posts 1 - 15 of 23
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 318

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 mandating the teaching of genocide was being discussed by the Massachusetts Legislature beginning around October 2019. But take a guess: which group was conspicuously not mentioned?


And believe it or not: a modified version of this bill finally passed both houses of the legislature in Massachusetts (for a text of the final bill, see this site). Charlie Baker signed it into law in December 2021.


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


  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?

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

  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?

  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?

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


lil breezy
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

1. I think moving forward, the first step should be to recognize. A lot of the problems Native Americans face/have faced are unknown or simply unacknowledged. I had no idea that in the 1960s-1970s, 1 out of 4 Native American women were sterilized without their knowledge or their consent. It is a really insane fact to think about- and even more insane to think that we weren't taught this information at schools. We weren't taught a lot of Native American history at schools in the first place. I also didn't know that the statue outside of the MFA is not an accurate depiction of Native Americans in the 20's, so if I were to pass by it- I wouldn't get upset. However, when natives revealed the statue was what non-native people imagined natives to be like, I understood why the statue should be removed. But even when we recognize these problems, they are not always fixed. For example, while the MFA came out with an informational video, and an info card on the statue, nothing about the physical piece itself was altered. The statue still stands there, and although the MFA may have tried, it seemed very performative and almost like they didn't care. Not many people will go out of their way to watch the video or read the card, so the MFA needed to make a bigger statement, whether that be replacing the piece with a work made by a Native artist, or altering the statue in a bigger way. It is not enough only to recognize, but to change as well.

2. I think in order to address the stereotypes, we need to give Native peoples more of a voice. Like I said in the previous answer, I don't think many people know that certain things are in fact misconceptions. We need to hear it from someone who has experienced these stereotypes first hand. There is this girl on TIk Tok who is Native, and most of her content is about her traditions. She is actively trying to break the barrier of what is weird to non-natives. She practices throat singing, which is very different to the songs we hear on the radio- and so some people may find it weird and even laugh it without knowing that is a deep part of native culture. In one of the articles, I found out that a lot of names for certain areas contain slurs towards natives. I am sure many other people didn't know this- so this is why it is important for the public to be educated about these problems. I wouldn't have known this fact if I didn't read the article, so schools should integrate more courses about Native people as well.

3. This question is very difficult because it is impossible to bring those Natives who lost their lives back. The fact is, they are never going to get all of the justice they deserve. But, we can serve justice towards their ancestors, who are clearly still affected by this genocide and racism. Although this generation didn't murder the Native people- our ancestors did, and so I think that if the Natives have to live with what happened to their ancestors, we should at least recognize what our ancestors did. I think the reclaiming of land statements we read in class were just a part of the first steps towards justice. While it is nowhere near enough, it is a start. I think what truly needs to happen is giving back land to the Natives, even if it is just a portion. Someone in class said that most impoverished communities are indigenous, and this is probably due to lack of land. We also shouldn't treat them like outsiders, and try to include them more. But we should also learn to appreciate their culture as well, learn more about it, and how to respect it. It makes sense, considering a lot of Natives were forced to adapt to more "americanized" customs.

4. Like I said before, one of the most important things in becoming an ally to Natives is recognizing their problems. Not only recognize, but attempt to fix. One of the first steps should be to removing statues like the one outside of the MFA, and removing offensive street names. We also need to add new things. We need more indigenous art in museums, and more street names that contain the names of important Native figures. Hopefully, these steps will help to make indigenous people more comfortable in society. And allowing them to express themselves and their culture without judgement will hopefully make them feel more included in their communities.


enterusernamenow
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

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

There are a multitude of actions that need to be taken, things that we need to do, moving forward, to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this nation. While I don’t think acknowledgement should be the last step, it should definitely be the first. Acknowledging the survival and the resistance of native people and the continuation of their culture despite American erasure is the first step. Listening to Native voices despite how truthfully harsh and blunt they may be is how we can address history and learn from the past. When we continue to refuse to see the truth, or to hear the truth, we create more situations like that of Wamsutta James, who was denied his right to freedom of speech because his words condemned the atrocities this country perpetrated against Wamponoag people and Native peoples in general. We must confront harsh history by listening, by empathizing, and by taking action to ensure that people feel not only heard but seen.


