posts 16 - 22 of 22
Peverley
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 25

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

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

I think the most important thing that we can do is just to listen to Native voices. Hearing the first-hand accounts of the unlawful and inhumane treatment of Native Americans in the video about the Penobscot in Maine as well as in “Bounty” was difficult to hear, but also eye-opening to the horrifying treatment of Native Americans both in the times of the first colonizers to even the mid- to late- 20th century when children were taken from their parents and sent to live with foster families and attend boarding schools where they were forced to give up their culture and way of life. Indigenous people are the only ones that can determine what is offensive and what needs to be changed so asking them what we as a society can do and actually listening to them and putting plans into action is a good place to start. Confronting our nation’s history with Native Americans will never be an easy feat, but to fully confront our past we must work together to make a more welcoming and inclusive society wherein Native Americans feel that they can be both fully integrated members of society while proudly retaining their individual cultures.


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

I think the most important misperception among non-Native Americans that needs to be addressed is the notion that they aren’t here anymore or that their tribes were all wiped out when the colonizers came to the Americas. Amplifying Native voices and having better representation in the media will help tremendously with the lack of awareness around the mere existence of Native peoples in our country, and learning about tribal communities in the 21st century will help clarify our perceptions of Native Americans. Promoting basic respect for other humans is always a good place to start, and having accurate curricula in which Native history is included will help educate the younger generations which is far easier than trying to get older Americans to unlearn harmful narratives and stereotypes. The removal of Native mascots and other harmful public representations will also help with this so people don’t associate being indigenous with a caricature.



  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 think addressing genocide is always a difficult concept to face, but nevertheless it is an essential one. In Claudio Vaunt’s “The Invasion of America”, he addresses the 1.5 billion acres of land that were stolen from indigenous peoples in North America, and how little many Americans actually know about our nation’s unsettling past. An extremely harmful misconception that is believed and taught is that Native Americans no longer exist, when this simply is not the case, and Vaunt argues that the huge increase in Native-identifying people is not only because of population growth, but growing cultural pride and more people reclaiming their Native heritage. There are a lot of wounds that need to be healed, and we need to make amends in terms of land rights and blood quantum testing. Many Native Americans living on reservations have to deal with extreme poverty, little access to water and other resources, as well as living on barren land that isn’t the ancestral land of their peoples. Giving Native Americans the land rights that they deserve is a somewhat complex measure to take, but an important one out of respect for the people and out of recognition of our nation’s actions of deporting them to reservations. Another amendment to make is the cessation of blood quantum testing. This process undermines people’s Native identity, and without this more people will be able to proudly identify themselves as Native without having to prove it, which will help strengthen both tribal communities as well as our country’s relationship with them.


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

Non-indigenous folks can become allies by making efforts to respect and support Native American representation and culture in mainstream society. Like in the video we watched today in class, it is also crucial to foster neighborly relationships with tribes and respect them as distinctive cultural groups. The video about the Penobscot in Maine and the TRC demonstrated this well, and the actions of the Maine state government should be an example of how all states can recognize and make amends with their Native American populations. Giving Native Americans a platform to share their stories and sharing them with others will help spread awareness for all of the traumatic marginalization and mistreatment that indigenous communities have had to endure throughout our nation’s history. Teaching accurate and inclusive indigenous history in schools is an important step to take, however I think that education within home settings, across social media, and in mainstream media is even more important. Indian Country Today’s article, “Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names,” explains how Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has been pushing for, removing harmful mascots, names, and branding to help to end the view of native culture as something to capitalize on and the derogatory view of native peoples. Respecting Native identity without the use of blood quantum testing is another way to further respect the Native-identifying people in our country. Indigenous voices need to be heard in more than just an academic setting and this will aid in integrating Native peoples into society while still respecting their distinctive cultures.
eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

1. Primarily through education. Something cannot be remembered if it isn't known in the first place. For example, we could have mandatory assemblies at BLS where a native speaker teaches about the history of their tribe, the affects that the American invaders had on it, and their own personal experiences. Maybe they could talk about experiences they had in the foster care system. Perhaps they could recall somebody they knew that was forcibly sterilized. Interaction with Native Americans is key, otherwise all that would be taught would be uneducated, unconfirmed, myths, if anything. Firsthand experience is best.

