posts 1 - 15 of 22
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 288


Readings (select AT LEAST 2 of these 4, which pains me because all are eye-opening):


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Many people believe that indigenous folks 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.


As you know, it is argued by many that what happened to indigenous folks 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 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/SD1441, and for coverage of the motives and the legislator behind it, see https://mirrorspectator.com/2019/10/03/bill-seeks-to-mandate-teaching-of-genocide-holocaust-in-ma-middle-high-schools/) , take a guess: which group was conspicuously not mentioned?


And believe it or not: this bill is still unresolved and has morphed into several new versions over the past few years. And references to specific genocides were ultimately omitted from the most recent draft: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/S2557.


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

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

Be very specific in your response, SPECIFICALLY citing examples BOTH from class and from the readings.

watermelon2
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

Both today and throughout history, our world has been full of racism, hatred, and division. It is a place where marginalized groups of people never feel welcomed because of their race, sexuality, age, etc. However, the oppression of Native peoples is especially under-recognized in our society. Throughout history and today, there are derogatory words such as the term “squaw,” symbols that caricature them such as the Massachusetts flag itself, and sports teams that use offensive logos and names that are supposed to represent Native peoples. All of these visual and verbal ways of minimizing and objectifying Native culture need to stop, and recently, many have been recognizing and addressing these problems. If we recognize these offensive portrayals of Native culture, this is a step in the direction of addressing the stereotypes associated with Native people. Sports teams’ names and logos are changing, flags are being altered, and derogatory terms are being removed. After all, as John Echohawk explained, “names that still use derogatory terms are an embarrassing legacy of this country’s colonialist and racist past.” By moving from racist terms and ideas such as these, the misconceptions of Native people won’t spread. This work is a long process, however, and there are still more than 650 federal sites that contain the derogatory term “squaw” alone.

And even further, this process, which will take time to solve itself, is only a part of the problem. What happened to the Native people in our history was genocide, and addressing genocide means far more than removing names from buildings. It means more than an apology because an apology doesn’t make up for the millions of deaths caused and the trauma remaining on those still alive. Instead, what is even more important is listening to their stories and working towards reconciliation. The video we watched during class talked about reconciliation, but the real question is, what does this mean? It takes time; it means listening to Native people’s stories, bringing back and recognizing the hatred inflicted on them. After all, the most important step in becoming a true ally is understanding what Native people went through. Children were taken from their families, and one person from the documentary even mentioned that he had been in 26 different group homes. Native children were three times more likely to be in foster care than white children nationally, ripped from their families that were deemed unfit because of assumptions that Native people were morally, mentally, and socially defective- similar to the idea of people of color. Just like with other people of color, the false idea of eugenics resulted in the forced sterilization of Native people. Erin Blackmore explained that Native and African-American women had similar experiences with sterilization against their will. Overall, Native people were dehumanized and disrespected, and recognizing and facing this history is important.

So, we have to confront this history by listening; listening to the stories of Native people. After all, the documentary explained that being an ally means knowing when to step back. After all the intense oppression Native people have faced, we have an obligation to listen and respect their stories. Throughout history, Americans have seen and portrayed Native people as barbaric, when in reality, they were the barbaric occupiers who stole their homeland with little thought for their culture. The documentary explained that we need to go from being the occupier to the neighbor. Rather than applying the white American standards to Native culture, their cultural values need to be seen, valued, and respected as different. So, going back to reconciliation and what it means, reconciliation isn’t simply about apologies. Reconciliation is a long process that involves listening, understanding, communicating, and rebuilding. Moving forward, building a nation with Native people will take time, it will be hard, and there will be resistance, but these steps are necessary for our country's future.

jellybeans101
Boston, MA
Posts: 16
  • There is so much history of native people that everyone fails to recognize. For example the route from Cambridge to Williamstown has so many stereotypes implemented in the roads. We need to be more aware of our surroundings and the land that we live on. Confronting history is learning the true facts and having hard conversations on this topic that may make us uncomfortable. The fact that no now knows about the harsh reality of Native women having to be sterilzed is truly twist. The more people choose to leaner about others, we are stronger together

With such a big known media example of the MLB blatantly disreading an organized group of Natives allows others to treat natives in that same way. The misconception of Native Americans are because we have never taken the time to understand them. Learning this from the whole docturmentary there is a clear problem of indegious people not even being recongized. Addressing stereotypes means educating yourself. And instead of making native people live like us we should take a lesson from them and learn to live with the land.