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

Addressing the stereotypes that plague American society and non-native people about native populations needs to be accomplished through thorough education. Legislation needs to be used rather than to hinder the teaching of Native genocide and other racial topics, to promote and ensure that they are taught. There are other actions that can be taken by individuals on an individual basis, such as challenging their biases and misconceptions of native peoples by learning about the Native communities in your state etc. Institutions as well are responsible for holding themselves accountable and aiding in crafting a new history — one that acknowledges Native peoples as they are rather than who white people thought they were. Institutions such as the MFA need to take action to ensure that despite traditionalism, all are respected and all are heard.


  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?

Although nothing can make up for the genocide of Native peoples, actions need to be taken to ensure that there are attempts to remedy the generational hurt and suffering they have caused to many people. While I was reading the JSTOR Daily about the history of forced sterilization of Native american women, I realized that the effects went far beyond the individual women, it affected the overall population for Native peoples, caused the separation of Native families, this coupled with Blood Quantum [originally initiated by the federal government in order to limit native citizenship] is active erasure that needs to be address on a governmental basis. I do not believe that any apologies can be truly made that remedy the harsh realities of US history— but, we can support Land Back movements, we can support legislation that allows for native children to be adopted by Native parents, we can support reservations and ensure they are politically heard. Lots can be done and lots should be done.


  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?

I think that firstly, non-indigenous people need to acknowledge that despite the stereotypes they have heard about indigenous peoples, indigenous peoples are not a monolith. Native peoples come in all different colors and from all across the US. Native peoples belong to distinctive cultures and are not foreign to American culture and modernism. Allies need to ensure that action is taken, not just apologies and addresses. Allies need to continuously check their own biases and support movements such as the remaining of federal geographical place from bigoted names to ones that reflect the history of the area in relation to its original people. Allies need to listen, and not get upset by the hard truth of history, listen and let Native people speak. As I said previously, “we can support Land Back movements, we can support legislation that allows for Native children to be adopted by Native parents, we can support reservations and ensure they are politically heard. Lots can be done and lots should be done."

glass
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9
  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?

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

  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?

  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?


Moving forward, we actually have to listen to what people are saying and act on it, not just put up a sign or completely ignore it. We fully confront it by not teaching kids fake stories that make light of the horrific pasts of our country. Stop valuing "tradition" over the hurt that it causes innocent people daily, at the end of the day what matters more, a statue or the peace of our entire species?

We teach, and not optional classes, not on a random obscure podcast or a sloppy documentary, we need to inform the mass of the past that has happened to countless people, inflicting generational trauma onto thousands of people that will suffer for the crimes of white people stealing what they claim is theirs. We stop using slurs in government papers, on street names, and in textbooks, stop belittling the pain of families and address the fact that doctors were forcibly sterilizing indigenous women. It is horrifying how people treated them and then was just not talked about.

We need to not gloss over it and actively talk about it just like we discuss the genocides like the holocaust and Cambodian genocide, it needs to be actually talked about and acknowledged. I'm not sure about how we amend it but definitely start by taking down offensive statues and exhibits, recognizing the past and their culture as we do with many others.

Respect who they are, listen to them, help out but not in a way they make it about themselves, take action, and don't just stay at home and silent.

soccermom1800
Boston , Massachusetts , US
Posts: 7
  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 we need to be more educated on Native America history, it should be taught in depth in schools around the country. More native people should be in places of power and help make decisions for the country that is rightfully theirs.

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

To address the stereotypes & misconceptions passed down we need more Native American representation and education being truthfully told to change people's perspectives.

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

As a nation, we have to fully recognize our past wrongdoings of the Native people and work with them to make a meaningful apology, which will not make us crimeless but will show Indiginous people that we are taking steps to return what they want and to show them an apologetic attitude.

