posts 1 - 15 of 21
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 257


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


-------------------------

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.

dollarcoffee
Boston, MA
Posts: 15
The only way the United States can even begin to grapple with the horrific acts the government committed against the Native people of America and begin to help them heal and fully integrate into society is through education. Moving forward one thing that is absolutely essential to this process is the history of land acquisition in the United States. As the article and video from Aeon rightly pointed out, the map from the US Geological Survey showed a neat, legal process of land acquisition and has zero acknowledgement of the land stolen from Natives. One way we address historical misconceptions like this is changing how the history of the US is taught, like switching incorrect maps like the one from the US Geological Survey 2014 (Aeon) with the map seen in the video of the Aeon article, called The Invasion of America. It is crucial children learn from a young age that they live on stolen land, even if the specifics are explained to them later, and it is crucial the government acknowledges that they operate on stolen land. The only way to address this “twistory” is through changing how history is taught in classrooms and how history is presented in the world around us. When Interior Secretary Haaland made the move to take slurs against indigenous women off of government property or land, she changed how history will be perceived by future generations by not presenting racist terms as a part of our government, thus not normalizing the words. Something similar to this was the Deer Island planned memorial we learned about in class. Although this memorial has been planned, it has not been created, so Bostonians will not learn the history of what happened on Deer Island unless they seek it out themselves. I think the way we address stereotypes and misconceptions about Native populations is through advocating to remove offensive language from things we see in our day to day life, like sports teams, and also by not teaching kids stereotypes about Natives, like how many of us mentioned the plays and books we had been shown in school as children filled with Native stereotypes and false history.

There is no apology the United States could properly make to Native populations short of giving all their land back, but what we could start with is providing ample land for reservations, not acres scattered across a state, and providing adequate living conditions for Native communities. Many Native communities don’t have access to running water, internet, or are located in food deserts and the least the government could do is provide those resources. Along with that, they can provide money for things like the Deer Island memorial and also work to reform our teaching of history with Native educators. Another way other Americans can become allies is through supporting Indigenous art, like the play Crossing Mnisose in the article by Tristan Atone, and helping share their stories. We can also help to make Native people feel more welcome in our day to day lives by simply acknowledging the fact that we are on stolen land, and reiterating the fact that the reason many of us are where we are today is only because of the invasion of Native land.

gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 16

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

  1. In order to gain some understanding of what native people have encountered, I think America, as a whole, needs to stop and listen to them. They have a voice too, and as many people know, colonizers did not “discover” America because it was already here and inhabited. One thing that we talked about in class was what label America should give native people, and I think that is a good place to start because everyone should be educated about the simplest things, just out of respect. I do not know if there is a way to fully understand the history, but I think that history books for children need to be written differently, and the history of colonization needs to be taught differently because it wasn’t all friendship and happiness. In order to confront this history, we need to properly educate ourselves and get rid of the stereotypes and stories we once knew.
  2. In my opinion, their stories need to be told and the education of young children has to change. It was not until recently that I discovered the horrors brought upon by colonization, especially in this class. Reading the article “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life” it was interesting to read about how these negative stereotypes have affected native people, especially how in historical TV and books they have been cast through a negative lens, and still are. When someone uses terms like “Indian giver” or “Indian burn” you need to stop them and tell them how offensive saying that is, and the effects it has on native people.
  3. I think it is pretty obvious that what the American government has done to native peoples is genocide, and dancing around the subject does not address it. In the “Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native Women” I was not aware of the horrors those women had faced, and how it has been ignored by society. There are also still affects of this genocide know because the IHS believed that native people were “morally, mentally, and socially defective”. I don’t even think that there is a way we as society can apologize for the hundreds of years native people have suffered, but it is an incentive to educate ourselves and get rid of these stereotypes.
  4. In order to become allies it is important to immerse ourselves in true native culture, not just believing that all tribes are the same, and going along with everything we’ve read in our history books. “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life” talks about a restaurant in Seattle made up of indigenous cooks, activists, herbalists, and knowledge keepers. I think there should be more institutions like this around Boston and around the country because it would help us to educate ourselves in parts of native culture. To build a better nation with native peoples they should know that we recognize them and accept them.
runningdog96
Posts: 8