Ameends cannot be made through our own actions. So much life and culture has already been dissolved. The only thing we can do know is ensure that NAtives are trested as humans not criminals, and ensure that the government never takes away their culture and idenity again. In the documentary there was a memo of a woman who went to her first pow wow and hid because she did not know how to dance. She felt as if her identity was lost, along with her this is the reality of many Natives. The boarding schools and foster homes were all tools of erasing their culture. Now Natives should be able to have access to learn about rituals and embrace them in their daily lives.

I think people fail to realize being an ally does not mean just giving pity and condolences. Being an active ally means you amplify the voices of those who want to be heard. You don’t tell their stories for them. You learn to step back when its necessary and you learn to listen when it is need. Their stories are a gift to you and its not for you to share in the pain and grief as it has never happeneed to you its for you to ensure it never happens again.


cnovav
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 25

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

I believe that the most important thing we as non-Native people have to do to fully understand the history of indigenous peoples in this country is acknowledging that the way we are taught this history is incorrect. And although that may seem like such a simple concept, there’s so many people that fail to realize, or in other words, don’t want to realize this country’s flaws. From there we can move towards altering the education system. Our schools need to teach us the truth, not just the censored happy version of what actually happened. Not only that, but many things that have happened to Native people, are not just in the past. It still happens today. So simply learning about their history isn't always going to be enough. We should also push to educate everyone about how historical events are still affecting this population today. We need to amplify the voices of Native people whose voices have been silenced for all of this country’s existence. So many people think there are no more indigenous people in the United States, much less their past and present, and that’s due to the lack of education they received on this topic. In order to fully confront history, we need to destigmatize the “ugly side of history”. The history of this country shouldn't be something that we are afraid to address because whether we like it or not, it still happened, and something needs to be done to at least begin to fix it.


After watching the Dawnland film, it's become increasingly obvious that one of the biggest things indigenous people ask of non-Native people is to be an ally. Not someone who speaks over indigenous voices and not someone who ignores their voices. The sad reality is that a lot of the time, non-Native voices will be heard better than those of indigenous people, which means in order to become true allies, we must listen to their stories, addressing and validating any emotions they may feel, even if we do not fully understand it. Because honestly, whether we understand what they feel or not, is not important at all. What’s important is learning to advocate and support them without making it solely about us. I think that’s something that a lot of us struggle to do. So when we hear someone saying a derogatory term, doing something derogatory, etc, we need to be comfortable with addressing this and advocating that it is wrong.

In a situation like this, an “I’m sorry”, feeling empathetic, public officials addressing the situation to gain support, etc, would never be enough. Nothing can erase the horrible things that have been done to indigenous people. So, I feel the only way to begin to address this genocide is to take action to make sure it never happens again and ensure that the people who are still being affected by these events, are given the quality of life they and their ancestors deserve. We need to address this genocide as the genocide it was, instead of calling it something else that makes it seem like it wasn't a terrible thing that happened. It shouldn't take years to take down an offensive and derogatory statue or sign. The head of the MLB should not be speaking for indigenous peoples to make the story fit his agenda.

As the documentary stated, being an ally is knowing how to step back. At the end of the day, it is not about the non-Native people. It’s not about creating your own narrative or having a hero complex. As an ally it's your job to amplify indigenous voices and provide them the opportunity to live the life that their ancestors did not have. So many indigenous people have lost their identity and feel as though they don't belong in the American culture nor their own indigenous culture. We owe it to them to give them the oppurtunity to feel like they belong in a country that was always theirs to begin with.