  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 have to become more educated and do what they can to support Native people, supporting their small businesses, supporting political movements, and raising awareness to those around them who may be uneducated,

arcoiris18
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 10

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native peoples

To better understand the experiences of Native Americans in the US, we have to start by changing the education system and the history we all learn starting in preschool. Introducing children to the real reality of our country and the relationship we had with the Native Americans shows the reality of our country's history. I also think the land acknowledgment is a good step in the right direction but we need to be more educated about the history of the people whose land we are on. To fully confront our history everyone has to be able to acknowledge our horrible history, including the government. Overall including Native Americans in these discussions, as we do with any other race, will be important for people to hear what preparation is needed firsthand.

To address the stereotypes that have been ingrained in our society by starting to destroy degrading costumes and getting rid of degrading connections to Native Americans in ads. People need to be able to change their connection with Native Americans away from "savages" or sports team ads and onto the people, they were and still are. For people to change their minds about the history of Native Americans we have to start with the stories we have added to our history books, getting rid of the myth that they were helpless people who only survived because of the colonists. Again I think having more representation of Native Americans communicating their stories to Americans can help people understand their side.

Addressing the genocide of Native Americans is not an easy task because people love to pretend genocides don't happen. To address the good the country's ancestors committed is why talking about it. People might not want to listen but if you are talking and spreading as much information as possible people are bound to at least listen. The government and we as a country have to apologize even if the history was hundreds of years ago. We are still benefiting from the genocide of the founding people. Like the increased movement for reparations for black people as a result of slavery, I think we should have something sumialr for Native Americans since we are occupying their land. Nothing we do will ever erase the years of death and torture the Native population had to go through but by creating awareness and trying to apologize we can slowly start to make amends.

People who aren't indigenous can learn more about Native Americans because they shouldn't have to be fighting to fit into our society, they should be able to be accepted. In the invasion of America by Sam Hasely, it says that "Native peoples may be a small minority, but their history poses a fatal challenge to triumphalist narratives of the US ''. I think this shows that throughout history we could have been living all together but instead, the colonizers decided to destroy their lives. If we introduce the real history, our accepting country's reputation gets destroyed and people will finally see how messed up our country is.

BigGulpFrom711
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

1. Moving forward, I believe that acknowledgment of the actions committed against Native Americans is the very first step. However, the actions that come after acknowledgment will be much harder to do. This is similar to the article “Your Land Acknowledgment Is Not Enough”, as a person simply stating the fact that they are living on native territory is nowhere near enough. Actions will always speak louder than words. For Native Americans, land also had a spiritual meaning, such as sacredness, places to hunt, and places to live. Many people should learn to appreciate the land that they live on, go to school on, and even the places that they go to hang out at.


The next important step would be to listen to their stories and perspective. It is extremely important that incidents such as Wamsutta James Frank’s speech in 1970 do not occur. The thought that the planners of the fair wanted to cut out or revise certain parts of the speech is extremely disrespectful and very disappointing at the same time. Continuing onto another branch, learning about Native Americans should also be transparent and not resort to stereotypes. Children should be taught about Native American culture and values, with these topics still being taught well into higher grades. However, as time goes on, children should then be taught about the reality of what had happened to Native Americans, as well as their lasting legacy now.


2. Addressing the issues of the stereotypes is very difficult to do, as many misconceptions are due to blind ignorance or blatant racism/bias. However, giving Native Americans more of a voice in both political and social fields can allow them to put down stereotypes and misconceptions. This can also stem back to the previous answer, where a transparent level of education and uncensored / filtered content must be shown. It is disgusting content that should not be summarized to a small 2 phrases or half of a page, but it should have a whole dedicated section on how it affected the change of the United States.


3. The genocide of Native Americans has done its damage in the past 400-500 years, so there is very little that we can do now. The sterilization of indigenous women, lack of representation, and misleading exhibits, statues, and even history are only a few examples of what have happened. As stated previously, there is very little as to what we can do now for the descendants of Native Americans. The only solution I have is to restructure the education system so that Native Americans are not portrayed in a way that is extremely degrading.