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

1 & 2. I decided to group questions 1 and 2 together because Ifeel they can be answered with a similar answer: education and including Indigenous people in the conversation.In order to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation, and to begin to address stereotypes, we first need to re-educate ourselves. Most things we have learned about Indigenous peoples, their culture, and their story is wrong or written to make colonists look as if they were in the right. Thus, in order to make any progress whatsoever, we first need to educate ourselves on the true history of Indigenous people and the harm done to them by colonists. It’s been made very clear by our discussions in class that the American history curriculum looks to erase the experiences of Indigenous people. For example, throughout “Dawnland”, the boarding schools are discussed, which we talk about for a brief time in some history classes, but also goes into great detail about the child welfare system and its grave injustices to indigenous people by taking children and placing them with white families for the duration of their childhood. I cannot remember a single time in which this was brought up in any history class, and so the level to which the government violated the rights and experiences of Indigenous people was shocking to me. Thus, in order to fully confront that history, we need to begin teaching it at a young age. This will begin the process of undoing some of the erasure of Indigenous people, but will also help us to better understand the experiences of Indigenous people and work to address stereotypes. In order to address them, it’s important to understand where they came from, as then we understand the root of the issue. With education, we will be better able to understand how persistent these stereotypes are and then begin to get rid of things such as mascots that perpetuate these stereotypes.

A great way to address these stereotypes and begin to understand the experiences of Indigenous people is to include them in the conversation- this is perhaps the most important action for us to take. By including them in the conversation,much like the US Senate did by appointing Oregon citizen and tribal resident Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III as head of the National Park Service. By doing this, the government is giving Indigenous people more of a say over their own lands, but also working to further stop the erasure that has happened for hundreds of years. By both educating ourselves and giving Indigenous people more of a say over their own land, we are able to then work to better understand the experience of Indigenous people, which will help us to address the stereotypes and misperceptions.


3. This nation most certainly needs to make an apology to Indigenous people- although it can be argued that there will never be an apology good enough. A true apology is one which is accompanied by action, and so the United States could start with a nationwide acknowledgment of these events, the incorporation of them into the national history curriculum, and the returning of land to Indigenous people. I had no idea of the proclamation which was signed in the Old State House that declared Indigenous people illegal and offered monetary rewards for their capture and/or killing, and that happened right here in Boston. It would take a very long time to acknowledge every wrong done to this community, but the first step is to help make everyone aware that it even happened. The history of Indigenous people should be incorporated into the curriculum not only because it is an important part of this history of this land, but also because it will help us to address harmful stereotypes and understand the experiences of this community more. We must address these human rights abuses, and writing the true history of this nation is an important part of that. One of the most important amends to make is the returning of land to Indigenous people. We have taken nearly all of their land from them and forced Indigenous communities into small reservations where we, historically, have controlled them. By returning their land, we are acknowledging that it is indeed theirs and working to put an end to their erasure.


4. Non-indigenous people can educate themselves- as I’ve mentioned above, but also work to include Indigenous people in all conversations about the land of this nation. It is their land, and so they should have say in what happens to it and on it. A good way to do this would be to appoint them to police positions, similarly to what the article Ded Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names discusses. By appointing Mr. Sams as the head of the National Park Service, Indigenous people will have a louder voice when it comes to their lands, which is incredibly important. Non-indigenous people can also work to remove derogatory names for Indigenous people from culture- such as changing school mascots or renaming military vehicles, in order to work to abolish the stereotype of Indigenous people as well as stop contributing to their erasure. This also includes working to grant them full rights, and change systems so it isn’t as difficult for them to prove that they are Indigenous. As we saw in many videos in class, it’s often extremely difficult to prove nativeness, and there are blood quantum laws which exist for Indigenous people and so by changing these systems - or getting rid of them entirely( such as the blood quantum laws)- we would be helping Indigenous people become fully integrated members of society. By working with elected officials and taking a stand with and for Indigenous folks, those who are not part of that community can help to make a difference and show their allyship.

dollarcoffee
Boston, MA
Posts: 15

Originally posted by gato927 on December 02, 2021 08:35

  1. In order to gain some understanding of what native people have encountered, I think America, as a whole, needs to stop and listen to them. They have a voice too, and as many people know, colonizers did not “discover” America because it was already here and inhabited. One thing that we talked about in class was what label America should give native people, and I think that is a good place to start because everyone should be educated about the simplest things, just out of respect. I do not know if there is a way to fully understand the history, but I think that history books for children need to be written differently, and the history of colonization needs to be taught differently because it wasn’t all friendship and happiness. In order to confront this history, we need to properly educate ourselves and get rid of the stereotypes and stories we once knew.
  2. In my opinion, their stories need to be told and the education of young children has to change. It was not until recently that I discovered the horrors brought upon by colonization, especially in this class. Reading the article “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life” it was interesting to read about how these negative stereotypes have affected native people, especially how in historical TV and books they have been cast through a negative lens, and still are. When someone uses terms like “Indian giver” or “Indian burn” you need to stop them and tell them how offensive saying that is, and the effects it has on native people.
  3. I think it is pretty obvious that what the American government has done to native peoples is genocide, and dancing around the subject does not address it. In the “Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native Women” I was not aware of the horrors those women had faced, and how it has been ignored by society. There are also still affects of this genocide know because the IHS believed that native people were “morally, mentally, and socially defective”. I don’t even think that there is a way we as society can apologize for the hundreds of years native people have suffered, but it is an incentive to educate ourselves and get rid of these stereotypes.
  4. In order to become allies it is important to immerse ourselves in true native culture, not just believing that all tribes are the same, and going along with everything we’ve read in our history books. “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life” talks about a restaurant in Seattle made up of indigenous cooks, activists, herbalists, and knowledge keepers. I think there should be more institutions like this around Boston and around the country because it would help us to educate ourselves in parts of native culture. To build a better nation with native peoples they should know that we recognize them and accept them.