user01135
West Roxbury, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

  1. What do non-Native folks need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of indigenous peoples in this nation? How do we fully confront that history? Moving forward, non-Native Americans need to recognize that our teaching of history is false. Non-Natives have always taught history in a way that makes the non-Natives look like the heroes, when in reality, the non-Natives were terrible people. Our first step is to begin teaching the accurate story of how the non-Natives took over and all the horrible things they did. If we begin teaching this then a lot of the horrible things that people do will begin to go away. Many Natives still face discrimination and are harmed for being Native. If we educate our youth with accurate history then we can begin to respect and honor all Native Americans.
  2. How do non-Native folks address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population? Non-Native Americans have always treated the Natives as animals. They treat the Native people like mascots. We see this in examples of sports teams in class. Many professional sports teams have derogatory names that are offensive to Natives. They have mascots dressed impersonating Natives and fans who dress up mocking the Natives too. Native people have come out and said that these teams are offensive to their tribe and mocking their respect. Some sports teams have begun changing their names and mascots to respect the ideas of the Natives. This is something that needs to happen universally as we move toward respecting all Natives.
  3. How do we address the fact that indigenous people were murdered for who they are—the very definition of “genocide”? What apologies and amends do non-Native folks need to make, if any? Our first step in honoring the murdered Natives is to admit we are wrong. We have a false sense of history and are on the wrong side. All non-Natives need to apologize for our ancestors actions and learn to honor all Natives. We need to accept the reality that Natives were brutally murdered by non-Natives for their benefit. This is no way to treat people, and Natives are people too. We can make amends by creating an equal way of life for all Natives, and respecting all of their boundaries.
  4. How can non-Native folks become allies so that indigenous peoples become fully integrated members of society? What concrete actions can we take to move forward and build a nation with indigenous peoples? Non-Native people need to respect all parts of Native life if we want to be allies. In the Dawnland video it is clear all Natives want is equality. They just want to be treated with respect, and sometimes that doesn't need to involve the non-Natives. In the video, the non-Natives were upset because the Natives asked for privacy. This is the exact problem. The Natives need to be able to have their own time without any interjection from non-Natives. If non-Natives want to be allies then they need to give Natives the respect they deserve. I don't think there are any concrete actions that we can make that will fix our problems, but I think it is more that with the right education we can move to a place where everyone is equal, and nobody needs to feel the way the Natives do.
user01135
West Roxbury, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

Originally posted by jellybeans101 on December 02, 2021 14:10

With such a big known media example of the MLB blatantly disreading an organized group of Natives allows others to treat natives in that same way. The misconception of Native Americans are because we have never taken the time to understand them. Learning this from the whole docturmentary there is a clear problem of indegious people not even being recongized. Addressing stereotypes means educating yourself. And instead of making native people live like us we should take a lesson from them and learn to live with the land.

I like how you brought up the example of the MLB. I think this was a great way to connect the mistreatment and disrespect of Natives to a real life scenario that most people will be familiar with. I think you touched on very important points and I also think it is unfair how we continue to treat these Natives like they are just mascots.

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 28

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

  1. What do we need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation? How do we fully confront that history?

Moving forward, America must uplift the voices of Native Americans throughout discussions regarding this nation’s history of indigenous genocide and its current affiliation in the disadvantages against the Native American population. Native Americans are rarely seen in government positions, boards, high-paying jobs, etc, yet their culture is fetishized and exploited throughout this nation. Their experiences are muffled as professional sports teams use derogatory terms or practices like ‘Redskin’ or the ‘Tomahawk chop.’ Indigenous identities have been simplified to simple images, caricatures, or clothing that are plastered on food packaging, sports logos, mascots, Halloween costumes, and every other form of consumerism. However, we rarely hear Native Americans’ experiences in this nation let alone the history of colonization and mass genocide. Native Americans should be given platforms in all fields ranging from healthcare, law, property, education, and so much more. They should be given the due attention and space to educate this nation on indigenous suffering both past and present; We’re not told the entire history of this nation in our own classrooms, where we’re owed the truth of what truly happened on this land. The rewriting of school history books is vital to spread awareness of Indigenous experiences and their history with colonization in the past and modern-day. Moreover, the first step in better understanding Native Americans’ experiences is by having their tribes be federally recognized. The government refuses to acknowledge a great majority of Native tribes primarily on account of their dwindling numbers, a factor Native Americans had no control over as they were hunted, forced into residential schools, enslaved, and forcibly sterilized. The sterilization of Native Americans is nothing new according to Blackmore’s article, “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women.” Although the Indian Health Service was created to provide Native Americans healthcare, IHS doctors forcibly sterilized thousands of Native American women in the 1960s and 1970s. This is a prime example of Native Americans not being given a say in matters that involve their well-being.


  1. How do we address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population?

Addressing the stereotypes and misperceptions regarding Native Americans will have to begin by acknowledging the white-washed history we’ve been fed by past white and racist generations. Additionally, we must address the presence and significance/history of these harmful stereotypes and derogatory terms that society has become desensitized to. For example, the sports team, ‘Redskins’ is extremely offensive considering ‘redskin’ referred to the scalps of Native Americans as they were bounty hunted throughout the states. History classes should dedicate weeks to this nation’s history of prejudice and irreversible mistreatment of Native Americans. States should incorporate school-wide discussions held by Native American speakers so that there’s no bias or minimization of severity. These discussions could consist of acknowledging whose land we occupy, societal pressures on Natives, as well as their culture and language, all of which are lacking recognition. For example, Deb Haaland addressed the use of derogatory words in naming places/sites throughout the U.S, a normalized habit throughout American history. In order to further address the importance of these place names, Deb Haaland selected a panel of tribe representatives to make up an advisory committee dedicated to reviewing and recommending changes to other derogatory geographic and federal place names.