4. Once again, it is important to acknowledge what has happened to Native Americans and to listen to their story. Their descendants were not present during the generational genocide that occurred, but they feel the effects of it. Simply apologizing and believing it will magically change a lot of factors is extremely disrespectful and disgusting. I think more public art or literature pieces about Native Americans should be posted, as well as having a section of history dedicated to it. The biggest task would be the restructuring of history. Many Native Americans are forced to become historians of sorts, having to drop their ambitions and dreams because of prejudice. They are forced to learn about their own history and have to educate others about it, so that they are not further misrepresented. Education within the country must tell the truth, no matter how ugly it can be.

ok i pull up
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7
  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?

To better acknowledge the genocide and horrible things we did in those days, we must be more aware of things around us and recognize the flaws that we have made. We should teach schools more about the history of Thanksgiving because the fact that I only heard this in 11th grade is appalling. The stereotype that we have made about Indians and the fact that it is so well-known in our schools should not be the case, even for things like Cops and Indians, which even I played when I was younger. The statue in front of the MFA should be a major wake-up call as well because it is a white person's perception of Indian people, and follows the stereotypes we have made for them. I also believe that we should show people how bad Indian reservations are because from past experience, I already know the maltreatment that they go through. I also believe that we should acknowledge that we took the land from them and that we are not the founders of this land.

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

I believe that the best way to address stereotypes and misconceptions is to teach people about the history behind them. By educating more people, they will be more careful to use terms such as "Redskins", of which has such a vulgar story behind it and yet the NFL only now recognized the problem ever since they were first named. When more people are educated, they will spread the word to other people, and history wouldn't be as secluded as it is now. However, we must also recognize the irreversible damage and pay reparations at the very least to the natives living in our very own cities, which make up about 70 percent, while the other 30 live on inadequate and substandard reservations, that we should also help build up.


  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?

We must acknowledge them, and better yet, the government should admit to all the wrong-doing that they have done. For example, in 1830 Andrew Jackson passed an act which is better referred to as the "Indian Removal" act, which displaced 100,000 native people, and killed some in the process. This act got passed with a mere 5 votes out of the 199 delegates in the House of Representatives. This was not the same as back in the 1600s when you could have made a case at least that they were foreign figures to us. We have obtained from them 1.5 billion acres, and all they have left are crappy reservations which are, once again, barely supported by the government and therefore a horrible place live. This should be our first course of action. These reservations like one in Washington took their original 5,000,000 acres and brought it down to 4,000 acres, however just a mere 22 years later, brought it down even further to just 471 acres. We should really do some justice for them in my opinion.


  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?

Once again, the best way to truly understand them is by educating ourselves, understanding the mistreatment we have committed, and recognizing that. We should gain their trust of them and further benefit them and not discriminate against them. Unfortunately, there is discrimination for every race and gender that isn't a white straight male, however, we can hopefully make up for it by perhaps giving them benefits, for example, a scholarship to a Native American who seems to have a lot of potentials, especially to those who come from reservations. Again and again, I'll mention that we must do something about these reservations, and make them better. We should recognize it and honor the people that forcefully got their land taken away from them.

JnjerAle
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

The Effect of Colonialism on Native Peoples

  1. In order to truly understand the experiences of Native Americans, you have to be willing to actually learn and listen to Native people. We as a nation have to understand the importance of Native people in our history in order to recognize the amount of harm that came to them. In the article “The Invasion of America,” it states that few people even think events such as the Trail of Tears are central to American history. People need to realize that historical events such as these are a big deal because they have affected millions of people and played such a big role in shaping US society. Being able to sympathize with these events also helps us better understand the reality of what this country was shaped on. To confront this history is to be open to learning about it. Don’t shy away from these topics because you don’t think they’re “that important.” Listen to the experts and base what your next actions are on them. Educating yourself is so incredibly important to actually confronting that history.

  1. To properly address and fix the stereotypes we have to actually ask Native Americans what is wrong and what is right. Being open-minded and accepting our past faults is also extremely important in this. However, educating ourselves also isn’t enough. It is easy to claim to be supportive of a change happening but it is so much more important to actually step up and aid that movement. Confront the stereotypes and the inappropriate/incorrect usage of what people think is Native American culture. Correct them and help others work towards fixing them! Do as Deb Haaland did in the fourth article and work towards directly fixing these misconceptions, even if you can’t do it on a national level like her. Even the changing of sport team names helps to fix the issue of the “twistory” of Native American history/culture. Even just spreading knowledge about an inaccurate idea that people might have is already a big step in the right direction.