2. Again, education is best. I wish that all history courses at the school were at least somewhat similar to Facing, though I still wish that there was more of a focus on global affairs. Even at the bare minimum, incentivizing kids to watch documentaries about these topics for extra credit would hopefully go a long way in teaching this generation about the dark history of this nation. Sadly, this movement would likely not spread to the areas of the nation where it most needs to be seen, the rural schools still teaching blatant falsities about history such as the Lost Cause. We here at BLS are lucky that, even though the history we learn here is still incomplete, we are leagues ahead of many American schools.

3. Sadly, I believe that even something as simple as an apology by the federal government would be hard to achieve, almost no countries worldwide apologize for the atrocities they commit, and with how divided our government has become, I think it will be difficult for a simple apology to be given. However, if we want to make some meaningful reparations, funding should be given to the Native American communities to build better infrastructure, and their land rights should be maintained (no fracking or pipelines). But it's sadly true that, as Georgina stated in Dawnland, we're too late to change what her people were put through. There is nothing that we could do to make up for that.

4. People should learn the basics about Native American culture, learning how to be respectful and inclusive. We should learn about the hardships that all native people went through, and make our best efforts to connect with those who are in our communities. And the indigenous people who want to continue to live on reservations with their own tribal communities should be respected as well. We shouldn't be forcefully inclusive, it's perfectly understanable that some would be hostile against attempts to reconnect.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples

I think the best way for non-Native people to fully confront the history of Natives is to educate themselves and uplift the voices of Native peoples. It's sad and upsetting to know that history textbooks in school gloss over Native American history, if they even mention it at all. School systems should prioritize teaching and helping all students understand how horrible Native Americans in this country are and have been treated. They have been murdered, thrown into foster care, and colonized. And yet, all I've ever learned in the classroom is that the Pilgrims and the Native Americans sat down and ate a meal together. For the primary school education system, the story ends there. These textbooks never taught us that in 1800, Native Americans accounted for 15 percent of the inhabitants in our country, and yet a century later, by 1900, only approximately half of one percent of the U.S. population (statistics from The invasion of America) comprised the Native American population. This cannot be ignored any longer. America has gone on too long ignoring Native peoples history and it is unacceptable. Their history should be put in textbooks, discussed in classrooms, and known by everyone. Another solution other than just updating our educational textbooks could be listening to the voices and stories of Natives. In the documentary we watched, Dawnland, they showed a meeting in Maine where Natives were given a space to tell their stories. Natives and non-Natives alike listened and empathized with a Native woman as she described a time when she and her sister bathed in bleach because the people at their school told them "they looked dirty." Learning about these traumatizing stories and consciously taking action to uplift the voices of Natives who've lived through these horrific conditions may help non-Natives to understand just how badly the U.S. has treated Native Americans.

Non-Native people in order to address the stereotypes, misperceptions, and the "twistory" that has continued on now for generations, need to understand where these conventions came from and educate themselves on how wrong and hurtful they are. For example, the National American league of football thought it was okay to have a team be called the Washington Redskins. Their mascot depicted a dark-skinned man with feathers in his hair. How would people have felt about the team name and mascot had the team been named after any other race? My guess is that the issue would've been brought up a lot sooner, and it wouldn't have taken so long to finally have the team name changed. It's educating people on history such as this that's so incredibly important when addressing this conversation. Native Americans' history has been twisted, distorted, and ignored for years. The education of non-Natives is our best chance to prevent this from continuing in the future.

