posts 1 - 15 of 16
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.

Clover52
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 16
  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?
    • In order to better understand the experience of Native Americans, I think it would be very beneficial to teach actual Native American history to children in schools. If children are exposed to the truth younger, they will understand what actually has happened. In the video we watched in class, we saw how families of Native descent had to sit their children down and talk to them about the slaughter of their people. This is a horrible, horrible thing that a parent has to do, but it teaches the children the truth. The children of Native people are not the only ones who should learn about this truth, however. Articles such as “The Invasion of America” highlight the issues of the present day as well as what happened in the past. The video attached to the article really helped the reader visualize just how drastic the change of the Native American homeland was. If more publicity was brought to the experiences of Native Americans, it would help confront the issues and false “history”.
  2. How do we address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population?
    • Because the “twistory” of Native Americans is so deeply rooted in systems, especially in education, it will be very difficult to try and undo the stereotypes and misperceptions. However, if people with power in decision-making for the country, such as Deb Haaland, try and get things to change it might help. Deb Haaland is a prime example of someone trying to set things straight. Since she has power in the government, people who identify with Native Americans might feel more comfortable with someone like them in power. This can help advocate and spread awareness of the issues.
  3. 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?
    • I think one of the biggest amendments we need to make as a nation founded on genocide is to stop honoring the pilgrims and settlers that destroyed the natural life in North America. National Holidays such as thanksgiving should be dedicated to Native Americans, not their murderers. Monuments like the tribute to the forefathers in Plymouth is an incredibly inappropriate and inaccurate depiction of the Pilgrims and what they did.
  4. 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?
    • Those who are non-indigenous should still advocate for the Native people in America obviously, even if they do not feel like they can do much to help. By speaking up and educating people across the country, everyone can do their part to help correct the false history written and taught in America. To build a nation with Native people, publicity is critical as well. In the article, “Recasting views of Indegenous life”, Tristan Anhtone presses the importance of showing true Native people in movies. Depicting true and accurate representation of Native people in literature and movies will also help try and redefine what Native people are and reinforce the fact that they are still here and still living today around us.
caramel washington
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15
  1. Moving forward, we absolutely need to add more information into the school curriculum, starting from a young age, that discusses not only the history of native americans and the atrocities they face, but also current circumstances and discrimination in the present day. Many of us shared experiences in class of learning about native americans solely through a lens of positive interactions with the pilgrims, which is a false narrative that doesn’t even begin to touch on the issues these groups face. I also agree with Clover52’s point, that native children are learning about these issues at a young age, so the burden is on the rest of society to teach their children as well.
  2. Addressing the stereotypes and misconceptions about these groups will not be a simple task, but starting with removing harmful imagery associated with native americans is an important step. In the article “Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names,” we can see that efforts are already being made on a federal level, but because of bureaucracy and the need to consult all of the necessary groups, these changes are happening far slower than would be ideal. Private groups, such as sports teams and brands, would have a far easier time changing their names, and in my opinion have the responsibility to do so. The government could potentially create a list of harmful images and names, and if a company wanted to use them they would have to pay significant reparations to indigenous rights groups.
  3. The idea that americans tend to completely this genocide is absolutely despicable, but addressing it will certainly take time. I think the most important thing we can do right now would be to provide funding and increased land for specific tribes, in order to begin to repay them for all the land that was stolen and the treaties that were broken. Additionally, it would be important to specifically provide money for indigenous healthcare. The coronavirus pandemic has devastated these communities, and the extreme poverty makes it difficult for them to get the medical help they need. This would also somewhat act as a reparation for the forced sterilization of indigenous women, often against their will. A number of tribes are dying out because of the lower population from a significant portion of a generation of women being sterilized, so healthcare access would be important for ensuring the survival of these people.
  4. I think first of all, non-indigenous people should prioritize listening, and hearing about other people’s experiences. It isn’t up to us to decide the best course of action on our own, so we shouldn’t try to do so. In terms of concrete actions, providing funding for specific tribes that are struggling, and renaming things that have offensive implications are both super important.
SunflowerSpruce
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

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 order to fully confront America’s racist history towards Native Americans, we first need to teach children from a young age the truth about what happened when the Europeans invaded. In the National Geographic article, an indigenous woman explains that she “often feels frustrated by efforts to erase or ignore indigenous people.” This is what we need to fix first in order to raise an anti-racist and respectful society.

