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.


fancyclown
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native People

I think that to better understand the experience of Native Americans in this country, all we need to do is be open-minded, and listen. We need to stop teaching stories based on fiction about the peaceful "founding" of this country, and start teaching the real story, as it is remembered and written by Native Americans. That's the only way I think we can confront this history, because yes, it's shameful. It's not a history we should be proud of. However, it's the history we have. It's what actually happened, the crimes these foreign colonizers actually committed, and in order to start making steps towards a more educated and inclusive country it's very important that we first recognize the faults of our past.

To address these misconceptions about the "discovery" of the Americas that have been passed down among generations of non-Native Americans, we need to rewrite the existing history textbooks, publicize old work's that have been taken as truth like Washington Irving's A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus as the fiction they actually are, and overall encourage every person to educate those around them on the truth about the genocide Native American's faced during Columbus' conquest. I think that the best we could do as a country to try and make amends for the genocide of Native American people and attempt to build an integrated nation (although nothing can ever forgive those actions) would be to return as much Native land as possible to different corresponding Native tribes that are still in existence, as well as eliminate the segregation that is still very prominent in our country between Native American people and non-Native American people. Part of this could include writing more Native American history and culture into US history books, not just battles and deaths that occurred between them and foreign conquerors, since they are the legitimate founders of this country and their culture should be treated as such.

Martha $tewart
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Post: The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

Since we were little, most of us have been taught American history through the lens of white settlers. It is frustrating to know that I was convinced of a certain incorrect version of native history, it must be even more frustrating to be a Native American having their own history taught wrong. As Madeline Sayet said in National Geographic, it is important to “dismantle the idea that there is only one Native American narrative by asking questions and bringing people together to interrogate what stories we want to tell.” In order to confront our history we have to learn as much as possible about it, and make sure that we view everything we learn with openness and not bias. The most crucial aspect of re-educating ourselves is to listen to Native Americans and their stories.


We need to remember that Native Americans are still alive. I was surprised when the National Geographic article stated that,”More than 70 percent live not on reservations but in urban areas” because we have only ever read literature or consumed media in school that addresses the history of Native Americans or their life on reservations currently. It is very important to address, as fancyclown points out, the misconceptions about the “founding” of our country. I think that so much of the media glazes over the actual native culture and tries to make their genocide a topic of the past. For example, the Washington Commanders football team used to be called the “Redskins”, and their logo was a native man. The scary thing is that a lot of people don’t care, or are under-educated about these topics. In the case of the Washington Commanders, they only changed the name after pressure from natives and their sponsors. Wamsutta Frank James’ speech is another example of white people feeling threatened by the idea that Native Americans suffered at the hands of their race. People need to be shown the facts.


There are no apologies that could ever excuse a genocide. But there definitley needs to be legislation to protect and assist Native Americans. Like we discussed in class, giving them chunks of land scattered around is unhelpful and insulting. The people who owned this land first should be able to own more of it and be a part of the government that oversees it. The dangerous oil lines that are being put in through native land could endanger their water supplies and destroy burial grounds, something should be done about this. Our government should also make efforts to fix elementary education related to Native Americans. I remember being in kindergarten and dressing up as a Pilgrim and churning butter in a mason jar, but never discussing or learning about Native Americans except for that they helped the Pilgrims learn how to use fish as fertilizer. As for the forced sterilization of “one out of every four Native American women” between 1960 and 1970 as discussed in Erin Blackmore’s The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women, there is nothing the government can do except acknowledge that it happened and try to spread awareness.


Non-indigenous people should focus on listening to the voices of Native Americans and educating themselves as well as others on the truth of American history. We need to work together with native people to create a kinder and more inclusive world where we recognize what is not rightfully ours. Like Sayet said,”Live in a good way here. Live in a good way with us.”, that requires learning about native culture and being accepting towards integrating it into our society. Only after we acknowledge the past can we start to build a better future.