I really liked your response, and agree with you. We need to stop, listen, and learn from Indigenous communities. I definitely agree that children's books need to be rewritten. It was shocking hearing all the misinformation and racist stereotypes we were learning in school at such a young age, and how normalized that was for all of us at such young ages. I also agree there is no way we can properly apologize to Indigenous communities for the years of suffering inflicted on them by the US Government and white settlers, and all we can try to do as Indigenous allies is educate ourselves on the true history of the United States and support and learn from Indigenous owned institutions like the one from "Recasting Views of Indigenous Life."

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 16

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

In order for the nation, as a whole, to understand the experiences of native people and to confront that history, one of the most important things is education and representation. Because Indiginous people have been ignored and erased from the narrative of American history for so long, a significant portion of people living in the US have a very one dimensional view of indiginous people. We need to make sure that we promote Indiginous voices, instead of just non-native people speaking for or about native people. This is critical to educate non-native people. As well as to simply allow the stories of native people to be heard, because they have so often been silenced.


As I said in my response to #1, education is probably one of the best ways to combat stereotypes and misperceptions. This means showing people Indiginous perspectives and stories, and including these stories in school curriculums and beyond. One of the things that disturbed me the most with everything we’ve talked about and read about is how little I had known about this history. The things I had known I had mainly learned about from social media, which is generally not the best source of information. It made it very clear to me that this needs to be taught. Accurate representation in media can also help to dismantle stereotypes, as Madeline Sayet touched on when speaking about the plays she directs in Tristan Ahtone’s article (Recasting Views of Indigenous Life). A lot of media that depict native people relies on stereotypes, such as Disney’s Pocahontas and Peter Pan, which many of us probably grew up watching. The media we consume generally impacts the way we view the world, which is why positive, accurate representation is so important.


The European colonizers and the American government’s actions against Indiginous people is clearly genocide, and should be treated as such. An apology from the government would be a good thing, but it would not be nearly enough. Indigenous communities are still often under-resourced, blood quantums are still law, and many of the topics we talked about in class and that the articles talked about are still incredibly recent. According to the JStor Daily article, between 1970-1976 alone— that’s between only 40 and 50 years ago, 25%-50% of Native American women were sterilized, and as we saw in Dawnland, the children who were taken from their families by the child welfare system are still dealing with the trauma of that today. A government apology without serious action along with it would be worth nothing. I’m not sure what specifically this would entail, but I do know that an apology is not enough, nor does it excuse the erasure and genocide that has occured over the past few centuries.


I think to be allies to Indiginous people, we should make an effort to actively learn about Indiginous culture, consume media by Indigenous creators, work with elected officials to change laws such as the blood quantum law, and make space for Indiginous people to share their perspectives and stories. It’s especially important to make sure that Indigenous people have a say in changes that would affect them, so we should amplify Indigenous voices instead of speaking for them. Perhaps most importantly, and this also relates to my last point, we need to make sure that Indigenous people are seen and not erased. People need to realize that Indiginous people are still here, and that they are humans, not just a group of stereotypes. We need to combat this perception of Indigenous people through education and visibility.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

1) In recent years, many Americans have accepted the idea that we need to re-learn our nation’s history, that the textbooks we were shown in school didn’t always have the most accurate information, and that what we were told by teachers was not always true. To better understand the experience of Native Americans in this land, we need to go straight to the source to get that information. We have learned that what the state teaches us is filled with fibs, so going to the actual victims of our history would provide real insight on the horrid scenarios. Now, this is definitely not the best scenario, because it shouldn’t be the responsibility of Indigenous people to keep Americans educated, it shouldn’t be something that rests on their shoulders, but if some people were to learn this information, they need to spread it, it shouldn’t be kept hidden or a secret. The video watched in class today (12/2) is an example of helping to spread knowledge on what was kept under the rug. I never knew the severity of numbers of children stripped from their homes to be put in foster systems, but after watching the film, it really hit me, and is now a fact I will not forget. In order to fully confront the real history of this nation, we need to realize that what we know now is fake history.