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

  • Not only have we been lied to about Native American history, but it has also been excluded from history textbooks, discussions, and the news. This week, and for the first time in my educational career, I have learned the true extent of what Europeans did to the Indigenous people of America. After having their land invaded, they have experienced systemic oppression for hundreds of years. And this oppression has been intentionally hidden by the American government from US citizens. The most pressing thing that we have to do now is teach children from a young age the injustices that have been going on in this country and active steps that they can take to be anti racist and honor the Native American culture.

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?

  • Various steps need to be taken to make amends between the American government and Native American people, which will take years and years to fix because of the countless injustices. Returning native land and having open and honest discussions are the first two steps that we need to take. We need to realize that a lot of what has happened cannot be undone, but there are still things that we are capable of fixing and it is our responsibility to do so. It is important to recognize that although we did not actively participate in the genocide, we should hold ourselves accountable for doing what we can to right all wrongs.

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 need to recognize and acknowledge that Native peoples have been systematically oppressed and that it is their responsibility to undo all that has been done throughout the last few hundred years. We can start by holding our elected leaders accountable to vote for bills that support Native Americans. We can also call out companies when they use racist and offensive imagery for marketing.
poptarts
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 22
  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?
    • In order to move forward, understand, and acknowledge the experience of Natives in this country we need to change the way things are taught and better educate ourselves on the past and present situations and realities for Indigenous peoples. Whether this be through showing short videos or books to children or using your spare time to research accounts and information from sources that have been approved by Native peoples, it needs to happen. The only way we can stop all these stereotypes, misconceptions, and wrong history is to better educate ourselves on the truth of the lives of Natives. It’ll allow for a better understanding and it’ll help stop the spread of misinformation throughout the United States.
  2. How do we address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about this population?
    • We can start by removing the many stereotypical and harmful displays of Natives from things like brands, sports teams, and in entertainment, and then replace it with accurate and respectful images and displays. Another thing is to stop using language and images in our everyday lives that are harmful to indigenous people.
  3. 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?
    • We can address the fact that there has been a genocide of the Native peoples by having the government make a formal apology, along with changing wrong stereotypes, policies, and holidays. This definitely won't be easy to get the government to be on board with, but it’s what should be done considering the trauma and pain that we have inflicted on the Indigenous people.
  4. 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 folk can use their voices to advocate for the needs of indigenous communities, because their voices are constantly being drowned out. We can help spread information and help demand for rights and stop the problematic and racist sayings, teachings, and images in our country by using not only the voices of the indigenous but also our voices, because as we all know we’re stronger in numbers. With this current generation, social media and the media in general is a really powerful tool that we can use to help spread information directly from the platforms of Indigenous people and help the integration into being members of society without having to denounce their culture and identities. By using things like twitter and Instagram we can easily have things go viral and reach hundreds of thousands of people, and the more people that get involved with that viral video the more that people in power will see and potentially help solve the issues. I know I personally made it onto the Indigenous side of tiktok and I ended up learning so much more than I ever would have in school and it made me a lot more aware of situations that I had never previously heard of. If we can carry the same energy we had when we practically sold out Trump’s Tulsa rally and didn’t show up, we can do the same for the Native Americans.
no-one
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

  1. In my opinion, it is most important to hear from Native people themselves on the issues they and their communities face today, and the ways in which they need support and allyship. Too often has the story of Natives in America been a historical one that ignores their current-day situation. However, that comes with a very large issue, because it places the responsibility of education on Native people, something we have absolutely no right to do. Therefore, it's important to find a balance between uplifting Native voices and allowing them to control a narrative that they have historically been entirely shut out of, and not forcing them to play the part of educator. It's foremost for all of us to seek out the Native voices already out there on our own: online, in books and other media, and learn from them as much as we can. The movie Bounty that we watched in class is a perfect example of this: a resource already made by indigenous people that both provides us a look at real-life present-day native people, to whom we are often not exposed, and is educational on the historical oppression they faced that is often overlooked.

