posts 16 - 23 of 23
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

Articles Read: Recasting Views of Indigenous Life, and Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names

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

Moving forward, I think we need to acknowledge that the US is stolen land, and the violence that the Native Americans had to endure, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation. Facing and acknowledging that history is the first step. The next step is to do something about it, you cannot just leave a past of genocide and discrimination in the past. They should denounce this behavior, and show an act of respect to the Indigenous people. For example, in the first article I read, Madeline Sayet's goal is to uplift Native voices, especially in the playwright industry, and put a spotlight on them. Many people go watch plays, films, etc., so this would be a good way to spread Indigenous peoples' stories and shine a light on their heritage.

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

I think we should try to erase the many various misperceptions and stereotypes there are about Native Americans. As we talked about in class, I think it is a step in the right direction to change the names of sports teams, such as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cleveland Guardians, and changing the "tomahawk chop" from the Atlanta Braves. However, more change should be made. They never formally apologized to the Indigenous people about how degrading these names and traditions were for many many decades. They just got rid of it and thought everything would be fine after. More needs to be done.

  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 that when teaching about Thanksgiving and Indigenous Peoples' Day, teachers should mention how the Natives were the victims of a genocide. Also, I had no idea about the concentration camp at Deer Island, and I think teachers should include this too. Additionally, I think there should be more laws about Indigenous rights, and I think that the tribes should have a bigger say in decisions about their stolen land, and they should get paid an annual tax to demonstrate that it is their land we are on.

  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 people can become allies of Native people by making society a more inclusive and safer community. We can censor/get rid of hateful comments, degrading names or terms, and as we talked about in class, putting permanent land acknowledgments where possible. As Deb Harland was talking about in the second article I read, we should take steps to remove racist terms, especially from public places and geographic features. I think it is also important to honor other people's history, and integrate more Native American history in classes.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

1. In order to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation we need to remain educated and be willing to educate others on the harsh reality of their experiences in history. In class, we saw how the MFA started to create conversation about their art representing Native Americans and in doing so different voices can be heard and the impacts of this history can be confronted.

2. We should address the stereotypes that have been passed down among non-Native Americans by speaking out and addressing that it is a prevalent issue in today's society. In the ICT article "Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names" we learn how Deb Haaland a woman of Native descent spoke up and pushed the federal government to replace derogatory place names. Being able to listen to the feelings of Native people is significant because of the lack thereof seen in history, and in doing so we can address the real misperceptions and misconceptions that are presented about Indigenous individuals.

3. We can address the fact that Native peoples were murdered for who they are by once again speaking up and acknowledging the wrongdoing. I do feel that apologies should inherently be made by everyone and every institution because of how drastic and impactful this genocide has been to our country. Not only did Native Americans encounter mass murder, but the women from many tribes were also manipulated into having forced sterilization. In the JStor article, it is highlighted that the impacts of this forced sterilization are long-term and can be seen in today's world. Due to the many horrid events that have taken place, there is a line of generational trauma and something like this should not be oppressed at all and rather actively try to seek reparations.

4. Non-Indigenous folks should recognize the humaneness of the Native American community. Realizing that these stereotypes are not real and should not limit the liberties of this race. Legally there should be action to better the conditions of Native people. Considering that Mass only claimed to allow Native Americans to reside here after 2005, shows how little this issue really was for significant figures. In all I think a base line of respect should be formed and people should really stop using this identity as a mascot or for promotional imagery because of how culturally insensitive that is.

Posts: 13

1. Moving forward, it's important that we listen to Native American stories by Native Americans, not only stories that were crafted by white men. Our education system is heavily Eurocentric, meaning that many of the POC voices, especially indigenous voices, are often misrepresented. For future generations to better understand the experience of Native Americans, what happened when Columbus arrived in the Americas, and how the United States came to be, we must challenge the education system that covers up the genocides elicited by the American government and in which people were honored for participating in. One of the first ways to confront that history is to acknowledge that history---especially through teaching the topic and educating oneself with accurate facts and events. While the genocides and the mistreatment of Natives happened a long time ago and there is not much we can do now to reverse the changes, the least we can do is learn about it, acknowledge it, respect it, and to prevent something like that from happening again in the future.