To address the fact that Native peoples were murdered for who they are, the group that should be first in line to apologize to indigenous peoples is the American government. Specifically, the leaders and workers for the American government as Natives were being forcibly sterilized, thrown into foster care, and ignored when they cried for help. "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). Only in 1976 was this forced sterilization finally stopped by the U.S. government. Also seen in the documentary we watched in class, Dawnland, we were shown testimonies of children and parents who experienced firsthand how brutal the U.S. government was when it came to throwing Native American children in foster care. For example, a Native mother told us her account from the time she was out of the house, and a babysitter took her son, putting him into foster care without any proof that the child was being neglected or mistreated in any way. Indigenous people have had sterilization forced upon them and been thrown into the foster care system for unwarranted reasons. These instances showcase how little the American government cared for these people. Even if the government did issue an apology, though, it would never be enough. The number of lives they've destroyed can't be fixed with a simple "I'm sorry." Simply addressing their mistakes isn't enough; they need to take action and actively try to right the wrongs of the past. If the American government truly wants to help indigenous people, they need to start listening to the suggestions and stories that Native peoples have and then actively do something to help them.

Education is key. If non-Native peoples want to become allies and help build a unified nation with indigenous peoples, the best way they can do so is by openly talking about the issues indigenous people face, donating to charities that support Native communities, and buying from Native-owned businesses. Giving indigenous peoples platforms to speak and uplifting their voices are great ways to help. There are also many charities dedicated to supporting Native communities. If non-Natives wish to take the extra step of supporting them financially, they could buy from Native-owned businesses. Non-Natives have so many options when it comes to helping, supporting, and encouraging indigenous peoples. And that isn't all, the U.S. government has the ability to execute concrete actions such as giving educational scholarships to Natives and endowing Native people positions in government. To achieve a great and powerful nation where indigenous peoples are no longer marginalized, non-Natives simply must choose to step up and actively work towards righting the mistakes of the past generations.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

1. The first step to fully confronting the history of violence against Natives in this country is genocide. Our teaching should parallel the way that the Holocaust is taught about in Germany. Students learn about that genocide without being spared of its horrifics, and it’s not glorified or romanticized in any way. And because of this education, and the vigilance of the government to dispel any known anti-semitism, anti-semitism has largely been eradicated in the country. If it is legally required for all people to learn about the violence towards Natives, people will take more action to help them today. There are some things I’ve learned about recently that I had absolutely no idea about. For example, 25-50% of all Native women in the mid 20th century were forcibly sterilized without their consent by the Indian Health Service. Countless children were taken from their families by the government and put in foster homes because it was thought that living in a white household would be better for the child. Within this history, it's evident that there was a systemic goal of exterminating Indigenous people. They took away their children, and they took away many women’s ability to even have children. If people are fully aware of this history, they will better understand the systemic racism that Natives face today, and that’s powerful.


2. Within our class discussions, I realized how what we learned about the origins of Thanksgiving is completely wrong. We were told that the Natives and Pilgrims all got along, and that this first feast was a celebration of their sense of community. This narrative is displayed in countless children’s books. Little did we know that its origins actually lie in the 1637 Massacre of Native people. The first step to changing misperceptions is to change the way we teach our children. There should be no more plays where children dress up as “Indians” in feather headdresses, and children should be taught that this feast was because Pilgrims were celebrating what they took from Native people. And most importantly, the narrative that there are Indigenous people still in America, the narrative that they all “died,” must end. Ending this “twistory” lies all in education. This is what should be taught when students are young, and as they grow older their history classes should cover the more gruesome aspects of violence against Native peoples. They should learn about the bounties that were put in place for the scalps of Native people, even Native children. And they should especially learn about the connection between this systemic racism, and the issues that Native people face today. For example, many still don’t have clean drinking water on reservations, but the government does not seem to care.


3. Something that’s important is acknowledgment, because that’s never really been done before. It may seem inconsequential but it’s incredibly important. In Maine, the fact that the Secretary of State was a part of the TRC about the child welfare abuse in the state was very significant. Native peoples need a place to share their abuse and their trauma so that others can understand. It needs to be acknowledged that the government actually did attempt to eradicate Natives, and that it was a genocide. They purposefully tied the tubes of so many Native women, so that the blood lines would end. They literally took Native Children from their homes and put them in schools because they wanted to have them in “civilization.” Their reservations were apparently fully of savagery and barbarism and they would be better off with white families. Even when legislation was put in place in 1974 to try and make sure Native children would be placed with groups that were closer to their tribe, it was largely ignored. Blood Quantum was put in place because slowly blood will dilute and there will be no Natives left according to the government. Apologies need to be made for this, but that’s not enough. Acknowledgement is important, but there also needs to be reparations.