  1. Examining our own unconscious prejudices and stereotypes, and recognizing those as stereotypes rather than fact is a beneficial thing to do all the time, on a regular basis. If we let our own ideas, especially about racial/ethnic groups with which we have little everyday interaction, go unchallenged, they are likely to fall into stereotypes. Studying the real history of the treatment of indigenous peoples is a task that should already be a part of the standard school curriculum (much more than it is), but since it is not the responsibility falls onto us as individuals to seek our own learning.
  2. There are no amends we can make to the millions upon millions who have already been killed, tortured, displaced from their land, put into boarding schools, etc. in the past. However, to say that all of the oppression of Native peoples is historical is certainly wrong: there are surely Native women who were sterilized in the 1960s and 1970s alive today who are very unlikely to have received any form of compensation or apology. While there is certainly an importance of reparations, the most essential thing is to improve the situation of present-day Native people in America. Apology is a step, and a valuable one, but it will never be enough to truly right the wrongs committed. Returning present-day land to present-day people is most necessary.

  1. While inclusion is a good goal, it's important to draw a line between integration and assimilation: not forcing native people to be a part of our own society while we live on their own stolen ancestral land. However, it's unfortunately impractical to speculate about a large-scale return of land or of political independence/sovereignty, so it is necessary to consider how to make our nation more inclusive to indigenous peoples. In my opinion, a very important one is providing native people with representation in government, and holding non-native politicians accountable to include indigenous people in their policy-making. For example, Joe Biden's appointment of Deb Haaland has allowed her to make huge progress, removing countless derogatory place names across the country. This is no cure-all solution, but it's a step in the right direction, to be sure.
Yiddeon
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 17

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples


  1. What non-Natives have to do to better understand and confront the history and experiences of natives is to educate ourselves and others. We should learn about this history at young ages and not water down what has happened in history. We are doing a disservice by not teaching children about this and we have no right to be uncomfortable about this topic when Indigenous people have gone through so much worse.
  2. The negative misconceptions and stereotypes have become ingrained in our society. From logos of products to advertisements, to sport’s team's mascots we are constantly fed these ideas. The leaders of these companies need to understand how damaging these are and fix them. There should not need to be a public outcry for them to do the right thing.
  3. There is no atonement for genocide. It just is not possible. There are however necessary steps to make sure that something like this never happens again. Think of what Germany has done surrounding the Holocaust. There are streets paved with stones engraved with victims' names. There is the giant stone monument honoring those whose lives were lost, and there is the amazing Holocaust museum. Non-Natives have done none of this in the United States and at the very least we need to listen to Natives and try to help their communities in any way possible.
  4. The first step is education. Spread the message that there are Natives left and they have not been wiped out. It is also important for us to remove all offensive and detrimental images and stop glorifying those that have done so much evil. A large portion of the harm done to Natives has been done throughout government and so it is only through the government that we can fix it. We need to make sure the people in office take this issue seriously and are willing to fight for this because it is the right thing to do
goldshark567
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21
  1. In order to better understand the experience of Native peoples in this nation and confront that history, there needs to be more education about this section of history, starting with children. As early as kindergarten, children hear about Indigineous peoples in the context of the typically told and false story of the “first Thanksgiving.” Indigineous people are stereotyped heavily and children grow up with no knowledge of their oppression. In one of the videos that we watched in class, we saw very young Native children learning about the extreme violence and trauma that their ancestors went through. As we discussed in class and Clover52, as well as caramel washington, mentioned, native children are capable of learning about this history, so other children are just as capable. Thus, as a nation, there needs to be much more emphasis on exposing students to the true history of native people in this country.

  1. In order to address the “twistory” about native peoples, there needs to be an effort to dismantle stereotypes and misconceptions. Things like getting rid of offensive imagery on product packaging and renaming inappropriately-named sports teams are a step in the right direction, as people constantly seeing these negative stereotypes in every day life engrains that idea of who a Native person is into society. The U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland taking steps to get rid of derogatory terms for native people from use in the government is another example of addressing this issue. In the film Dawnland, the Maine-Wabanaki truth and reconciliation commission is an effort to address the issue. We need to keep working to remove stereotypes and misinformation from being continuously passed down.

  1. I think that what happened to Native people in this country first needs to be acknowledged as a genocide, because that is what it was. The fact that it isn’t federally recognized as a genocide discredits the horrificness of what happened. A lot of amends need to be made. I think that the government should be doing more to support Native people, as the effects of the genocide of their ancestors are still very prevalent today. Whether that’s giving more land to Native tribes, supporting them with federal funds, or something else that would be beneficial, there just needs to be aid.