Snailaligator
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

  1. I think that the most important factor in better understanding the experience of Native Americans in the nation and confronting that history is through education of youth. The main reason why these false accounts of history are still celebrated so widely is because of inaccurate teaching in schools and false information passed down generationally. I think that a strong step that could be worked towards immediately would be to get rid of any holidays that glorify the Native American genocide on a national level including Columbus Day. Like we saw in class, these Columbus Day traditions are passed down from generation to generation and the whole tone surrounding them needs to be altered. Additionally, I believe that teaching the truth about European’s “encounter” with Native Americans needs to be mandated in U.S. history curriculums. In the essay titled “The invasion of America”, the author says, “I teach in the state of Georgia, where the legislature mandates that graduates of its public universities fulfill a US history requirement, a law born of the belief that an informed populace is essential to democracy. Good history makes for good citizens.” I think that the history being taught needs to have some requirements and consensus on a “reality” on a national level, however, I could see this becoming problematic with a corrupt government.
  1. I think that stereotypes that have been passed down to non-Native Americans about Native Americans are very poorly addressed. It’s very upsetting to see how normalized it is for people to dress up as “Indians” and for many history textbooks to use the term “savages”. It is challenging to change ideas that are so foundational to many people, especially when they have lived most of their lives in support of them. Reiterating on what I stated in my first paragraph, I do agree with the cliche that change happens with educating young people. I think it would be more productive to work towards reshaping school curriculums for future generations than to reshape the opinions of those that have already lived through an education system.
  1. I think that we can address this fact by teaching about other genocides as well, and what a genocide truly means. By putting the Native American genocide side by side with others in history it may become much clearer to many how horrible and impactful it was and still is. Also, by teaching some of the true extents of the violence involved, it becomes much harder to ignore. For instance in the article titled “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women”, the author states, “Between 1970 and 1976 alone, between 25 and 50 percent of Native American women were sterilized.” This is incredibly recent and it is important to understand that amends are not only needed for what happened in the seemingly distant past, but for actions that took place and are still taking place up until now. It is impossible to make any amount of amends and apologies that would size up to what has been done, but I think a basic starting point would be for the US to officially recognize many more tribes and to respect and provide for much more land and funding for those communities.
  1. I think that a crucial way for a non-indigineous person to become an ally is to make themselves aware of the true history. However, education is not enough, it takes more action to be an ally and bring about positive change. I think that spreading awareness to other people is something that anyone can do with very little commitment and it can go quite a long way. Some concrete actions that could be taken to help move forward and build a nation with Native peoples would be to actually go out and participate in demonstrations and to donate money to the Native American Rights Fund,
FlyingCelestialDragon
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Moving forward we need to acknowledge and educate ourselves about the experience of Native Americans in this nation. Like what we talked about in class, there are a lot of people that still don't know the true history of Thanksgiving or Columbus Day. They only know the myth of it, which is a whole different story from the truth. This causes these holidays to be celebrated on false beliefs of what happened.

The things that we are taught at school impacts us and how we see the world. I have always been taught that Columbus was a good person and that he had a good relationship with the Native Americans. For us to address these stereotypes, we need to educate the young people about this. Even though they are young and all of this history is very gruesome. They still need to know what happened. Maybe not about the slaughter of hundreds of people, but how Columbus is not the kind person that my teachers told about. But doing this to the younger generations, the stereotypes that has been passed down among non-Native Americans about Native Americans will increase. For the older people, we would need to reach out to make them understand that Native Americans are not how they think are. There are many horrible things that happened to them that is never brought to light. For example in the "The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women" it talks about the forced sterilization of thousands of Native American women and brutal experiments done on colored women. This is never brought up on textbooks or school.

For the Native people that were murdered, apologies for this is too late. But we need to show that this is a horrible thing for America to do to these people. We can start by treating them as a human being and that they are the same as us. They deserver rights and respect like us. We should also acknowledge the genocide, pushing this away and trying to act nice to them won't do.