  1. How do we address the fact that Native peoples were murdered for who they are—the very definition of “genocide”? What apologies and amends do we need to make, if any?

Of course, this nation owes Native Americans an apology, one that frankly shouldn’t be accepted considering how long it’s taken for the acknowledgment of Native mistreatment both past and present. Moreover, the term genocide shouldn’t be used with quotation marks when we talk of the millions of Native Americans purposefully eradicated by an entire nation. They were deliberately targeted and killed because of their culture and ethnicity considering the nation’s aim of eradicating who they thought were ‘barbarians.’ Natives were not simply killed, they were tortured, hunted, mutilated, torn away from their families, abused, and their livelihood was stolen. Before the arrival of Columbus, Native Americans owned 2.5 billion acres of land, now they own 56 million acres, 2.2% of the original land. Therefore, I advocate that the United States return most of the land to the Native American tribes with proper access to affordable food, clean water, and free of any chemical spills and other threatening factors. Moreover, offensive usage of tribal names or derogatory terms in naming sites/vehicles/military equipment/products should be prohibited nationwide. Deb Haaland has already made a step towards this specific issue as she declared “squaw” a derogatory term thus shaming the use of such terms in U.S place names.


  1. How can non-indigenous folks become allies so that Native peoples become fully integrated members of society? What concrete actions can we take to move forward and build a nation with Native peoples?

We must help spread awareness of Native American experiences as well as give these people a say in matters that concern their well-being, ancestry, and everyday life. We’ve seen some progress in terms of providing platforms for Native people, for example, Maine’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They aimed to reveal the truth behind the ‘Native American Child Welfare Act’ by recruiting Native speakers as well as several allies. What made these people allies was their acknowledgment of their privilege and image as the perpetrator as well as their desire to educate themselves on Native Americans’ treatment by the nation. Moreover, it is arguable that integration into a society dominated by white people and void of proper amends to Natives is part of the problem. As stated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ‘integration was eradication’ as Native children were taken away from their families and denied their culture and identity. Many today have no knowledge of or fear their Native American heritage as society continues to support anti-Native behavioro. For example, thousands of Native American women were sterilized by a healthcare system designed to serve them, people are denied their native identity because of their blood, and harmful stereotypes continue to falsely define Native Americans. Therefore, non-indigenous people along with society should take concrete steps not to integrate Native Americans but to welcome them, to accept and learn from them as this nation should’ve done thousands of years ago.

OverthinkingEnigma
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 28

Originally posted by jellybeans101 on December 02, 2021, 14:10

  • There is so much history of native people that everyone fails to recognize. For example the route from Cambridge to Williamstown has so many stereotypes implemented in the roads. We need to be more aware of our surroundings and the land that we live on. Confronting history is learning the true facts and having hard conversations on this topic that may make us uncomfortable. The fact that no now knows about the harsh reality of Native women having to be sterilzed is truly twist. The more people choose to leaner about others, we are stronger together

With such a big known media example of the MLB blatantly disreading an organized group of Natives allows others to treat natives in that same way. The misconception of Native Americans are because we have never taken the time to understand them. Learning this from the whole docturmentary there is a clear problem of indegious people not even being recongized. Addressing stereotypes means educating yourself. And instead of making native people live like us we should take a lesson from them and learn to live with the land.

Ameends cannot be made through our own actions. So much life and culture has already been dissolved. The only thing we can do know is ensure that NAtives are trested as humans not criminals, and ensure that the government never takes away their culture and idenity again. In the documentary there was a memo of a woman who went to her first pow wow and hid because she did not know how to dance. She felt as if her identity was lost, along with her this is the reality of many Natives. The boarding schools and foster homes were all tools of erasing their culture. Now Natives should be able to have access to learn about rituals and embrace them in their daily lives.

I think people fail to realize being an ally does not mean just giving pity and condolences. Being an active ally means you amplify the voices of those who want to be heard. You don’t tell their stories for them. You learn to step back when its necessary and you learn to listen when it is need. Their stories are a gift to you and its not for you to share in the pain and grief as it has never happeneed to you its for you to ensure it never happens again.


I completely agree with you that our amends and services will never make up for the life and culture America has stripped from the Indigenous population.

facingstudent8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 29

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

Anyone who is non-Native will never be able to fully understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation. There is still much that we can to to better understand their experiences and that starts with uplifting and listening to Native voices. There is much more that we can do to increase Native representation in media. There should also be more representation of Native stories and tellings of Native struggles told by Native peoples. It is so important that Native people tell their own stories instead of others telling it for them because it allows them to have control over the narrative and tell it how they experienced these events rather than a historian sugar coating their struggles. We can start to confront this history by requiring it be taught in schools as it happened and we should be taught through Native people’s stories. I also really liked the idea in the video from class today about going into communities and learning and healing together.