  1. Non-indigineous people can become allies by taking the time to both listen to what Native people have to say and advocating on their behalf. In Tristan Ahtone’s article, he says: “non-natives, however, barely acknowledge our past or our present, ignoring our lives by focusing on dominant, negative stereotypes.” Indigineous people are very much affected by the clear ignorance of their struggles, so making a clear effort to acknowledge their experiences and pain would be beneficial. Going back to question one, educating non-native people, starting with children, is a concrete action that can be taken to move forward. In addition, putting pressure on the government to support Native people and continuing to dismantle offensive branding/images that exist in society is necessary. However, listening to Indigineous people is ultimately the most important. They are the most qualified to offer opinions on what needs to be done, as they are the people affected.

stylishghost
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 25

1. To better understand Native American history moving forward, we must begin educating children and adults. Native kids like the boy in the video we watched in class are old enough to confront their dark history, so why aren't white and non-native kids? A focus on the beauty of America pre-colonialism and the richness of native culture when children are in younger grades would also encourage interest in learning more as they get older. Most importantly, in order to truly face Native American history, we first listen to tribes today. Often, like in the article on changing names of towns, they have been telling governments and leaders what we own them for years, without no one there to listen.

2. The best way to address misconceptions and stereotypes is to take them out of out day to day lives. The symbols and names seen all around us are racist, and teach and enforce bias.

3. In order to address the genocide and forced sterilizations of Native Americans, more memorials and education should be implemented. Like on Deer Island, where no memorial has been funded. In terms of apologies and amends, simply saying we are sorry isn't enough. Money and land need to be given back to Native populations as well.

4. Non-indigenous people can become allies by bringing to light more indigineous stories. Also, more indigenous people should hold office, and make decisions when it comes to laws about Native people and land.




Winters2
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native peoples

1. I think that as non-native people the most important thing we can do is listen, it is crucial to listen. We also need to just continue to listen because we need to continue to improve and progress as a society. We also need to just adjust some aspects of our lives or things we are used to. For example in class when we talked about professional sports teams changing their names due to the use of derogatory terms. Also in the reading about Deb Haaland where the Phoenix city council renamed Squaw Peak Drive to Piestewa Peak drive after it was decried as a degrading term. So we need to just continue to listen and go with the changes that should be made.


2. I think just like I previously mentioned addressing these misconceptions and stereotypes we must listen to those who do know and can educate and inform us about the truth. Most people who believe things that are not always accurate, believe it because they have been taught nothing else so I think we should have our minds open to being changed and informed on what is really history and not fall for the twistory.


3. I think that there really just has to be a level of understanding and acceptance. I do not personally believe that people who were not there are at any fault or should take any blame for the actions of those that came before them. I think however we still need to be accepting and understand where those who are native peoples are coming from and what they need from us to help heal old wounds that may have been left. Though it is not non-natives responsibility we must still be responsible for the healing and acceptance needed in our society.


4. As talked about in class and the JSTOR article the understanding of the mistreatment of Native American children and the after effects of these inhumane actions against these humans. We must not ignore the facts of history and continue to be responsible and respectful members of society. Continuing to integrate and build is very important as well. A good action step to take would be sitting down with members of all communities especially those from indigenous communities, and having dialogue to help everyone come together.

poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21
  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?

It's important to learn from the very beginning of the true history of the Native Americans in the United States. When we try to take this approach of teaching children a more comfortable history, it becomes harder later on for children to let go of these previous conceptions. In a way, it's almost ignorant to teach children a more "comfortable" history when Native Americans don't have the luxury of remembering the past as being all sunshine and rainbows. Native Americans have to bear the weight of the past that colonists inflicted on them, so shouldn't we as well? Presenting the history in a truthful manner is important when learning this history. It's important to be clear and also have visual examples. I think that "The Invasion of America" by Claudio Saunt does a really good job at this and it should be a model for how to confront this history. Saunt presents a clear history without any sugarcoating, as well as visual representations which can help the reader better understand what truly happened.