2) In America, the way that minority groups are perceived or stereotyped most of the time is that they are either very well off, or the complete opposite. For example, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders in America are seen as the ‘Model Minority’, whereas Black Americans are seen as people living in constant poverty, and people who commit crimes. Now, if you were to bring up these two stereotypes to people, they would typically debunk them immediately. But this is not true for Indigenous people. My whole life, I have been told that Indigenous people in the US solely live on Reservations, and deal with constant drug addictions, poverty, and terrible living conditions. This is something that I have always heard, but something that I now know is not true. In order for everyone to realize that these stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Indigenous people are not true, the same logic about debunking stereotypes needs to be applied. Just because it is less talked about in the public setting, it doesn’t mean that the rumors are true.

3) In Tristan Ahtone’s article, “Native Americans are recasting views of Indigenouse life” a person named Kim TallBear states, “‘But if you look at the UN definition of genocide, every single federal policy toward native people can come under that.’” This isn’t an opinionated statement, it's a pure fact. In the film Dawnland, an advertisement was shown from the 20th century of a white man advertising boarding schools for Indigenous children. I can’t remember the exact quote, but the man said something along the lines of: oh look at these children to my left, they live with their true families and, as a result, are ‘barbaric’, but these children on my right have been attending these boarding schools by force, and are now civilized. That advertisement made it loud and clear that people genuinely believed (and still believe) that Indigenous people were wrong, and were criminals, for simply just existing and celebrating their culture. We need to be able to accept this fact in order to address how Native people were murdered for being Native. Apologies and amends are definitely a little bit harder for me to think of, there is not one thing that can just make people feel better about the horrid acts committed against their ancestors. However, but as a Jewish person, I know that people adressing the attrocities of the Holocaust make me feel better, because I can see that they are not trying to erase it from history. The first thing we need to do to apologize and make amends to these Indigenous communities is to stop ignoring the past, but instead, talk about it loud and clear.

4) This question made me think of the film we watched in class again. Near the end of the screening we got through today, there was a clip of a celebration between the Wabanaki tribe and Maine commissioners. One of the Wabakani people mentioned how he was so happy to see that moment, because it felt the government was finally trying to make an effort, they were becoming ‘neighbors, not just people sharing land’. I think this is something that the US needs to try and replicate on a larger scale, while still taking into account the contrasts between separate native tribes. I believe that this could eventually become considered a concrete action if it isn’t a one and done situation. People can’t appreciate Native tribes and culture once, just to forget about it the next day. If we want a community to be built, we as a whole country need to work to maintain that community, and keep it intact.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The effect of settlers on the native peoples

We need to let their voices be heard by giving them opportunities to speak like opening up events for them or in classes when the topic comes up give them the floor first. We also need to listen to everything they say and not speak over them or downplay what they are saying, and when they say that something can be done to make up for the things America has done we must do it because it is the least we can do to reconcile. We can confront this history head on by doing what we originally promised to do, like the video Dawnland that we watched in class with the TRC. We can’t keep “waiting” for Natives to speak up. It wasn’t their job in the first place so we need to do something about it. We can also do this by looking at current and present monuments and laws that continue to put down the Native communities and replace them with better, unharmful ones as stated in the article about Deb Haaland.


We can start by looking at all the misperceptions and stereotypes we still have to this day, identify why we have them and why they are harmful. Then we can teach this in schools across the country and publish articles about this. We can also change the names or places that use derogatory terms like in the article of Den Haaland and fix racist medical practices like in the article of forced sterilization of native women.


Education, it is the only way for everyone to not only know what is going on by why and how they can help fix or stop it. We can also set up laws and programs to protect them from this possibly happening in the future. We need to make all the possible apologies and amends that the Natives need and then more because not only did we invade their land we kicked them out of it then caused a genocide of their people and to this day have laws that bar them from entering parts of the country which are places they are from, they were born on. We need to apologize for the deaths, the stolen land, distruction of their sacred lands that were under treaties, the breaking up of families, the genocide of their culture and the continuation of making them take blood quantum test to determine how native they are.