  1. Again, education is so very important to have in a situation such as this one. In order to properly address this topic, you actually have to know and understand the depth and severity of what happened. For example, I myself did not know that the sterilization of Native Women was such a prevalent issue until I read the article. Being able to see our own country’s faults and recognizing the fact that this nation played a direct role in the genocide and suffering of millions of people is the first step to change. But again, learning isn’t quite enough. We could push our government to help make amends for these crimes by funding Native American groups and/or giving them the platform needed to speak for everyone to hear. There are also many organizations aimed towards helping Native peoples that you can support in many ways, including donating, volunteering, or even just sharing its existence to the general public. No apology could ever truly be enough to make up for all the lives lost and all the people that suffered, so the best we could do is recognize our faults and push ourselves and this nation to be better by supporting those affected by these crimes.

  1. Becoming a better ally for indigenous people is something that I think most of us have to work on. Being an ally isn’t just learning about the event in school, it’s going out of your way to uplift Native voices and support people/organizations/reservations that work towards helping Native Americans in need. Taking action is one of the most important parts of being an actual ally, which may be difficult for some. Aiding Native Americans in rebuilding their communities from the oppression they suffered (either by volunteering, donating, sharing, etc.) is very important in building a nation that properly coexists with indigenous people. Just saying you care enough to listen isn’t enough (especially if you are a big company with lots of influence). Taking direct action shows people that this is an issue that truly matters that deserves attention and care. The actions (or rather lack of) of the Museum of Fine Arts shows us an example of how not to be an ally. Putting up some poster boards with people’s reactions to an offensive statue (even those in support of the statue, shockingly) does not help much at all. It is questionable if people would even bother to read the sign they put up afterward. I think most people would have preferred it if they just moved it, but the least they could’ve done was put up a bigger sign or even cover it. Directly take action to help this country make amends for its faults.
purplehibiscus
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8
  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 first thing we should do moving forward is acknowledge the mistakes the country has made in the past. We rarely hear of the mistreatment of Native Americans, I read the “History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women” because I had no idea it had even happened. That should have been major news that is taught in classrooms when we learn about other horrific things that happened to people of color.


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

These stereotypes and misperceptions need to be addressed. I'm sure many people don't know everything that has happened to Native Americans. They need to be given a voice and a chance to say what they believe and we need to listen. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has started this, she formally declared “squaw” a derogatory term and is attempting to remove it from government use. More people need to be held accountable, people need to call out the casual racism they hear and explain the harm it causes.


  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?

We can't fully correct our wrongs in the past but we need to make an attempt. Reading about the forced sterilization of Native Women I learned about the greater effect it had on the community not just the individual. Their declining numbers led to loss of political power, forced assimilation of Native American children at required boarding school, and the failures of social services are all atrocities that we have to attempt to right. Support and funding from the government and society to help Native Americans get their land back, removing the offensive naming on things are minor ways we can make an effort to correct our horrible mistakes.


  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?

Recognition with a plan of action to fix what needs to happen. Native Americans need a voice and they should be given one and not silenced any longer. We shouldn't need them to tell us that names like Washington redskins are offensive names like that shouldn't have existed in the first place and its outrageous that its taken this long to correct. We need action we’ve been to passive in the fight for Native American equality.

renaissance
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

"Good history makes for good citizens." - Claudio Saunt

Moving forward, the next step — both to better understand Indigenous experiences and to address stereotypes — will always be to change the history books and provide proper airtime to pieces of history that are vital to understand what America really is. The experience of Indigenous Americans has been reduced to a caricatural and fairytale story where they made peace with the colonizers and suddenly disappeared. Because of this story that follows us through the holidays we celebrate, the stories we hear and the brands we buy from, the ongoing experience of Indigenous Americans is largely unaddressed. Education, particularly history, has been "the key to unlocking the world" but it has also been a weapon, wielded by governments and powerful organizations to oppress necessary stories and to further their own agendas. This weapon has caused the voices and stories of Indigenous Americans — that are so necessary — to be erased from laws on genocide and policy initiatives. Because the American public education system has caused Americans to believe particular ideas about Indigenous Americans (i.e. they don't exist anymore), there has been no reckoning at all with the theft of Indigenous land – the most horrific heist in all of American history.