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

There's no other way to address it than to address it. If we approach our mistakes without fully committing to reversing the effects of those before us, we won't be able to change anything. What we need to do is be honest and say "This is wrong! This is not how we are supposed to teach it!" and fix our ways. If we can fix our education, we can show that we are progressing and changing our ways. That is what we need to show and do to prevent the next generation from forgetting this history.

  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?

I don't understand why people are so afraid of saying that colonists committed genocide when it's exactly what it was. Genocide, by definition, is the deliberate killing of a large number of people with the aim of destroying that nation or ethnic group. Americans have historically killed Native Americans with the clear mindset that Native Americans were barbaric or lesser than, and that Americans were superior. Native Americans were seen as nothing more than roadblocks to expansion. Whether the killing of Native Americans was genocide cannot be argued since there is only one answer. This intent and aim can be seen later on as well. In Blackmore's article “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women,” Native American women went to the doctors for other reasons and instead had their reproductive capabilities cut off. The erasure and discrimination that Native Americans experienced gets downplayed so often, that it is so important that we bring it to light. By doing so, we can fully address what really happened to Native peoples and, from there, make further amends. Until we make amends, we do not deserve any forgiveness from Native Americans. Until we can show that we are putting our full efforts into reversing the crimes of those before us, we cannot be forgiven.

  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?

Showing empathy and trying to truly understand the plight of Native Americans. Making new laws and making amends to old laws can help us move forward and work collaboratively with Native Americans. When we try to understand what another is going through, we can become closer with them and eventually weaken the pains of the past.

Boat1924
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

1. I believe that in order for people to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this country, our nation and government needs to mandate the teaching of the Native American genocide and the attempts by the United States to eradicate their culture. Our government needs to create specially designed program and implement it in schools across the country. This program will not only teach kids the United States attempts to destroy Native American communities and take their land, but also the many different programs that the United States enacted during the 20th century to eradicate their culture and assimilate them into “Civilization”. In order to create this curriculum, I believe that we should use the Truth Reconociliation Committess to help create a guideline on the information that the program should include. Some of the information that can be included are the numerous policies that the United States carried out against and their effects on the tribes, such as the trail of tears, Native American boarding schools and the forced sterilization of thousands of Native women during the 1970s. In order to fully understand the experience of Native Americans, we need to fully learn about their histories, from the time before Columbus landed in the “New World”, to present day and how their relationship with the U.S government affects their tribes and people to this day.


2. One way that we can address the stereotypes, and misconceptions that have been taught and passed down through society is to establish another program that works to teach people the importance of stereotypes and the harmful effects that they have on the communities. We can not only teach people that stereotypes are harmful and gross representations of comunities that have been ignored and silenced for centuries, but we can also teach them good steroetyopes and media depictions. For example, Madeline Sayet, the Mohegan Playwright, may be able to create a program or a play that outlines why the stereotypes are harmful and should be changed. She then could possibly introduce new characters or images that are not harmful, but serve as progressive and good representations of tribes and native peoples in the country present day.


3. I believe that the United States needs to formally admit that the policies that they carried out against the Native Americans were genocidal policies that aimed at killing them for who they were. They need to formally apologize to the numerous Native tribes that they have decimated and attempted to destroy and begin to develop new policies that aim at restoring their relationships and begin to follow a new plan of cooperation. Some ways that we can strengthen these amends and apologies is create larger reservations for tribes, by ceding more land to the different tribes and begin to pay reparations to the tribes that have suffered the most under U.S policy. The United States can also create a new department that works with different tribes in order to fix some of the many issues that still plague and harm Native communities, for example changing the policy of foster care systems so that native children are not completely removed from native communities.


4. I believe that non-indegenous folks can be allies to Native Americans by following their movements and supporting changes or legislation that Native Americans support. While I believe that it is important for people of many different backgrounds to support and push for policies to help Native Americans, I do not believe that those people should push for change without the guidance of Natives people. This issues do not directly affect them, so they should not push for legislation or change that may not be supportend by Native communities. People should also push for and fight for change that is directly supported by and fought for many different native tribes in order to help force the government to change.

GullAlight
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20
  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?