By educating themselves on not only the proper ways to refer to them but knowing of their traumas and struggles they faced for our gain. We need to be fully accepting and welcoming as they were to the colonists when they first settled. We can start by renaming all the places and things with derogatory images and names across the country, better the education system and not make them have to prove how native they are. And we can open more reservations and national parks and give back unsettled or even settled land to them.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous peoples

  1. To better understand the experiences of Native Americans we must listen to them. We must listen to their stories, their ancestors’ stories, and their pleas of assistance from the government. The first step to listening is education. Americans must be educated on the real tragedies among Indigenous nations that have taken place and still take place today. Like we have mentioned in class, it is shocking to reflect on the completely false narrative of Thanksgiving, which was taught to the majority of us. I also think that we should further work to honor the lives of the millions of Indigenous people slaughtered on the “land of the free.” This honoring does not mean that we should make Indigenous people mascots for baseball teams, butter products, and McDonald's Thanksgiving promotions. On the contrary, this would be a great place for America to start on its work--- complete eradication of racist symbols, mascots, and sayings. When reading Susan Montoya Bryan’s “Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names,” I kept thinking of the Mass Pike sign that we learned about. Although the sign didn’t include a derogatory word, it included a picture that was even deemed as racist and wrong by second graders. The removal of graphics like this sign, the Indians logo, and the Redskins logo should be the first place for Americans to start as it would be listening to Indigenous peoples’ efforts to change these. Also, the removal of these would destroy the racial stereotypes of Native peoples that have been engraved in Americans for so long.
  2. We address the stereotypes, misperceptions, the “twistory” through education. By starting at the root of all Americans’ knowledge, we can work to teach our students--- the future generations--- the real, uncovered story of Native peoples. We can work to eliminate the strong Eurocentrism of the American education system by not just focusing on the Trail of Tears for half a class period. We must teach parts of Indigenous history with the white man that not many know. For me, this would include the forced sterilization of Native women. I was beyond shocked to read in Erin Blackmore, “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American, that between 1970 and 1976 alone, 25% - 50% of Native American women were sterilized. Furthermore, I was appalled to realize that I have never learned about that in any American history lesson. This hidden history along with the very prevalent cases of twistory in America further marginalize Natives, as their stories are covered up.
  3. We must teach this. We must not hide that in recent history over ¼ of Native women were forcibly sterilized as mentioned by Blackmore’s writing. We must not hide that in recent history Native children were stripped of their homes, families, and cultures as mentioned by the film we viewed in class. We must teach this history, as education is so strong, that it has the power to make real change. I can not answer the question of what apologies and amends do we owe Native peoples because I am not Native. I do not feel their generational pain. The only way I will be able to answer this question is by opening the floor up to them. Consequently, that is exactly what the government should do. It should build committees, like the one in the film, that reach out to all 574 federally recognized tribes and ask them how we as a nation can better serve them.
  4. I think that non-indigenous folks can become allies by using their privileges and outlets to promote native people’s stories. Non-indigenous folks must put in the effort to educate themselves as well. Some concrete actions non-indigenous folks can take include working with native activists to add strength in numbers to their cases and working with government officials to implement antiracist policies like the one mentioned in Bryan’s article. As I first mentioned, the first step to this is listening. If we do not listen to native peoples--- the real “founders” of America--- then we will never be able to build a strong, understanding nation with them.
mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

Originally posted by turtle17 on December 02, 2021 20:00

1) In recent years, many Americans have accepted the idea that we need to re-learn our nation’s history, that the textbooks we were shown in school didn’t always have the most accurate information, and that what we were told by teachers was not always true. To better understand the experience of Native Americans in this land, we need to go straight to the source to get that information. We have learned that what the state teaches us is filled with fibs, so going to the actual victims of our history would provide real insight on the horrid scenarios. Now, this is definitely not the best scenario, because it shouldn’t be the responsibility of Indigenous people to keep Americans educated, it shouldn’t be something that rests on their shoulders, but if some people were to learn this information, they need to spread it, it shouldn’t be kept hidden or a secret. The video watched in class today (12/2) is an example of helping to spread knowledge on what was kept under the rug. I never knew the severity of numbers of children stripped from their homes to be put in foster systems, but after watching the film, it really hit me, and is now a fact I will not forget. In order to fully confront the real history of this nation, we need to realize that what we know now is fake history.

2) In America, the way that minority groups are perceived or stereotyped most of the time is that they are either very well off, or the complete opposite. For example, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders in America are seen as the ‘Model Minority’, whereas Black Americans are seen as people living in constant poverty, and people who commit crimes. Now, if you were to bring up these two stereotypes to people, they would typically debunk them immediately. But this is not true for Indigenous people. My whole life, I have been told that Indigenous people in the US solely live on Reservations, and deal with constant drug addictions, poverty, and terrible living conditions. This is something that I have always heard, but something that I now know is not true. In order for everyone to realize that these stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Indigenous people are not true, the same logic about debunking stereotypes needs to be applied. Just because it is less talked about in the public setting, it doesn’t mean that the rumors are true.