2. It's important first to acknowledge that we cannot destroy stereotypes or erase misperceptions, but it is possible to educate people about what stereotypes really are and the harms of stereotyping. While stereotypes are technically true and have some truth to it, they do not apply to the entire population of a group of people. One of the more obvious ways to combat such stereotypes is to stop promoting them. Promotion of Native stereotypes come in many forms, such as portraying Native Americans on food products, using them as mascots for sports teams, or using their names for military planes. Not only is it an appropriation of a culture and demoralizing for Native Americans to be featured by people who are misrepresenting them, but it also instills implications of who Native Americans may be---savages, uncivilized, poor and primitive people. Therefore, it's equally as important to challenge the misrepresentation of Natives in the media or in marketing, among many other things.

3. No amount of apology, amend or grant will ever be enough to compensate for the lives lost in the Native American genocides. After all, we cannot them back nor restore the communities and cultures that these tribes had once been. Although the government can further reserve lands for Native Americans for their reservations, it is likely not as easy as it sounds nor is it in their priorities. And not only were Native Americans brutally slaughtered, killed, and had their land forcibly taken away from them, but they were even obstructed from reproducing, having been stripped of rights. According to the statistics from Erin Blackmore's "The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women," 25-50% of Indigenous women were forcibly sterilized between 1970 and 1976. Again, this forced sterilization had a permanent impact on tribal communities because through fewer numbers, tribes were unable to gain back their political control or community. This cannot be revoked. Though, I do believe the government does owe Native Americans an apology, even if that apology cannot erase the past.

4. To be an ally, we must treat Indigenous people just as well as we would treat any other person. The land acknowledgements are definitely a step toward the right direction, but educating oneself and teaching others more about true Native American stories is crucial. Though, to move forward, us as a society need to speak up for marginalized groups. Just recently, Deb Haaland, the US Interior Secretary, called the government to remove derogatory terms against Indigenous people. Native people shouldn't have to be the only ones pointing out faults in a system against them. In order for Natives to feel welcomed as integrated members of society, there has to be compassion, and a desire to provide support and challenge stereotypes about the Native American history and people.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native peoples

The only people that can help us to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this country are Native Americans. We need to listen and project their voices, especially in schools and other educational sources. History books tend to avoid "uncomfortable" topics and glamorize the actions of invaders and murderers. Like we talked about in class, Disney made an entire romance movie about a Native American girl falling in love with a white settler, when in reality the story that Pocahontas is based off of is extremely tragic and violent. Disney took the suffering and violence that took place in America and made it into a false representation of history as entertainment for children. I think that rather than steering clear of conversations about things like race and genocide, people should be taught how to respectfully speak to and learn from each other about these topics. The hardest part of this issue is that this country has to take ownership for how it was founded and what it's responsible for. It's one thing to listen to Native American's stories and experiences, but it's an entirely different thing to openly own up to the actions that are responsible for these terrible stories and experiences that are so common among Native Americans.

In an ideal world, all the mascots and use of Native Americans as symbols for brands would no longer be used. Using a generalized stereotype of a race as decoration for a brand is beyond insensitive, and non-Native Americans have just been accepting it as normal since the creation of this country. The first step that we have to take is recognizing that these stereotypes and misconceptions are just simply not true, and I think it just goes back to listening and learning the real story. In regards to Native Americans being used as mascots for sports teams, non-Natives' excuse is that they are honoring Native American culture, when in reality they are taking stereotypes and throwing them in Native Americans faces, further suppressing Native American voices. All the misconceptions about this entire group of people is passed down through every generation, and it has to come to an end.