Some concrete actions that we can take to move forward is by acknowledging the Native people and their past. We need to treat them as having an equal footing to us. We should also lend an ear to them and educate ourselves about this past.

the_rose_apple
Posts: 10

To better understand the experience of Native Americans we must forget any stereotypes we may have about them and listen to their stories. We must also fight for their right to basic human rights, which is very often violated. When we listen and actively fight for each other, we can make a difference for the better (usually). Additionally we need to keep fighting for laws that protect Native Americans and give them rights to good health care, not one that forcibly sterilized half their population in around 10 years, and the right to be involved in their culture without any discrimination or forced assimilation. Their voices need to be heard and the education system, especially in elementary, fails to teach people about the importance of preserving what is left of Native American culture, not for a museum or a textbook, but for future generations of Native Americans to enjoy. By teaching students, and adults, the true history of Native American abuse and how not to let history repeat itself, we can try to correct the injustices done to them. Advocating not just for the rights of some minorities, but ALL minorities, including Native Americans, is the best way to help bring justice to a population that has been wronged countless times in the past.

I believe that the best way to create a better future is to teach children the truth about their past and encourage them to create a better future for ALL. To address the stereotypes, misperceptions, and the “twisotry,” we need to talk about the true history between Indigenous peoples and the European settlers, not the false stories passed down among non-Native Americans. In “Recasting views of Indigenous Life,” Madeline Sayet, a Native-American director and writer, said that the “stories of indigenous history and culture have been around for generations, in the elegant images made on hide calendars or carved into totem poles. Non-natives, however, barely acknowledge our past or our present, ignoring our lives by focusing on dominant, negative stereotypes.” Native American culture and history began many years before Columbus, yet the settlers who invaded their land rarely acknowledge their existence while only focusing on the false depictions and stereotypes associated to them and given by Europeans.

A very large percentage of Native Americans were deliberately killed by European settlers because they were considered to be “savages” and “uncivilized.” Few survived and have continued to fight for their survival up to this day. Some people think that in these more modern times we would never allow these sorts of injustices to happen, they happen all the time to minorities and the victim’s stories are rarely told. Around the 1960s and 1970s, somewhere between 25% to 50% of the Native American women were forcibly sterilized by the Indian Health Service, an organization that was a supposed to help provide health care for Native Americans. In “The Little-Known history of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women,” Jane Lawrence writes, “It will take oversight and care by both community members and members of the public to preserve the health and welfare of Native communities in the future, but nothing can ever make up for the outrages perpetrated on them in the name of health.” Not only will support form Native and non-Native Americans to fight and protect the health of Indigenous comminuted, nothing can make up for the atrocities that were committed against them. Nothing can undo the sterilization of the Native American women, but we can continue to fight for their basic rights and access to just healthcare in this country.

Although ideally the genocide of Native Americans wouldn’t have ever happened, it did and there isn’t as much we could do to make amends on that front. Instead we could acknowledge their stories, culture, history, and struggles. By making Native American voices heard in politics and in our every day lives, we can create a more inclusive nation with Native peoples that appreciates all peoples. Bringing issues that affect the Native community more into the public eye, and knowing that this land we’re on wasn’t ever ours or the US’s, but of the Indigenous people who were here long before anyone “discovered” it will help get some justice for everything done to Native Americans.

SillyGoblinMan178
Brighton, MA, US
Posts: 10

To confront the history of Native Americans in the US and fully understand their experiences, we need to be educated by actual Native Americans. If we are able to see what these people have gone through over the years, we'll be able to better rationalize just how badly the US has treated them. All of this starts in education, but mainly in elementary and high school. Elementary school is where most American children first learn about the inaccurate stereotypes prescribed to Native Americans, only there they are treated as fact. There needs to be serious policy reform on both the language used in and the actual content of United States history classes in regard to Native American history. The genocide that America took part in against indigenous people should also be treated like an actual genocide, not a historical footnote. It should be worked into many aspects of the American school curriculum, not just history. "The Bear River Massacre in southern Idaho (1863), the Sand Creek Massacre in eastern Colorado (1864), [and] the Washita Massacre in western Oklahoma (1868)" (The Invasion Of America, Claudio Vaunt) are only a small fraction of the slaughter America has committed against indigenous people. Another way that America has managed to erase the history of Native Americans is in our artwork; the statue in front of the MFA that we mentioned in class is an outright stereotype. On a grander scale than one statue, the federal government has repeatedly used a slur for Native American women in its language(Deb Haaland Seeks to Rid US of Derogatory Place Names) The only way to completely make amends is to return the land that was stolen, but at this point, outside of a few specific cases, that's not possible anymore. Americans have been living on this land for too long to willingly give it up, so the next best thing we can do is to pay some kind of reparations. If the government took off even a fraction of the military budget to help indigenous groups, I think most of them would be pretty happy. Two good ways to become an ally for indigenous people (and really for any marginalized group) is to participate in mutual aid programs and learn about their history. Learning the history shows that you care, and mutual aid is a more concrete way of helping.