3) In Tristan Ahtone’s article, “Native Americans are recasting views of Indigenouse life” a person named Kim TallBear states, “‘But if you look at the UN definition of genocide, every single federal policy toward native people can come under that.’” This isn’t an opinionated statement, it's a pure fact. In the film Dawnland, an advertisement was shown from the 20th century of a white man advertising boarding schools for Indigenous children. I can’t remember the exact quote, but the man said something along the lines of: oh look at these children to my left, they live with their true families and, as a result, are ‘barbaric’, but these children on my right have been attending these boarding schools by force, and are now civilized. That advertisement made it loud and clear that people genuinely believed (and still believe) that Indigenous people were wrong, and were criminals, for simply just existing and celebrating their culture. We need to be able to accept this fact in order to address how Native people were murdered for being Native. Apologies and amends are definitely a little bit harder for me to think of, there is not one thing that can just make people feel better about the horrid acts committed against their ancestors. However, but as a Jewish person, I know that people adressing the attrocities of the Holocaust make me feel better, because I can see that they are not trying to erase it from history. The first thing we need to do to apologize and make amends to these Indigenous communities is to stop ignoring the past, but instead, talk about it loud and clear.

4) This question made me think of the film we watched in class again. Near the end of the screening we got through today, there was a clip of a celebration between the Wabanaki tribe and Maine commissioners. One of the Wabakani people mentioned how he was so happy to see that moment, because it felt the government was finally trying to make an effort, they were becoming ‘neighbors, not just people sharing land’. I think this is something that the US needs to try and replicate on a larger scale, while still taking into account the contrasts between separate native tribes. I believe that this could eventually become considered a concrete action if it isn’t a one and done situation. People can’t appreciate Native tribes and culture once, just to forget about it the next day. If we want a community to be built, we as a whole country need to work to maintain that community, and keep it intact.

I like how you mentioned the celebration depicted in the film. I agree, how this respect, understanding, and embracing of culture should be represented by the US government on a larger scale. I believe the first step to this is doing what the commission strived to do, listen to the stories of native peoples.

dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

1) The most straightforward thing to do is teach the accurate history of what happened when colonizers took over America. Curriculums cannot whitewash, sugarcoat, or simply leave out parts of history that are "too gruesome” or violent. The video of the indigenous parents telling their kids what happened to their ancestors was extremely jarring and saddening. Indigenous people shouldn't be the only ones teaching others about the oppression they faced (and still face). Everyone else has a responsibility to uphold the truth. In the article called "The Invasion of America” the author stated, "It is high time for non-Native Americans to come to terms with the fact that the US is built on someone else's land.” If everyone accepted the fact that colonizers had no real obligation to take land from indigenous people (not to mention slaughter and exploit them), then they would realize how unbelievably horrible the colonizers were. To understand the experience of indigenous people in the country, we need to acknowledge the oppression and trauma they have suffered and continue to suffer.

2) This question ties into the previous one - education is the most important tool. Non-Native people are ignorant about native culture and absorb all the stereotypes and tropes of indigenous people in the media. If we are aware of what actually happened when colonizers took over, it will be clearer to see that events depicted in things like movies and books are highly glorified and romanticized. We need to actively work to remove harmful slurs, caricatures, and depictions of indigenous people from books, movies, mascots, and everyday items. Deb Haaland shows us that action can be taken to remove these things.

3) I think we are in too deep for apologies to do any good so one of the best things we can do is stop invalidating indigenous peoples’ trauma and accept the fact that colonizers committed genocide. This becomes clearer when you look at the massive decline of indigenous people in America over the years. Kim TallBear, a professor of native studies said, “If you look at the UN definition of genocide, every single federal policy toward native people can come under that.” In addition to murder indigenous people were forced to adhere to white standards, removed from their families, and put through horrible processes like forced sterilization without their consent. Actions, like land reparations for example, are more powerful than apologies.

4) To start, non-indigenous folks should support indigenous artists and businesses, and listen to their voices. Supporting these people is an act of uplifting their culture in a positive way. The article “Recasting views of indigenous life” states that indigenous narratives are usually cast through a negative lens. People think they have an idea of what the cultures are like but that perception is often false or generalized. Letting indigenous people share their stories about their own culture would help strengthen their sense of identity. One woman in “Dawnland” said that the most significant result of the removal from her tribe was her loss of identity. Like so many others have emphasized, indigenous people have not been wiped out and everyone needs to understand that so we don’t continue to erase their culture and stories. Being an ally also means taking a step back, even if that means letting indigenous people live without interjection from other people.