When addressing the fact that the murder of millions of Native Americans is genocide, I think that it is important to let Native Americans express how they would like us to address it and make apologies. Native Americans were murdered and hated so much that there was even a large reward for turning in the body or scalp of a person, which likely increased death rates even more as there was more incentive to kill them. I think it’s also important to recognize specifically how Native American women have been treated. In the article by The Daily, it mentions that Americans were so brutal to these women that there are cases when doctors would remove uteruses and sever their Fallopian tubes against their will. The misconception that native people were defective and native women were not smart enough to use other forms of birth control caused these doctors to make the decision of having a life changing procedure for them, going against medical ethics. Even today, the ACT article mentions that Secretary Deb Haaland is still working towards having a derogatory term used particularly towards native women removed from federal use and other derogatory terms replaced. This process is long overdue, however it can take years because the term is so widespread throughout America. I think that a large part of apologizing is just recognizing that America is at fault for the genocide of Native Americans, and fighting for their equality with them is just as important as other equality movements. A little plaque of recognition is simply not enough, though it is a step in the right direction. The government should be a part of the apology, however really support of Native Americans needs to be shown by other non-native citizens. I don’t really know how to make amends, but I think that land returns and proper healthcare could be proactive ways to support the Native American community.

I think that non-indigenous people need to educate ourselves and actually encourage conversations about race. I also think that the stereotypes and misconceptions about Native Americans are not letting them become integrated members of society, as people preconceive that natives are so different from the rest of society. With more widespread education, hopefully society will be able to recognize that these stereotypes are not correct, like how stereotypes for other races are being recognized as incorrect. Actions that we can take are the teaching of the genocide and passing legislation protecting Native American rights. Both of these things are about acknowledging Native Americans, and I think that that is one of the biggest parts of building a nation with Native peoples.

Posts: 15

I read Susan Montoya Bryan, “Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names" and “Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life"

  1. Moving forward we need to teach REAL indigenous peoples' history, and start it when kids are in elementary school. The history should be taught in depth and honestly overseen by either a knowledgeable indigenous person or organization. For too long the bare minimum has been taught and most of the facts aren’t accurate. And not just in schools but in general people need to educate themselves on this very important history. It may be difficult for many to know that their ancestors have done such terrible things but without facing this history it’s difficult to move forward. Instead of dwelling too much on past actions, we should focus on how to make the future better.
  2. We need to correct the “twistory” and set the facts straight. Educate people about all the wrongdoings that happened and just “rewrite” the history that has been wrongfully written. Deb Haaland said it best we also need to remove hurtful and offensive language and images from logos and even the federal government. “Den Haaland on Friday formally declared “squaw” a derogatory term and said she is taking steps to remove it from federal government use and to replace other derogatory place names” And in “Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life,” it says that before we can move forward we need to deal “... with the fact that there are these weird things walking around as identifiers of native culture”.
  3. Honestly, I feel like no amount of apologizing will fix all that’s been taken from them. Saying sorry or something of that nature won’t give them their stolen lands back. An apology without some sort of action to support it is useless. I feel like land should be given back to its rightful owners. We should be celebrating them and the stolen land that we now live on.
  4. As non-indeigenous people, we need to listen. Listen to their needs and what they have to say because for too long they have been shut out and silenced. If we truly want to show we care we need to actually take steps forward to make changes and support them in what they need.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 2

1. I think that moving forward in order to better understand the experiences of Native Americans in this country, it should be required to learn a unit entirely dedicated to Native American history and how the U.S. has impacted said history, in each U.S. history class. I also believe that a unit dedicated to Native American studies shouldn't only include their history, but also current events affecting the group that aren't taught today. I think that at least this much should be necessary so that children don't grow up into ignorant members of government that'd use slurs in the names of over 650 federal sites. Perhaps if we learned about Natives early on and if information on their culture and past with the U.S. was incorporated into our learning, then situations like offensive language in geographic labels and the statue in front of the M.S.A wouldn't have happened, or would have been fixed early on. We fully confront history by making ourselves aware of how deeply intertwined the rise of the U.S. and silence of the Natives is.

2. Most people's false interpretations of Native Americans comes from how they are shown in the media and other facets of life. Growing up i'd seen many cartoons and pictures (many coming from history classes) portray Natives as if they were savages or less developed of a society compared to their European "saviors". Showing images like this to a child only makes their understanding of actual Native American culture worse and leads to many misconceptions down the line. Lessons like this usually head down hill once elementary school teachers teach about the insanely biased version of the history behind Thanksgiving. I believe that any and all lessons portraying Native Americans as "less sophisticated" people or "savages" in comparison to White colonizers should be taken out entirely. Many of our misconceptions about Native Americans come from what we were taught as children, but also how they're shown in art. Like the situation of the statue in front of the art museum that might have been sculpted with good intentions (?) but has the message fall flat because of the stereotypical and inaccurate imaging. We can address problems like this and avoid them entirely by consulting actual Native Americans, and creating art based off of things you'd actually see at a reservation and not weird interpretations of their culture.