The first step in addressing the stereotypes and misconceptions about native people is to stop using derogatory and improper terminology. Part of that is learning what are terms are derogatory and what is improper terminology. Learning what these are is also so important because, although, these terms are still used in a derogatory way, a lot of the time when they are used it is because the person is uneducated about what terminology they should and should not use. The article about Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, mentions how she is seeking to get rid of names of US parks and amend documents that use derogatory terms. Increasing Native representation in media could also help to put to bed the narrative that Native Americans are “extinct” or have been “erased”. When audiences see Native characters in media that depict them in positive lights and as real people with real distinct cultures and not just as stereotypes then we could begin to see a change in the perceptions about Native people in this country.


The first thing we need to do to address the fact that the genocide of Native peoples in this country is to actually acknowledge that it happened and call it what it is: a genocide. It is also important to recognize that even though things are changing there still is a genocide against Native peoples in this country. One of the way this genocide occured was with the sterlization of Native women in the 70s that one of the articles talked about. We also need to recognize it as a nation and it should be recognized by the government and this history should be taught in schools. This is a start for making amends but what is really needed is an official apology from the United States government and reparations for the genocide that happened on this stolen land.


As a white person I don’t know what advice I can offer or if I can really offer any advice on how to be an ally to Native people. I feel like that question might best be answered by a Native person. I do want to highlight a quote from the documentary in class today though when they were talking about how it is important for white folks to know when to step back as an ally and I think that is an important piece to remember when talking about white allyship. As for actions to building a nation with Native peoples something one of the commissioners said from the documentary we watched in class today really stood out to me. They talked about how the truth commission and the journey to learning about native people’s struggle is a necessary struggle from becoming an occupier to a neighbor. I think this is really important and significant because to me it says that we need to work together more to be a community instead of just being a group that occupies their land.


facingstudent8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 29

Originally posted by jellybeans101 on December 02, 2021 14:10

  • There is so much history of native people that everyone fails to recognize. For example the route from Cambridge to Williamstown has so many stereotypes implemented in the roads. We need to be more aware of our surroundings and the land that we live on. Confronting history is learning the true facts and having hard conversations on this topic that may make us uncomfortable. The fact that no now knows about the harsh reality of Native women having to be sterilzed is truly twist. The more people choose to leaner about others, we are stronger together

With such a big known media example of the MLB blatantly disreading an organized group of Natives allows others to treat natives in that same way. The misconception of Native Americans are because we have never taken the time to understand them. Learning this from the whole docturmentary there is a clear problem of indegious people not even being recongized. Addressing stereotypes means educating yourself. And instead of making native people live like us we should take a lesson from them and learn to live with the land.

Ameends cannot be made through our own actions. So much life and culture has already been dissolved. The only thing we can do know is ensure that NAtives are trested as humans not criminals, and ensure that the government never takes away their culture and idenity again. In the documentary there was a memo of a woman who went to her first pow wow and hid because she did not know how to dance. She felt as if her identity was lost, along with her this is the reality of many Natives. The boarding schools and foster homes were all tools of erasing their culture. Now Natives should be able to have access to learn about rituals and embrace them in their daily lives.

I think people fail to realize being an ally does not mean just giving pity and condolences. Being an active ally means you amplify the voices of those who want to be heard. You don’t tell their stories for them. You learn to step back when its necessary and you learn to listen when it is need. Their stories are a gift to you and its not for you to share in the pain and grief as it has never happeneed to you its for you to ensure it never happens again.


I respectfully disagree that amends can't be made through our own actions. I think that there is much we can do as a people to amend for the crimes against humanity that have been committed on this land and that starts with recognizing that a genocide has and still is occurring here. I also think that if we don't at least try to start to amend we won't be able to start the healing process.

strawberry123
Chestnut Hill, MA, US
Posts: 28

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

  • What do we need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation? How do we fully confront that history?