Martha $tewart
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Snailaligator on October 13, 2022 16:07

  1. I think that the most important factor in better understanding the experience of Native Americans in the nation and confronting that history is through education of youth. The main reason why these false accounts of history are still celebrated so widely is because of inaccurate teaching in schools and false information passed down generationally. I think that a strong step that could be worked towards immediately would be to get rid of any holidays that glorify the Native American genocide on a national level including Columbus Day. Like we saw in class, these Columbus Day traditions are passed down from generation to generation and the whole tone surrounding them needs to be altered. Additionally, I believe that teaching the truth about European’s “encounter” with Native Americans needs to be mandated in U.S. history curriculums. In the essay titled “The invasion of America”, the author says, “I teach in the state of Georgia, where the legislature mandates that graduates of its public universities fulfill a US history requirement, a law born of the belief that an informed populace is essential to democracy. Good history makes for good citizens.” I think that the history being taught needs to have some requirements and consensus on a “reality” on a national level, however, I could see this becoming problematic with a corrupt government.
  1. I think that stereotypes that have been passed down to non-Native Americans about Native Americans are very poorly addressed. It’s very upsetting to see how normalized it is for people to dress up as “Indians” and for many history textbooks to use the term “savages”. It is challenging to change ideas that are so foundational to many people, especially when they have lived most of their lives in support of them. Reiterating on what I stated in my first paragraph, I do agree with the cliche that change happens with educating young people. I think it would be more productive to work towards reshaping school curriculums for future generations than to reshape the opinions of those that have already lived through an education system.
  1. I think that we can address this fact by teaching about other genocides as well, and what a genocide truly means. By putting the Native American genocide side by side with others in history it may become much clearer to many how horrible and impactful it was and still is. Also, by teaching some of the true extents of the violence involved, it becomes much harder to ignore. For instance in the article titled “The Little-Known History of the Forced Sterilization of Native American Women”, the author states, “Between 1970 and 1976 alone, between 25 and 50 percent of Native American women were sterilized.” This is incredibly recent and it is important to understand that amends are not only needed for what happened in the seemingly distant past, but for actions that took place and are still taking place up until now. It is impossible to make any amount of amends and apologies that would size up to what has been done, but I think a basic starting point would be for the US to officially recognize many more tribes and to respect and provide for much more land and funding for those communities.
  1. I think that a crucial way for a non-indigineous person to become an ally is to make themselves aware of the true history. However, education is not enough, it takes more action to be an ally and bring about positive change. I think that spreading awareness to other people is something that anyone can do with very little commitment and it can go quite a long way. Some concrete actions that could be taken to help move forward and build a nation with Native peoples would be to actually go out and participate in demonstrations and to donate money to the Native American Rights Fund,

I agree with point 3, education is very important when it comes to addressing these things. We spend so much time looking at the Revolutionary War but we never learned about the Wounded Knee massacre or the Red River War that were mentioned in the articles. People probably argue that elementary education shouldn't be graphic or talk about genocide, but glorifying the arrival of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is giving kids an inacurate view of history.

johndoe
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Moving forward we need to actually listen to Native peoples about not only their struggles but about their life experiences. We need to realize that they lead a different lifestyle from a majority of the population, but that shouldn't change how we perceive them as people. We need to try our best to repeal our wrongdoings and hold a better attitude towards them.