To address the fact that what the colonizers did was pure genocide, we need to address the double standard that has been applied to genocides in the US and as Claudio Saunt states so well, "Europe's 20th century atrocities." Why is it easier to learn about the horrible crimes of the Europeans than to look at America's own past of invasion and massacre (some of which were models for the atrocities that occurred in Europe in WWII)? Grappling with this, we need to know what the effects of the systemic massacre and racism that bleeds throughout society are on current Indigenous communities today. We need to vote for more Indigenous policymakers who know what issues there are in their communities and will take action for them. But, even more important, non-Indigenous mindsets have to change. Indigenous Americans don't owe non-Indigenous people anything. But non-Indigenous Americans owe them everything.

I want to rephrase this question because Indigenous Americans should be the integrated members of society. Non-integrated members of American society are the anti-abortion white March for Life teenagers who mocked Nathan Phillips (Omaha Nation). Non-integrated members of American society are the company executives of the MLB who stated that Indigenous Americans were wholly supportive of the tomahawk chop. Non-integrated members of American society are the policymakers who have not made reparations for the uranium poisoning of the Navajo Nation in Arizona, 40 years later.

However, I agree that Indigenous communities have not been supported enough, if at all. The government needs Indigenous representation and it is needs to be filled with people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous (like Deb Haaland), who are ready to work to change history books, make policy development in the crimes that the US has done to Indigenous communities, and to take down monuments and names that perpetuate stereotypes. In our own communities, we can start to reshift the lens of US history, from one of white Americans to one of all Americans. We need to learn from Indigenous values — human values on family, land, communication, and structure — which our society, so focused on money and power, has forgotten.

bubbles
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on the Natives

1. I think the thing that we need most in order to understand the hardships of the Native Americans is exposure and recognition. If more people really understood how severely mistreated Native Americans have been for the past four or five centuries, there would be more people calling for action. We need to stop romanticizing colonization as well, especially in harmful depictions such as Disney's Pocahontas. It's one thing to tone down the atrocities that were committed so that it can be taught to children, but it's downright absurd to feed them misinformation that somehow manages to portray a young Native American girl falling in love with her English colonizer "boyfriend", and finding her Happily Ever After with him in England. Stories like that only continue to perpetuate the ignorance regarding the crimes that we've committed against the Natives, and we need to fully realize what the government has done to them against their will. From the brutal slaughters carried out by the army, to the way that we "claim" Native lands without ever really consulting the actual inhabitants, all of these are swept under the rug and it's time that America actually learned to atone for the crimes they've done. It's absolutely mind-boggling to think that they once had over 1.5 billion acres of land, and then lost almost all of their territories in treaties that heavily favored the government and wouldn't even be upheld by them. They lost their entire CONTINENT to a corrupt system that they never had a voice in, and the general public isn't aware of how screwed up that is.

2. We address the stereotypes by actually listening to the Indigenous voices that are speaking out about these issues, and taking action. We can't really undo the damage that we've caused by perpetuating stereotypes like their supposed substance abuse or their savage depictions, but we can issue apologies (which they are more than entitled to not accept) and learn from our mistakes. We are already growing (albeit very slowly), as seen with the rebranding of certain sports teams like the Washington Commanders, or how Deb Haaland is taking action to remove derogatory terms from federal legislation (when they should have never been written into law to begin with), but there's still a lot more we can do to uplift these voices and make sure that they're heard. If we give these voices the platform that they deserve, then maybe we can start to undo the harmful stereotypes that we've played into, and people will finally get over their "nostalgia" for degrading things like the Tomahawk chop and realize the implications of their actions, and hopefully grow as better people because of it.

