native Americans that has been buried. People often throw the sentence around that kids are too young to learn and understand about certain topics and especially the devastating effects of settler colonialism on Native Americans but how old do we have to wait for them to be to educate them on this? How long are we going to hold this information from them and keep them in the dark while they think for the entirety of their childhood--almost fifteen years of their life--that on the very first thanksgiving, the Native Americans were invited by the pilgrims and welcomed to their grand feast? The Native Americans were never invited, not then, not now. In fact it was only a decade ago that they were invited to stay on Massachusetts land, which was originally theirs, since the time from King Philip’s war in 1678.

There are many misrepresentations of Native Americans that still exist, from the logos of small brands to the logos and names of many big sports teams today. One example being the Cleveland Indians. A change that should be brought is the removal of the racist names and logos from sports teams because there is no need for such harmful and stereotypical logos anymore. The Cleveland Indians have removed their racist Indian mascot from their jerseys ever since 2018 and the baseball team has recently announced their decision to drop their Indians team name according to the NYT. This should serve as a leading example to other teams who still sport offensive and racist names starting in 2021.

The first amend we have to make is to acknowledge Native Americans’ existence on this land that was originally theirs. The best apologies we can make is to make sure Native peoples’ voices are heard--to amplify their stories, their cries, and their calls for our action. Native Americans are still treated very poorly today as they aren’t getting proper relief amidst this pandemic. Native Americans are more likely to get sick and be affected by COVID-19 as a result of the lack of access to healthcare and quality food. According to the article by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, “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 is insane when paired with the fact that the Trump Administration planned to give none of the two billion dollars that was intended for pandemic relief to the Native Americans. No one is hearing about this and nothing is being done to help them. One thing that still needs to be done is to provide Native communities with the proper healthcare and relief they need and states such as North and South Dakota should go to further extents and impose mandated masks and curfews so everyone can be protected, not just the indigenous peoples.

There should also be a step taken so that children are also educated at a younger age about indigenous people. Middle schools throughout the United States should improve their curriculum to give a thorough introduction of Native American history so teens at a young age are well aware of the true nature of national holidays, such as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, before going into high school. These are holidays that have well lost their meaning as Americans and students alike only see them as a day to break from their regular schedule and celebrate them purely for being a holiday rather than recall the cruel history behind them. Land was stripped away from the Native Americans so European settlers could comfortably live in their land. Native American populations were decimated because diseases unknown to them were brought over by the settlers. When teaching about our history, we must use the proper words to fully understand the extent of the consequences those left behind. What happened to the Native Americans was a genocide. It was a deliberate removal of them from their own land, which they resisted but ultimately resulted in the massacres of millions of their population. We need to stop hiding behind nice words and refer to historical events as what they truly were. It’s 2020, going into 2021; we need to stop shying away from true indigenous history, we need to try, to listen, and to educate ourselves if we truly want to call ourselves allies to Native Americans.

Posts: 23

The history of Native Americans

Here in the US, the story of the Native Americans has been built on lies and false stereotypes, so that Americans could ignore the real truth about the Native Americans and their history. I think to get a better understanding of the past of the Native Americans and their experiences, people have to start at the beginning or the roots of it. I think we can improve on not ignoring these indigenous people by learning more about not just their past, but their stories and experiences as well. As the article states "Yet signs of indigenous culture—and how Native Americans have helped shape the nation’s history—are everywhere.", An example of these signs is the Plymouth plantation and we also see it in sports teams, such as the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins. We need to have more respect for them and not ignore their history and the horrific past. They were a huge part in shaping our country today and deserve to be more recognized as that. I think it's horrific that Native peoples were once murdered for who they were as well as their land being stolen. They have every right to get their land back and even though that might not be virtually possible, they deserve as much land as possible with everything else that belonged to them prior to when they were stolen. They shouldn't have to pay taxes either.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Native Americans and the Impossibility of Atonement