In the United States, Native Americans have faced unbelievable levels of difficulty trying to find and value their self-identity. In the last one hundred years alone, natives have been taken from their families as shown in the documentary from class that explicitly describes the immoral child welfare system, sterilization and false medical information happening to women and their reproductive systems, and the continuous stereotypical idea that all natives are savages. Moving forward, our first step as non-natives is to purely listen and learn about indigenous history. In the article, "Native Americans are recasting views of Indigenous life", Tristan Ahtone writes about this first step: "Non-natives, however, barely acknowledge our past or our present, ignoring our lives by focusing on dominant, negative stereotypes." This idea of educating people about the true founders of the land we reside in will not only change the way we think about American history but will also allow state legislatures to finally recognize the Native Americans who are still alive and living in poor conditions in the 21st century. To confront this history efficiently, all classes should prioritize the first common misconception: Thanksgiving Day. As a sixteen-year-old in high school, it seems so wrong that I have never been taught the actual story behind this glamorized day until I took a class like Facing History. All schools across the nation need to stop trying to romanticize white colonization and finally show future generations whose land was stolen from. Textbooks and class lessons that show the first-person perspective from natives will be the best as most information taught about the group is usually from non-natives, making it less accurate.

  • How do we address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population?

I think that we should address the stereotypes, misperceptions, and the "twistory" that has been passed down among non-Native Americans by having native stories shared in order to educate young children, as mentioned earlier. When we learn about specific personal stories that are shared among a variety of natives, as non-natives we should see that there was and still is a major problem with the way we treat them in the U.S. In the documentary from class, we learned about the trauma that comes from foster care systems, who in fact carry 3 times more natives than non-natives. After hearing a couple of detailed and barbaric experiences that young Native Americans had to face, we were brought upon with a list of statistics that really emphasized how common this was. Instead of purely ignoring and continuing the stereotypes, we must stop and hear what this group faced and what they, themselves, think should be done.

  • How do we address the fact that Native peoples were murdered for who they are—the very definition of “genocide”? What apologies and amends do we need to make, if any?

The United States government definitely needs to share subjects like the horrors described in "Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native Women" in order to address that Native peoples were murdered for who they are. The article really put into perspective for me how little I knew about these medical incidents and as a non-native, that truly shows my privilege in this country. Apologies and amends of all sorts need to occur starting with a discussion with Native Americans themselves; it seems almost counterproductive if we continue to make laws that will affect their lives without natives even being involved with the decision-making.

  • How can non-indigenous folks become allies so that Native peoples become fully integrated members of society? What concrete actions can we take to move forward and build a nation with Native peoples?

Non-indigenous people can become allies so that Native peoples can fully integrate as members of society by stopping this idea of always needing to be a part of discussions in which natives don't want non-native input. Alike what happened in the documentary when non-natives got angry when they were separated from the emotional stories told by Native Americans, it seems so wrong and continues to shed light on non-natives always intervening when it isn't about them. Concrete actions like learning about modern-day indigenous life and educating ourselves about their cultures like their food, outfits, and dances can be simple and easy ways to respect the natives and allow the term "savage" to detach from natives completely.

booksandcandles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

Moving forward, we, as non-Native Americans, need to do something we all should be doing in our everyday lives: put ourselves in another's shoes. Imagine how we would feel if a strange new kind of people came into our homes and tried to take away our children, language, and culture. This is what Native Americans everywhere have been going through for a long time, ever since Spanish explorers first set foot on the land of the "New World." To better understand the experiences of Native peoples in this country, we need to open our minds and actually hear the stories that they have to tell. Many of them, like Georgina from the videos shown on Human Rights Day and in class, have deep-seeded traumas, the stories of which have never been told. We need to listen to people and then accept their truth, and only then can we work to confront the history and work towards a better future. There is no possible way for this to be easy. Native Americans have so many reasons to hate and distrust white people. In the article by Erin Blakemore, it discusses the history of forced sterilization of Native American women in the 1960s and 70s, not that long ago. Native Americans were dehumanized, and this article just put into perspective how ingrained it was in the white American culture,, the settler colonialist culture, to wipe out their culture." Children were taken away from their homes to be "re-educated." Women were robbed of their right to a family. Native children in foster homes were abused. Another harmful aspect of the treatment of Native Americans is how they are sometimes seen as "uncivilized" or "barbaric." There is one image of a stereotypical "Indian" that, based on historical facts, was not true, specifically in the region of New England. In order to address these misconceptions, we need to see these people how they appear in modern day. We need to see that they are in fact human beings with culture and laws and neighbors, just like us. A lot of them live in societies that look very similar to what we see every single day. I think, in order to address this issue as a whole, we just need to open our eyes and see that we are not so different from each other -- we all have feelings and things that we care about. We need to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, such as officially calling the slaughter of individuals and erasure of the Native American cultures a genocide. Non-indigenous people can ally themselves with indigenous communities, advocating for them and bringing them to the table for discussions. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) had the beginnings of a right idea: bring people of different backgrounds together to talk about the serious things, about the wrongs and injustices they, as individuals and as a community, had to face. The only way this can ever happen is if we acknoledge the past and focus on the future.