4. There are so many things that we can do as allies. One is to donate to organizations and Native people. Another is to support legislation like that of Deb Haaland which is working to remove racist terms from federal names. This was done for geographic names with derogatory names for Black and Japanese people in the late 20th century, but for Natives it's happening half a century later. That’s significant. Allies should also actively recognize all branding, naming, and packaging that contains cultural appropriation. They should not wear clothes or sports jerseys that display these images, and we should work to abstain from products that use them. We should also actively listen to the stories and trauma of Native peoples by watching films like Dawnland.



Bumble Bee
Posts: 25
  1. What do we need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation? How do we fully confront that history?

The best way for us to better understand the experience of Natives is to teach about their true history in schools. Many white Americans would find it easier to ignore the genocide that was committed against Natives. If we are ever going to move forward we have to confront that reality. If we teach kids properly about the history of the country then they will grow up to be more understanding and empathetic humans. The movie on the Native truth and reconciliation committee showed how important it is to hear Native stories, but we have to do it respectfully and with their permission and guidance. White people have to acknowledge their own privilege and realize that they won’t be included in some things because it is better for the Native people who are trying to heal. It’s not about the white people.


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

We need to acknowledge the existence of natives beyond stereotypes. We can lift up indigenous voices and listen to them. Madeline Sayet, a Native American play director, said her goal in directing is “to lift native voices in theater and incorporate indigenous and Mohegan worldviews into her work.” We need to realize that they are real people, not some barbaric group of the past. Michael Roberts, a Tlingit who leads the Colorado-based institute, said, “We don’t show up in the media, we don’t show up in textbooks, we don’t show up in everyday conversation. Folks don’t know Indians or anything about Indians.” We need to highlight Natives people in order to educate others that they are still here. They are cooks, politicians, and directors. They are here.


  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?

No apology will ever make up for the genocide and centuries of suffering that has happened and continues to happen in this country. However, making an apology would mean that there is at least acknowledgment that what Natives faced was genocide. We need to listen to Indigenous people and what they think would be best to do. We should give them land and make councils like the Native Truth and Reconciliation Committee to help. We shouldn’t let the government decide who is Native based on their blood quantum. The least we can do is acknowledge them and be respectful of them and their culture.


  1. How can non-indigenous folks become allies so that Native peoples become fully integrated members of society? What concrete actions can we take to move forward and build a nation with Native peoples?
Non-indigenous folks can become allies to Native people by educating themselves on the genocide Natives have gone through. Going beyond that, we should also learn about Indigenous culture. People in positions of political power should work to pass legislation to help indigenous people heal and be acknowledged. We need to make sure we don't forget about their history. We can’t forget that the land we are on doesn’t belong to us but was stolen. As the article, “The Invasion of America”, puts it “US title to the land depends on legal fiction, crafted by the colonists to benefit themselves….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.” Being an ally means acknowledging the past and working to remedy it in whatever way indigenous people want.
Nightshade
Posts: 26

The Effect of Settler Colonialism

1. To better understand the native experience in the U.S., we must face the truth of the past, acknowledging the oppression white people have inflicted on native peoples, and the positive impacts native people have on the U.S. and the Earth. This means teaching the children the truth, as we saw in the class video, where the children learned about the bounty placed on native peoples. Even though it’s a difficult, painful discussion, it’s a necessary one to understand someone’s own culture and the privilege that comes from not bearing the generational trauma that others have had to bear. This oppression comes in many forms, including the U.S. government stealing the land out from native people’s feet, uninformed and forced sterilization that stripped native women of power over their own bodies, and native people’s children being stolen from them and forced into boarding schools, their cultures forbidden.

2. We must address stereotypes by giving native peoples the opportunity to tell their own story, instead of a white person telling it for them with red paint, as we saw in “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life.” We must explain the truth to everyone, and the effects these truths still hold. For example, forced sterilization still affects tribes to this day, as explained in “The Little-Know History of Forced Sterilization of Native American Women.” There have been increases in divorce and depression. We must also address our own implicit biases and the history that backs them up. As in “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life,” we must acknowledge the erasure that many natives and aspects of native culture have faced, such as foods. Once we acknowledge the prejudices, biases, and erasure, we can finally begin to learn.