3. If we were to start using the language that we use for any other genocide, then people would likely start to understand the genocide of the Native Americans. For example, if people knew that there was a literal concentration camp on Deer Island, right off the coast of Boston, then they would be appalled. If they knew that around 25% of Native American women were forced to be sterilized in the 60s and 70s, they would be repulsed. They might finally begin to realize just how horribly these people were treated, and how it was all swept under the rug. The federal government definitely needs to issue some kind of statement, both on the national and local level, and the least we can do is redistribute land and allocate funds to the surviving Native Americans. We've taken so much from them, and simply "recognizing" that the land we use was stolen from them is most definitely not enough; we actually need to take action and return at least a portion of these lands.

4. Non-indigenous people can become allies by providing resources and platforms for Indigenous voices to be heard from. As non-Indigenous people we can't speak for them, but we can definitely make sure that they can speak out and be heard by other members of society. Actions like fundraising or attending rallies would bolster public awareness, and more allies can be made. By promoting organizations that have already formed, like the National Congress of American Indians, we can give them political leverage so that actual change can be made in this country. All we have to do is genuinely care about what they have to say, and do all that we can to take action so that change can occur eventually.

Augustus_Gloop
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Something which is important to better understand the history and experiences of Native Americans in this country is additional time in school focussing on them. While in eighth grade, we thoroughly covered the Civil Rights Movement, but atrocities such as the Trail of Tears rarely had such emphasis placed onto them. Another thing which I think would help is the consumption of Native American media. Even recently, reading the article which stated that anywhere between 25 - 50% of native American women were forced to become infertile changed my perspective a lot. Something else that opened my eyes was the novel "If I Ever Get Out of Here" by Eric Gainsworth, which I read in seventh grade.This shows that we can introduce media in a comprehensible form to younger kids to expose them to important issues, which would definitely help with a general understanding of Native American experiences.

I think addressing the stereotypes is actually rather simple. The first thing I would change is that no respectable organization should be allowed to have a stereotype for a mascot or name. Then it should be taught in school that it is morally reprehensible to make such stereotypes. These two things combined would hopefully be enough to severely help this issue, because if no one sees their role models doing it, then neither will they.

I think that this question is very difficult to answer. This is because I don't think it's fair to kick people off of their land if they have been living there for generations. Additionally I think fully paying back Native Americans for what European colonizers have done is impossible, as it would require us to move way too many people out. However, that doesn't mean we should do nothing. I think the changing of the names of certain landmarks is a good start which represents the growing call to action among activists. Also, beefing up the social care system for children without parents on reservations would also be an important step. While these changes are not as vast as some are calling for, I think that the best way to pay back modern Native Americans is to bring their quality of life as close to that of an average American as possible.

One thing that non-indiginous people can do to become allies is to learn and understand the tribes of the Native Americans. Another thing is to consume different types of media which would hopefully help to polarize Native American people less. I also think that it is important for non-indiginous people to call out any stereotypes or racist jokes made by their peers, as these can perpetuate racism. Finally I think the act of being aware of the reparations owed to natives in this country and attempting to spread the message is enough to classify yourself as an ally.

Juicy Burger
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 12

1.Understanding and confronting history.

There needs to be a realization of the true violence the United States imposed on Native Americans. Resources like the video in the AEON article by Claudio Saunt shows the rapid expansion of the United States and the prevalence of native communities that were wiped out. What becomes clear in that video is that the US had no interest in helping Native Americans: We took over all their land then established reservations in land we did not want, slowly shrinking this land over time. I'm not sure how the US would confront a history it has covered up so eloquently. We need better education systems that focus on these issues and truly tell the horrors of our action. Little kids should not be indoctrinated of the white saviorism that is imposed onto them.

2. Addressing "twistory"

a. I believe the first step has to be first acknowledging the systemic and widespread misinformation surrounding Native Americans. As someone who is fairly educated on social issues, I was incredibly shocked and disturbed that so much of what I learned in school was fake and so much of what we interact with is entrenched racism and stereotyping. I'm kind of horrified the United States has effectively covered up its crime against humanity so well, and allowed millions maybe billions to believe in lies. We need to start questioning what we believe in and what we are taught on every level.

b. Telling the stories and experiences of Native Americans is absolutely crucial. The article from Ahtone in 2018 really examines the truth surrounding Native Americans, who have been stereotyped as in poverty and essentially as inferior. What this article does beautifully is show that Native American strength and solidarity is alive, but it needs to go further. We learn that Native Americans, today, are showing their culture and the truth though entertainment, food, etc. Through these actions, we can learn to see all the unique aspects of Native Americans, and to see that they are truly 1) not all in poverty or inferior 2) just like regular Americans, and need to be acknowledge for the violence against them.