The problems involving the past and current treatment of Native Americans run so deep that I truly believe it's impossible to either atone or really fix the problem in any realistic way. The first issue that Native Americans face are the conditions on reservations, it's so difficult to address that subject to actually fix problems such as the great poverty and poor funding of social programs. The main reason it's so difficult is because they aren't exactly under US jurisdiction as far as I've read and to put them under US jurisdiction comes with releasing other protections they have, it's a mess. With problems such as the Dakota Pipeline I believe putting Native historical sites under the national park system would be the best fix, however this of course comes with the tradeoff of the US now saying they own those landmarks and not Native Americans. If this isn't put in place, because of how America is set up it's impossible to really protect them for a long time because of a transfer of power coming at least every 8 years. I do think the main way Native American reservations would want to be set up is in a way where they could be self-sufficient however being inside such a powerful nation as well as having limited land and access to water leads to there being almost no way to produce commerce or food making them dependent o the US which sucks for both parties but again abolishing reservations releases a ton of protections they have against things like hate crimes. Atonement in my opinion is even harder. I think the best way to do it is to go about the genocide of Native Americans is the same way Germany went about the Holocaust however this will be crazy difficult to implement because of how diverse and large America is. To enforce a curriculum where Native history would be taught to a small school in Ohio is next to impossible. There's once again the issue that reservations would still exist which also completely counteracts the whole effort because we would still have a large part of the Native American population in camps where it's made very difficult for them to reintegrate back into society. I believe the best strategy to get rid of reservations and fix the problem of Native American treatment is to try to encourage but not enforce integration of Natives out of reservations and most likely into cities. Cities because I imagine integration into a place that is more diverse would be a lot smoother than into small rural towns. This again runs into problems with the fact that reservations are so different from cities so it would be difficult to sell it to them. But I believe if that system is successful it would be the best way to fix most of the questions that we have over Native American settlement and reintegration because reservations just arent feasable for the future.

Also I believe we should recognize the Native American genocide but that's a given

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

The Missing Part of US History

Throughout schools in the United States, you will notice that there is a lack of a key topic in history classes. The genocide of Native Americans, and the indigenous lives of the US remain largely unacknowledged. For non Native Americans can understand this part of history, schools have to insert it into the school wide curriculums. If schools can teach the Civil War once every two years, they can find time to do a deep dive into the history of the people here before us.

As simply said by Dennis Zothig, stereotypes are engrained as apart of American culture and what’s being taught in schools. Kids are taught that Native peoples and the new European settlers were all happy together, the best of friends, so much they started a holiday. The stereotypical headdresses that are assigned as projects in elementary schools promote further bias and further misleadings. Easy way to address it: change the curriculum. It makes sense that you may not want to drop the full history on young children as it definitely is brutal for little kids to hear, but don’t lie to them, don’t say everything was all fun and games.

In terms of apologies, I am not sure what we could even say or do to atone for what has happened, what we did. We destroyed cultures, killed millions, stole millions of acres of land and still abuse indigenous people today. To address the fact that Native people were murdered for who they are, it should be considered as people consider the Holocaust. Jewish people were relentlessly slaughtered, and everybody knows about this. But, with exclusion of gas chambers, this entire event happened on a similar scale in the US towards Natives, and no one knows about it. Again, all we have to do is change what schools teach. In the article by Smith-Morris, women are still being hunted, kidnapped and murdered, and whats worse is that the men doing it are not being held accountable.

Americans can become allies by changing the stereotypes and teaching the truth about what id happening. For example, the history of Deer Island in Winthrop should be taught more as before this year, I never knew what actually happened there. To help Native Americans become fully integrated in society, we as Americans have to be more accepting, though I realistically don’t see that happening anytime soon. Actions we can take are stopping going into their land to build oil and pipelines, change the education system traditions and openly talk about what the reality is to people who don’t know

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

Native American History

One part that really got to me was the fact that the Massachusett tribe is not considered a tribe by the government. I mean, where do they think we got the name Massachusetts from? Like, we were so unoriginal that instead of coming up with our own town names, we used the names of different English towns. Do you really think that those people could come up with a name like Massachusetts on their own?

Also, the fact that Native Americans are to this day being used as mascots is utterly ridiculous and disgustang. Not only did we have the audacity to rip the land from these people just because we weren’t happy back home, but hundreds of years later we are still mocking them and their culture. We already took everything from them, why do so many people feel the need to make fun of the trauma that we caused them?

This whole thing reminds me very much of the White Man’s Burden. Colonists looked down on these people but, in reality, they are so incredibly smart but because their ways were different, they were immediately passed off as “savages”. For example, the Natives were mocked for their planting techniques, but in reality it’s absolutely genius. It’s called the Three Sisters and it’s planting corn, beans, and squash together in one clump. The corn grows first and it creates shade for the beans and squash. Then the beans and then the squash grow. The beans create a sort of fertilizer that helps the other plants grow. These crops can be dried and eaten at any point during the year. Also, corn has carbohydrates, beans have protein, and squash has vitamins and minerals, making it so that most of the major food groups are represented. The colonizers thought that it was stupid and unorganized because they were used to seeing farming done in clean, nice rows back in England but that time of farming doesn’t work as well in the Americas.

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