red
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17


  1. To first understand the legacy of our invasion into America and the continuous impact on the millions of Native Americans, who died and/or were displaced from their land, we must first start with education. Paving a road of understanding for the true history of our country instead of the false image we project onto national holidays, such as Thanksgiving, is a way to begin productive conversations about confronting our past and making amends. In order to fully confront the history, we should learn from the most reliable source, the Native Americans themselves. From a primary source the information will not only be accurate, but also more personal and stress the trauma inflicted on their people. The crucial beginning that has been long overdue is active and widespread listening to the victims of the Native American both physical genocide and cultural genocide. Acknowledging that their culture has been and continues to be mocked, disregarded and attacked in an attempt to disenfranchise the Native American people and the fact that we won't be able to atone for the trauma caused until we stop inflicting the same crimes against Native Americans today. In total 1,510,677, 343 acres of land were seized from Native Americans, taking them from their ancestral land, but the expansionist ideals of the United States continued to prevail. The idea that white Americans deserved to stretch the US from coast to coast through the rational of manifest destiny perpetuated the west's and Christian's innate right to land that was already being inhabited. This history has been taught from a western point of view through all US education and understanding the process that led 7 million Native Americans to now consist of 2.9 million from a Native American point of view will begin help us understand this history.
  1. By starting at the root of the misconceptions in the word choices we use to refer and address Native Americans. Words such as ‘red skin’, ‘Indian’, 'chief', 'warrior', and ‘squaw’ all perpetuate stereotypes of Native Americans and express hateful and uneducated misperceptions of Native Americans. They are constantly dehumanized through the caricatures used in media, as well as through the sterilization of Native women, and the tracking of blood quantum, a practice that undermines the values of their matriarchal lineage and the population of their tribes; eradicating these practices is the first step.
  1. Because I’m a non-native person I have no right to assign a plan that I believe would rectify their trauma, but we should listen to what Native People believe would begin a healing process. The obvious beginning steps are the increased education surrounding the Native American genocide and the abolishment of Native American stereotypes in mascots, as seen in the racist and continued mascots of many sports teams. Creating memorials to sites where Native Americans were killed, such as Deer Island, must be constructed in order to establish more awareness around the genocide and educate more people, as well as pay homage to the Native Americans who died their, as well as the descendants still dealing with the repercussions of an inhospitable America.
  1. Non-indigenous people can become allies by listening and constantly recognizing the land that we took and the legacy of the trauma inflicted on Native Americans, as well as appreciating and respecting a culture unique to the western ideals of the United States. By lifting up Native American voices and knowing that the role we play in reconciliation is through listening and understanding that this is not about United States citizens feeling comfortable, but instead about the Native Americans and their tribes and healing.


iris almonds
Posts: 29

Originally posted by facingstudent8 on December 02, 2021 20:44

Anyone who is non-Native will never be able to fully understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation. There is still much that we can to to better understand their experiences and that starts with uplifting and listening to Native voices. There is much more that we can do to increase Native representation in media. There should also be more representation of Native stories and tellings of Native struggles told by Native peoples. It is so important that Native people tell their own stories instead of others telling it for them because it allows them to have control over the narrative and tell it how they experienced these events rather than a historian sugar coating their struggles. We can start to confront this history by requiring it be taught in schools as it happened and we should be taught through Native people’s stories. I also really liked the idea in the video from class today about going into communities and learning and healing together.


The first step in addressing the stereotypes and misconceptions about native people is to stop using derogatory and improper terminology. Part of that is learning what are terms are derogatory and what is improper terminology. Learning what these are is also so important because, although, these terms are still used in a derogatory way, a lot of the time when they are used it is because the person is uneducated about what terminology they should and should not use. The article about Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, mentions how she is seeking to get rid of names of US parks and amend documents that use derogatory terms. Increasing Native representation in media could also help to put to bed the narrative that Native Americans are “extinct” or have been “erased”. When audiences see Native characters in media that depict them in positive lights and as real people with real distinct cultures and not just as stereotypes then we could begin to see a change in the perceptions about Native people in this country.


The first thing we need to do to address the fact that the genocide of Native peoples in this country is to actually acknowledge that it happened and call it what it is: a genocide. It is also important to recognize that even though things are changing there still is a genocide against Native peoples in this country. One of the way this genocide occured was with the sterlization of Native women in the 70s that one of the articles talked about. We also need to recognize it as a nation and it should be recognized by the government and this history should be taught in schools. This is a start for making amends but what is really needed is an official apology from the United States government and reparations for the genocide that happened on this stolen land.