3.Addressing the issue

We need to formally recognize what we did as genocide. It was absolutely wrong. We need to show the violence and force of the settlers; I think we blur the lines of history by stereotyping and misinformation. By educating people on how many people died, how much land was taken, and how policies targeted Native Americans it shows a direct narrative that cannot be refuted. In terms of apologies and amends, I think the US federal government and each state government should make a formal declaration and apology, and then put in place better education curriculums surrounding Native Americans. I know a frequent policy mentioned by my classmates will be land reparations. I think land reparations are difficult to do with the United State's privatized land system and bureaucratic land procedures like eminent domain. I don't know how willing Americans are willing to give back, clearly not much right now. I do think the task isn't impossible or not worth trying. Giving all land back seems impossible but the US can do something. The US should also try its best to dispel stereotyping by illustrating the variety and uniqueness of Native American culture and tribes.

4. Integration and action.

We can be better allies by leading the change. A frequent message from "Tell me who you are" was that it is not the choice of the powerful or oppressor, but a moral and objective obligation to lead that change. As members of society, we need to be more open to educating ourselves and removing harmful stereotypes. Native Americans are a part of this country and who we are, so we have to start treating them like that. We need to remove the barbaric or uncivilized image of Native Americans. In terms of actions, 1) Better education around the issue 2) Removal of harmful stereotypes in consumer products and more (We learned in class the widespread use of stereotypes and racist images that need to be removed) 3) Seeking to deconstruct our biases and leading discussions on the stories of Native Americans.

drakefan02
boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native peoples

In order to better understand their experience, the most important thing that we should do is listen to what Native Americans have to say. Native American voices have been repressed throughout even recent history. When Wamsutta Frank James tried to speak his mind during an anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival at Plymouth, he was told he had to rewrite it if he wanted to actually give it. Why bother offering an Indigenous person to give a speech, when you won't allow them to say what they want? We need to not only let Indigenous voices be heard, but encourage them to say what they believe. We also need to focus on educating ourselves and further generations about the history of Native Americans, including all of the uncomfortable stuff. We're told all these happy stories in kindergarten about thanksgiving and Squanto, which are completely wrong. Only now have I learned about the forced sterilization of Indigenous women in the 60's. Around 25% of Native American women were made sterile during the 60's. Part of the thought process was "there were already too many minority individuals causing problems in the nation". That's insane. I feel like whenever Native Americans were brought up in my past history classes, we never dwelled on the topic for long.

Some ways to address the "twistory" is through school and art/media. Schools need to stop giving young children the wrong idea about Indigenous history. They also need to focus more on it in general. Art/Media has always been misrepresenting Indigenous people. We talked about how wrong the movie Pocahontas was in class. We talked about the MFA's "Appeal to the Great Spirit". The article about Madeline Sayet gave another example of misrepresentation of Native Americans in art with "Last of the Mohecans". Not only do we need more accurate representations of Native Americans in media, we need to get rid of misrepresentations. The MFA seems to really want to keep the statue up, thinking that small pieces of text will clear up the stereotypes for everyone. Companies and organizations are always feeding people stereotypes. They link tobacco and alcohol with Native Americans. Sports teams base their identity off of stereotypes. Banning all of this would only be for the best. As pointed out by the cartoon we saw in class, there's no sports team called "the asians" or "the mexicans" and for good reason.

The word genocide needs to be used in schools and normalized in general when they teach Native American history. Not enough people understand that genocide is a correct and fitting word. History textbooks should use the word. Telling their story and telling it right is something we need to focus on.

Again, listening is one of the best things we can do. We can get rid of inaccurate art and we can teach accurate history. We need to make sure they are being discussed and heard.

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