TheHistorian9
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 2

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

1 & 2 I think that, in order to even grasp some of the experiences that Native Americans had living in this settler colonialist nation and combat stereotypes about Native Americans, the United States, as the oppressor people, needs to stop oppressing Indigenous nations and peoples and actually listen to their voices, since we have never fully done so before. On top of listening to Indigenous voices, I think that the Caucasian non-Native citizens living in the United States need to be educated on (1) antiracist language and dialogue; (2) Indigenous cultures and histories before European "invasion" and American settler colonialism; and (3) the continual oppression that Caucasian non-Native citizens of the United States promote and support by voting certain members into our public offices in our government. To go off my first point about antiracist language education, on November 19 Indian Country Today reported that Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland was taking steps to remove racist and derogatory language from federal government use. If we all took similar steps in removing such vernacular as the word "squaw" it would be so much easier for us to actually listen to Indigenous voices. I believe that, to fully comprehend that history of oppression that is still existent today, non-Native people along with the government who helped in oppressing these Indigenous tribes need to be thoroughly educated.

3. I think that we need to press legislators and other elected officials to hold our country accountable for its mistakes and oppression. Further, we need to be educated in school about this oppression and genocide. If we can't have that happen when we are in school, at least require it for the next years to come. At BLS, as Ms. Freeman mentioned at the beginning of the year, I believe that every student who attends the school should be obligated/mandated to take Facing History in order to hear about the horrors that the United States has committed to the Indigenous peoples of this land. I also believe that every school, especially Boston Latin School, should have Indigenous guest speakers come into their classes for a whole week before the Thanksgiving break to teach students about not only Indigenous culture but also about the ethnic cleansing (genocide) of Indigenous culture and peoples. If these guest speakers also have personal stories about their own experiences with the ethnic cleansing and the destruction of Indigenous cultures, I think that these speakers should share them with their classes. To amend the wounds that non-Native people have made, I think that we need to establish more Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. If the United States follows Germany's or Canada's examples (in Germany's case it was for the Jews mostly) for reconciliation and reparations (in the case of Germany) for every tribe or nation that we have oppressed we will partially amend for the wounds that we created. On top of that going back to the answer to the first question, I think having dialogues and listening to Native Americans will also help heal the wounds that were created.

4. Non-Native people can become allies with Indigenous people by listening to Indigenous peoples' stories and supporting these Indigenous people in their aspirations and other goals.

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

1. Moving forward, the absolute most important thing for us to do to confront that history is education. All people in this country need to know about the terrible things that the US has done to Native people. Deb Haaland, who is the U.S. Interior Secretary, is working to remove derogatory terms about Natives from government use. Haaland stated, "Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage — not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression." (Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names). The US can never make up fully for what they did to Natives, but they can try way harder from here on out, which they have not been doing much of recently. For example, COVID hit Native communities very hard, and the government sent them body bags, instead of help. The US government and the people of the US need to be educated about these topics and what they can do to help.

2. Addressing the stereotypes will take time, but like I said before, the main thing to do here is educate. People can educate their children about these issues, and there should be a part of history class that focuses on this. People who have already learned these stereotypes can still go back and educate themselves on these issues, it is never too late.

3. I think that people should be open to recognizing the genocide of the Native people. I think people are so afraid of that word because it is so horrible, and a lot of white people don't want to admit that they wronged the Natives in that way. But they did, and now the country has to be open about it and making reparations. There should be a major apology to all Native peoples that this happened to them, and that even today they are still being oppressed heavily. The amends that need to be made are extensive, so much so that the relationship between Natives and the US government might be beyond repair. But the government can still try, recognizing that the land we are on is Native land, and helping struggling Native communities.

4. Non-Native people can educate themselves, and especially others. To be an ally means to educate others on the oppression of the marginalized group, and so to be an ally is to educate about the struggles of Native people. Some concrete actions we can take are apologies and raising money for struggling Native communities. Another thing we can do is attempt to incorporate Native history into our textbooks, and not just tell American history from the side of the colonists. We need to protest to completely put a stop tp things like Native women's forced sterilization, and to recognize that that was a very serious issue in the 1960's and 1970's. "Between 1970 and 1976 alone, between 25 and 50 percent of Native American women were sterilized," (The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women).