Learning about the history of Native peoples in this country is very important, and adding it to the AP test for US History would definitely be a good starting point. In addition, BLS specifically needs to start using a text which does not refer to Native Peoples as American Indians. Schools should also begin to teach about these important events much sooner, and creating legislation which would mandate that schools begin to teach this to younger children is essential to preserving this history. The article “The Invasion of America” is an example of how to confront and inform about this, and having Native Peoples coming into the classroom to speak on these issues is also quite important. As individuals, I believe that the only way to confront this history is to continue informing ourselves about and listening to Native peoples.


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

Due to the fact that we will forever be outsiders on their experience, we truly should stop making their decisions for them. Reading the article “Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names,” I think that legislation will be the only way to truly ever come close to dealing with and facing that bias as a country. Although passing legislation is a lengthy affair, using public opinion might help it go faster, and states should also all begin to teach more about this history to their students. Overall, raising awareness of these issues on as wide of a scale as possible will likely be the deciding factor.


  1. 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?

I believe that many steps need to be taken before we will be able to even somewhat make reparations for this. Beginning to return Native lands and removing the blood quantum rule, instead having tribes provide a list of members, will be a good start. This will definitely be a lengthy process, but listening to what Native Peoples have been saying, and not lumping them together into one tribe, are all essential to making amends. As individuals, we need to continue learning about this difficult history, and add many of these words into our vocabulary. Although we may not have been active participants in genocide, we need to accept that even to this day, we live on Native Land, and in not uplifting their voices, we are doing both them and ourselves an injustice.


  1. 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?

In order to become allies, we should seek to remove many of these derogatory terms from our vocabulary and daily lives, both for ourselves, so as to not become complicit, in the erasure of Native Peoples. Reading “Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life,” I think having an accurate portrayal of Native Peoples in the media is also very important.


We should understand that after all the harm America has done to them, they have no reason to trust or have loyalty to America as a nation. In class, we heard Native peoples speak on how each tribe is a separate nation, and so the US government should instead provide resources for them to be able to recover from so many years of oppression. At this point, forcibly integrating them would erase their culture, as simply a gentler form of oppression.

Blue terrier
Posts: 23


  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?

To better understand the experiences of indigenous peoples and face the bleak realities of this history, I think that perhaps the most obvious, yet vital action to take, is making changes to the education regarding this subject. The issue within education on this subject is not ignorance. In fact, it is quite the opposite. In class, students went around the room sharing how they learned about the arrival of Europeans and the “first Thanksgiving.” The overall consensus was that as a child, almost all of us were taught that the meeting was the stereotypical, peaceful exchange of gifts and food, where they all had a big happy dinner together and lived happily ever after. However, as we know, quite the opposite occurred. In “The Invasion of America” article, the colonists carried out an extensive, hundreds of year long genocide on the native peoples. It is not that our history units as children skipped over, or failed to mention this time period all together. Instead, we were taught the polar opposite of what happened. This tells us that our education on this subject was deliberately built on the platform of erasure of genocide, and the attempted erasure of the history of an entire indigenous group of people.


So what is the alternative? The answer is quite simple. Teaching what actually happened. Children need to learn about the genocide and history of the native people in the United States at a young age. As we saw in the video, indegenous children were taught about their history at a young age and read documents about the bounties on native peoples. Although very difficult for these children, it is important that children, especially white children, are taught about this history. Society underestimates what children can learn, and as we learned in the 60 Minutes study, children are incredibly observant. Of course, overly graphic imagery and more detail of the actual actions of the colonists should be implemented more as these children continue to get older and are able to properly understand, analyze, and digest these historical events. At a young age however, as soon as children are old enough to take a history class, these events by the colonists in the United States need to be discussed, and the idea that this interaction was entirely peaceful, must be dropped. It would not be entirely confronting this history, but it would certainly be a step towards a societal shift in The United States, and it would bring about positive change.


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

As mentioned previously, reform in education is vital to combating the misconceptions about the history of the relationship between colonizers and Native Peoples. As for stereotypes, it’s necessary that as a society, we get rid of the current portrayal of indegenous peoples that we see today. In class, we studied the very harmful stereotypes that are presented in all aspects of the world we live in: the butter you buy, the baseball team you like, the syrup you put on your pancakes, and the list goes on. This contributes to the erasure of indegenous history in many ways, the most glaring being that native people start to become a chararicature, rather than a group of people. The way to combat this is getting rid of this racist and harmful imagery.

  1. 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?