As a white person I don’t know what advice I can offer or if I can really offer any advice on how to be an ally to Native people. I feel like that question might best be answered by a Native person. I do want to highlight a quote from the documentary in class today though when they were talking about how it is important for white folks to know when to step back as an ally and I think that is an important piece to remember when talking about white allyship. As for actions to building a nation with Native peoples something one of the commissioners said from the documentary we watched in class today really stood out to me. They talked about how the truth commission and the journey to learning about native people’s struggle is a necessary struggle from becoming an occupier to a neighbor. I think this is really important and significant because to me it says that we need to work together more to be a community instead of just being a group that occupies their land.


I think that the first sentence of your post is really strong. I totally agree that if you are non - Native American, you will never truly be able to experience what it is like being a Native American. You can try to and you might get close, but you will never have the same experiences Native Americans have.

iris almonds
Posts: 29

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native peoples

  1. What do we need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation? How do we fully confront that history?

The uncountable number of negative stereotypes associated with Native Americans is heartbreaking. The only semi-positive stereotype often associated with Native Americans is the fact that they taught the white settlers how to grow food and crops. The only people who can fully understand the experiences of being a Native American in this nation are the Native Americans themselves. They have gone through more than one may imagine. From children being separated from their parents to be sent to boarding schools to “civilize” them, to the forced sterilization of Native women, and to the immoral foster care system where Native children were being placed in white families, these are all ways that Natives have been oppressed. One thing that we can do, is to listen to their stories and educate ourselves or try to put ourselves in their shoes. In the film that we watched in class, one of the Native American women said that it felt as if a weight was lifted off her shoulder as she was finally able to share a part of her story as a Native American woman. There should be an increase in Native American representation whether that be in media or on executive boards. It is important that we let the Native Americans tell their full story and not edit, take out parts that our current population would not want to hear. One way we can confront this is to start teaching it more in schools. This can be done by changing up the way that elementary school teachers teach Thanksgiving to young children. Textbooks often take out the part the public doesn’t want to hear, sugar-coating how oppressed Native Americans are.


  1. How do we address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population?

The first step in addressing the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population is to acknowledge the fact that we have been placing negative stereotypes/ misconceptions about them, without actually listening to their stories. One of the most effective ways in addressing the stereotypes/misconceptions is to watch documentaries as we did in class. Before watching the documentary, I never knew that Native children were taken away from their parents and sent to boarding schools. I have never actually heard a Native American tell their story and the hardships they experienced. We must also address the significance that past events have on the present. For example, there are a bunch of street names, federal sites, and sports teams named after Native Americans. The article about Deb Haaland talks about how there are 650 federal sites named after Native Americans and that “Names that still use derogatory terms are an embarrassing legacy of this country’s colonialist and racist past”. We should change the names of these federal sites and I agree with Haaland’s plan.


  1. How do we address the fact that Native peoples were murdered for who they are—the very definition of “genocide”? What apologies and amends do we need to make, if any?

As stated in the article about the sterilization of Native American women, “nothing can ever make up for the outrages perpetrated on them in the name of health”. What we can do is acknowledge the fact that Natives were tortured, abused, and their land was taken away from them. They were murdered for the very reason of being who they are, Native Americans. We need to call it what it is: genocide. We should not sugarcoat it and try to make it seem like it isn’t genocide, which is what we have been doing as a society. The US government needs to acknowledge that fact publicly acknowledge it to all Americans. As mentioned in the article, although the mass sterilization of women might have ended, it still occurs today. Some amends that we can make is to teach people about the truth of what happened to Native Americans, and that starts with the Thanksgiving lesson you learn as early as Preschool.


  1. How can non-indigenous folks become allies so that Native peoples become fully integrated members of society? What concrete actions can we take to move forward and build a nation with Native peoples?

Non-indigenous folks can become allies so that Native peoples become fully integrated members of society by listening to their stories and letting them tell the story. Just like how you wouldn’t want someone to interrupt you while you tell your story about your struggles in society, the Native American community doesn’t want non-natives to speak for them. They don’t want people speaking for them at all. Concrete actions we can take to move forward and build a nation with Native peoples is to educate ourselves and others in the right way. We need to teach each other what really happened to the Native Americans, that they were abused, sterilized, tortured, and seen as animals. We need to teach elementary school children what really happened and that Thanksgiving isn’t all about this happy feast they had. Another thing is changing the names of sports teams. We need to take derogatory terms out of names of places and teams.


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