flowerpower
Posts: 14

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

  1. Non-Native people need to be taught the true history of indigenous people in schools, starting at a young age. People need to be open minded to learning about and accepting native culture for what it is. Non-Native people need to listen to native people and hear their stories from their perspective. All of the difficult stories such as the forced sterilization of 1/4 native american women, and the forced assimilation of native children to grow up in white american families, as well as the beauty of native american culture and practices. Non-Native people need to begin respecting native people.
  2. Non-Native people should first call out stereotypes when they are noticed, and again need to listen to native people about what is hurtful and demeaning to their culture. The names of geographic locations across the US contain words like “squaw” that have been used as derogatory terms against native women. These locations need to be renamed in ways that treat native people with dignity. We need to acknowledge the land we are on, and give voice to the people who were here first.
  3. Non-native folks can compensate in multiple ways, most importantly by acknowledging native existence, uplifting the voices of native people, and fully respecting native culture. There could also be land compensation such as giving native tribes more of their own land back, or monetary compensation. Native people have less access to the covid vaccine as well, this needs to be recognized and compensated for. The US government should apologize to all native american communities and work to meet the requests native tribes have in regards to their treatment. Even though an apology will not erase the genocide that still haunts native people today the government must at least acknowledge that it was wrong.
  4. It is the responsibility of non-native folks to listen and uplist. Listen to native voices, their stories are real and they are important, we must then Uplift their voices by fighting the government for change. Change in the way native people are treated in the US. One big takeaway I learned from our classes about this topic is the resilience and strength of the native american people. One thought I have on this is that native people should be able to live so comfortably in this country that they have the chance to begin healing from the treatment they have gone through. They are still being overlooked to this day and because of their incredible dignity they will not stop fighting for their rights, they have been fighting since Columbus first arrived and they have had to continue all this time. Indigenous people deserve to rest, they deserve to heal, and they deserve to live comfortably and be looked upon with respect.
dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

  1. To better understand the experience of indifenous people in this nation I think we need to take a page out of South Africa’s book and form peace commissions that work towards restorative justice. I believe there needs to be a federal peace commision dedicated to confronting the government’s brutal attacks on indigenous people. There should also be a peace commission for each state to address specific issues that apply to certain tribes within those states. We need to be dedicated to building memorials, like the one that needs to exist on deer island,and commemorating the tribes that were forced from the land we live on. There need to be memorials or even just signs all over Boston commemorating the tribes that lived here so that we are forced to confront the reality of what happened to indigenous people in the United States. Another step we need to take is the reconstruction of our history curriculums in public schools. One significant example from the articles was the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. He is widely regarded as a “good” president since he decreed the emancipation proclamation and believed that Americans neeeded to confront their history with slavery. He couldn’t say the same for indigenous people, and in fact supported legislation that would allow Americans to settle on indigenous land. Despite addressing slavery in the south, which our history textbooks mention, he never advocated againgt the slaving expeditions against indigenous people in California during the gold rush. We need to expose historical figures for who they truly were. We need to stop debating whether or not historical figures like Columbus or even Lincoln were “good people” when it comes to atrocities comitted against indigenous people because it’s as if we’re trying to come up with a value for their genocide. In addition to a peace commission and education, indigenous people need more representation in the media so Americans know that they’re still here and are still being oppressed by institutions the U.S. was built on.
  2. Similarly to the first question, the establishment of peace commissions and a change in school curriculums would help battle stereotypes that have been passed down among non-Native Americans. Included in education more first hand accounts of the indigenous experience need to be shown. For example it would be valuable for students in U.S. history classes to watch short films by native people like the ones we watched in class so they can hear from them directly. If indigenous people are the ones telling their stories then childrens’ views can not be warped by the racist romanticized lies that have been passed down through American textbooks.
  3. One of the articles mentioned legislation that would require schools to teach about genocide, however it did not include the genocide of indigenous people. We will only be able to address their genocide if that type of legislation exists including it. There really isn’t a way to make up for what the American government has done to indigenous people, but once again there are steps peace commissions can take that would help. For example peace commissions could handle discussions of reparations and could hold witness interviews to expose the underbelly of racism that indigenous people experience that isn’t commonly known. The federal government needs to provide reparations and so do state governments, they’re both guilty of participating in a system that kidnapped indigenous children, took away indigenous land and sterilized indigenous women. Government officials, social workers and medical personnel that violated legislation that were meant to protect infigenous people need to be punished to the fullest extent, hopefully then some people would receive justice. For example the people who allowed the forced sterilization of indigenous women to continue both before and after legislation was passed to prevent it. Violating women's bodies and taking away their right to choose is not only morally horrific but was also a gross violation of treaties that were meant to provide medical care to indigenous peopl in exchange for land. I’m not sure what reperations would look like exactly, but the government should at least be providing free sexual health care if not all healthcare to indigenous people. Any medical consequences from sterilizations need to be covered by the government for any of these women that are still alive. The government should also work towards mending that trauma they caused for every generation of indigenous people, this should come in the form of free healthcare including access to mental health resources.
  4. I’m not sure if this was the right way to phrase this question because I remember in the movie one indigenous person said the “integration” of indigenous people into American society was part of the problem. I’m not sure if this is what indigenous people want, especially if it would erase their culture. The best thing the American government and the American people can do is to let indigenous people dictate how they want to interact with American society and give them the room to rebuild their nation. We need to take the power away from Congress and the president that allows them to take away indigenous land and the government needs to review fraudulent land treaties made by colonists and give back at least some of the land that was rightfully theirs. Private companies should never be able to use resources on indigenous land without the consent of the people and we need to vote for legislation and Congress needs to enact legislation that would say so.
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