As a society, it is vital that we return the land that our ancestors wrongfully stole. That is the most vital amendment that must be made, as it is the least that our government could do. For hundreds of years native people were pushed off of their land and killed by the hundreds of thousands. One thing this question made me think of was our discussion about current events in Barbados and the country cutting its ties with Britain. An important point that stuck with me in this discussion was that we cannot change history, but we can flexibly react to history, making reparations, and understanding our connection to our ancestors, and other groups of people. We cannot change how our ancestors treated the native peoples, but can ensure that we give back what is not ours.

  1. 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?

In the videos we watched in class, a commonality was that indegnous peoples feel that they have lost their cultural identity in the United States through years of whitewashing and forced, violent assimilation. Indigenous peoples were branded “barbaric,” and entire schools were set up in an effort to forcefully assimilate and Christianize the indigenous peoples, leading to feelings of a lost culture within native communities. Today, society needs to create an environment where indigenous people are free to express their own cultural heritage, and not be forced to assimilate, as we saw previously throughout history. On top of this, education regarding different indigenous cultures in our school system is very important, and emphasizes the idea that indegenous people are not simply one small group of people, but rather, an interconnected web of diverse cultures, who were targeted and deliberately destroyed.

SesameStreet444
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 22

Originally posted by freemanjud on November 28, 2021 18:19


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.

1. Education and increased awareness are key factors in better understanding the experience of Native Americans in the United States. As further described in Claudio Vaunt’s The Invasion of America, the abuse, mistreatment, and erasure of the indigenous people in America has flown under the radar of the general public for too long, conveniently replaced by a false rhetoric that insists on an amicable relationship dating back to the times of the Pilgrims. We as nonnative people must learn about and acknowledge the truth of this nation’s history, as it is far more violent than the made up fairy tale that we have been sold since childhood. Most people haven’t been made aware of the countless atrocities targeted towards Native peoples, including multiple wars- such as the Washita and Bear River Massacres- that carried the intention of wiping out entire Native tribes. Most people have no clue about how 25-50% of Native American women were forcibly sterilized in the 1970s, as explained in Erin Blackmore’s The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women. As a tragic result, indigenous people and tribes have experienced severely diminished land ownership and population size. Yet they are still here, persevering through it all, and people need to be taught the extent of which these innocent people suffered. There is a responsibility in the present day to further educate both ourselves and future generations about the truth of America and how it truly inherited its land.

2. The inappropriateness, misconceptions, and stereotypicalization of Native Americans within history, pop culture and the mainstream media needs to be drawn to a close. From offensive sports team names to generalized Halloween costumes to unrealistic depictions of Natives on brand labels, the trend of tokenizing and aestheticizing indigenous people for the sake of turning a profit is both rude and unjustifiable. For example, the video we watched in class focuses on the sports team named the Redskins, which references how colonizers would receive monetary compensation for scalping and killing Native Americans. The fact that this team has managed to keep such a name for so long is a true testament to how little people are informed about US history and how twisted the image of Native Americans has been altered to fit a more wholesome narrative. Damaging names such as the Redskins, along with name brands that utilize and reiterate Native American stereotypes, need to be confronted and taken down for good.

3. To address an occurrence as awful as genocide is never one that is simple or easily done, yet it is essential if we, as a society, want to be better and not repeat the mistakes of the past. As a bare minimum, the US government needs to fully acknowledge and apologize to the surviving Native tribes for their wrongdoings. To continue to be in denial of their actions would only continue their cycle of hatred and erasure. There is always a fear of bad image or discomfort when speaking about such heinous acts, but the reality is that the United States collectively committed these crimes and did irrevocable damage on these people, from their numerous massacres to their forced migrations and sterilizations, to their displacement of Native children in white homes. Not only should these acts be brought to the surface and labeled as genocide, they also should lead to some form of compensation, such as land distribution and reparations.

4. Firstly, non-indigenous folks can become allies to Native people by being fully educated and aware of the United States’ past actions and involvement regarding the diminishing of the Native American population. The history of indigenous people should no longer be lingering in the background of US history, it should be brought to the forefront and properly addressed. Schools should be enforced to teach a curriculum that is more historically accurate. There should also be some form of land redistribution, where tribes can retain some of the land that they lost over the centuries. Lastly, reparations could be given to individuals as compensation for everything that they have survived and undergone.


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