3. Between 1776 and the present 1.5 acres of land have been taken and over 50 million Native lives were lost to U.S conquests. We address by raising as much awareness as possible and giving Native Americans their voice back in terms of what happens in the country they inhabited long before us. We shouldn't just now be having them take place in important decisions, like how Charles F. Sams III just became the first Native American to become head of National Park Services. I don't think there's really a way to amend the fact that millions of people were killed and displaced over land, but we can make ourselves aware to keep it from happening again. We can make it so that native voices are heard when it comes to decision making, but I also think that land should be given back. An apology and reparations are due because the effects of what was done hundreds of years ago are still felt today.

4. I think that non indigenous people can help by making sure that Native voices are heard and that they feel supported. A concrete action we could take is the removal of misconceptions of their culture from art and media. I think all stereotypical art pieces should be removed and that what was done to them should be recognized for the genocide it was. No more characterizing them as "warriors" to try and justify the many deaths and the atrocities committed against them. I think to fully integrate them as members of society we must understand that they were not warriors, but victims to European colonialism.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 5

1.) I believe the best way to experience the full degree of what this nation has done to Native Americans would be to better confront and educate people on the history and the past. There's nothing we can do that can truly make up for all of the horrific crimes committed against the Native Americans, so moving forward, the best way to prevent and better understand is to truly dive deep and learn in detail the full of the horrors. People must learn from history so they can never repeat it.

2.) There's no better way than facing it head on. Any way to try to soften or go around the twistory that's happened would be under-minded and swept underneath the rug. We need to directly challenge these false ideas or uproot the issue or it would just keep growing. At the same time though, as long as the internet exists, freedom of speech will always be used to justify these stereotypes and misperceptions.

3.) Again, there's nothing that we can do to truly make up for the fact that the Natives people were hunted and genocided. The only thing we can do is to directly apologize, give back their land, and give them a proper voice in government. These accomplishments would be very difficult however, and would take a lot of time to achieve.

4.) To fully integrate Native peoples into our society, we need to first start by giving them a voice. We need to support Native peoples and their businesses to give them enough power to make a difference in society. Not only that, but non-indigenous peoples need to educate themselves on their culture and history so they can better understand one another.

Mike Smith
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

1. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever truly understand everything pertaining to the experience of Native Americans. The reason for that is all of the erasure and destruction of the history of how Natives were mistreated. Sadly, I doubt we will ever grasp the full scope of what happened here in America, but I believe that we can learn more by listening. We must listen to those in Native communities, because it is from their experiences that we must learn from. And this needs to be a national effort. There needs to be a national reckoning when it comes to this.

2. In order to address stereotypes, we need to remove them from the mainstream. Changing names like the Cleveland Indians or the Washington Redskins is a step in the right direction, and I believe that such approaches should have a more widespread implementation. Racial stereotypes are often found in outdated yet unchanged media, and they can be dangerous because of just how many people see and interact with such media. Changing such media won’t fix everything, but it is a step in the right direction.

3. In addition to apologize and acknowledgements, I believe that reparations are in order as well. We must try to consider how the natives feel. Land which was there for thousands of years was taken, and a large part of their population was eradicated. I don’t think that simply saying “sorry” will fix anything. Something I thought of when learning about this is the struggle for cultural artifacts found in European Museums, namely the British museum. How happy would, say, the people of Egypt be if the Museum issued a long apology about the taking of the Rosetta Stone. I don’t think much would change. The museum still owns and profits off of it, so what’s the difference? Now I acknowledge that these two situations are not perfectly comparable, but this shared idea of acknowledgement usually leaves much to be desired.

4. In order to become allies, non-Indigenous people need to listen. I think that in order for allies to effectively help, they need to listen and try to understand the situations of the Indigenous people, and then push for change accordingly. We also need to make it easier for more people to listen by teaching the truth. Teaching the fable that the Pilgrims and the Natives were best friends and gathered to eat together isn’t helping at all.

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