3. First of all, we need to stop the continued abuse of native peoples and their land. Erasure of culture and forms of theft and ignorance of sovereignty is abusive. We must teach about the genocide, and we must give not only reparations in forms of land, but also rights to their land. We stole so much land from them, and yet we continue to use it to our advantage without consent by drilling pipelines underneath. We must also face climate change and acknowledge the intersectionality that comes with it. Our government and corporations that don’t take action and contribute to its disproportionate effects need to take responsibility and actively reverse the harm they’re doing to native communities.

4. Listen. A huge part of becoming an ally is just listening to native communities. Listen to the stories they share, the frustrations and grievances they rightfully hold, and the actions they want to take. Then support them in those actions. There are many forms of protest and support that can help native communities. This can include actions like lobbying to politicians, going to marches and rallies against pipelines, or holding restorative justice meetings. Remember as a non native ally that no one has the “responsibility” to tell you their story. You have to earn trust. Especially if you’re a white person, as we saw in the in-class video about restorative justice, white people are essentially the perpetrators. You don’t have the “right” to be included. Respect and reflect on the stories you are privileged enough to hear.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 29

Originally posted by Nightshade on December 08, 2021 07:22

1. To better understand the native experience in the U.S., we must face the truth of the past, acknowledging the oppression white people have inflicted on native peoples, and the positive impacts native people have on the U.S. and the Earth. This means teaching the children the truth, as we saw in the class video, where the children learned about the bounty placed on native peoples. Even though it’s a difficult, painful discussion, it’s a necessary one to understand someone’s own culture and the privilege that comes from not bearing the generational trauma that others have had to bear. This oppression comes in many forms, including the U.S. government stealing the land out from native people’s feet, uninformed and forced sterilization that stripped native women of power over their own bodies, and native people’s children being stolen from them and forced into boarding schools, their cultures forbidden.

2. We must address stereotypes by giving native peoples the opportunity to tell their own story, instead of a white person telling it for them with red paint, as we saw in “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life.” We must explain the truth to everyone, and the effects these truths still hold. For example, forced sterilization still affects tribes to this day, as explained in “The Little-Know History of Forced Sterilization of Native American Women.” There have been increases in divorce and depression. We must also address our own implicit biases and the history that backs them up. As in “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life,” we must acknowledge the erasure that many natives and aspects of native culture have faced, such as foods. Once we acknowledge the prejudices, biases, and erasure, we can finally begin to learn.

3. First of all, we need to stop the continued abuse of native peoples and their land. Erasure of culture and forms of theft and ignorance of sovereignty is abusive. We must teach about the genocide, and we must give not only reparations in forms of land, but also rights to their land. We stole so much land from them, and yet we continue to use it to our advantage without consent by drilling pipelines underneath. We must also face climate change and acknowledge the intersectionality that comes with it. Our government and corporations that don’t take action and contribute to its disproportionate effects need to take responsibility and actively reverse the harm they’re doing to native communities.

4. Listen. A huge part of becoming an ally is just listening to native communities. Listen to the stories they share, the frustrations and grievances they rightfully hold, and the actions they want to take. Then support them in those actions. There are many forms of protest and support that can help native communities. This can include actions like lobbying to politicians, going to marches and rallies against pipelines, or holding restorative justice meetings. Remember as a non native ally that no one has the “responsibility” to tell you their story. You have to earn trust. Especially if you’re a white person, as we saw in the in-class video about restorative justice, white people are essentially the perpetrators. You don’t have the “right” to be included. Respect and reflect on the stories you are privileged enough to hear.

I completely agree; listening is key. If non-Native peoples want to become allies and help build a unified nation with indigenous peoples, the best way they can do so is by openly talking about the issues indigenous people face. Giving indigenous peoples platforms to speak and uplifting their voices are great ways to help. If Non-Natives want to help, they have many options for supporting and encouraging indigenous peoples. The question is, why don't more non-natives do this?

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