Calling out the stereotypes handed to native peoples is a way to start to develop our perspectives better. A great example of this recently is both the Cleveland Indians renaming to the Cleveland Guardians, as well as the Washington Redskins renaming to the Washington Commanders. Both teams with storied histories under their former names decided that it was for the better to confront the negative connotations behind them and encourage change not only in the sports world but the world in general. One thing that I think is important is that the titles and achievements under the former names are referred to under the former names. This therefore does not completely erase the former attitudes of the owners and fans of these teams, and does not erase the “time immemorial” (Deb Haaland).


We have to accept that the founders of our country were the ones encouraging this genocide. The entire history of this country, however cannot be amended. However much we want to make amends, it is basically impossible, and we need to accept this. In my opinion we also cannot really apologize as an apology after hundreds of years of maltreatment and genocide isn't really good for anything.


All non-indigenous people have to do is treat natives like respectable members of society. Looking down on native people and then proclaiming your sorrows does absolutely nothing to help them. If we start to treat them like the functioning members of society they are, we can make progress in the right direction. As of right now kids my age cannot really do anything to help the native peoples, but as we grow up and grow as a society that will change.

autumnpeaches
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

The most important thing that we need to do to better understand the experiences of Native American people is to listen. Simply listen. Listen when they tell us what America has done wrong. Listen when they tell us about their culture, their struggles, what we can do to help, and most importantly, listen when they tell us what’s offensive. Especially in today’s society where social media has become a big thing, Native people have tried talking about their culture on apps like Tiktok and Instagram, and there’s always a few people that shame them for it. Instead of pointing fingers at the natives for eating beluga when they’re endangered, how about we talk about the poachers who made them endangered in the first place. Native Americans lived on this lifestyle for hundreds of years, we can’t just ask them to stop because white men ruined it for everyone. Unless America actually listen and respect what Native Americans are saying, I don’t think we’ll ever fully confront that history. But I believe that small changes can happen once at a time.

For example, we should begin teaching kids at a young age that Christopher Columbus wasn’t the man who “discovered” America. I understand that it might be too complicated for 5-year olds to understand the complete history of genocide, but the least we could do is try to foster better representation for Indigenious people. This could also clear up any misconceptions and stereotypes about Native Americans that were taught to us in school. I remember in kindergarten when we learned about the Pilgrims having a nice little feast with the natives, and then in 3rd grade, we read our first book on Thanksgiving from a native’s point of view. Everyone disliked that book, talking about how it’s “wrong” and “bitter”, and “the native person was just paranoid”. We were in third grade. Merely 9-year olds. Yet that mindset of Christopher Columbus being a great hero was so ingrained in our heads that we automatically disagreed with anything that went against that. That’s why I think that for “change” to happen, we first have to change our ways of educating kids on the history of Native Americans.

The U.S. needs to address the genocide of Native Americans by giving reparations to them. The land given to natives by Obama doesn’t even count for 1% of the land that white men have stolen from them. Not to mention, the living conditions on reservations are horrible. The schools discourage kids from trying their best and groceries are insanely expensive. There was an article on Buzzfeed talking about the prices of goods on reservations and it was $36 for a pack of bottled water. The fact that exploitation is STILL going on, even in native-reserved spaces, is crazy. Plus, it wasn’t just genocide that the United States has to apologize for, it was also the forced sterilization of native woman, forced assimilation of native children, and even currently now with the foster care system for natives (Lawrence). The amends that America needs to make right now are fixing the economy on reservations, because there’s no reason for prices to be that high compared to everywhere else, giving natives more land to live on, electing natives to be in positions of power, and let them speak on their history without trying to sweep everything under the rug.

To speak more about that idea of “sweeping everything under the rug”, one good example is the Wamsutta Frank James’s speech we read in class. The Pilgrim society didn’t let him say his speech because he spoke about the dark history of America. If we don’t even talk about the dark history of America, then how can we address it properly? To me, to be an ally of Native Americans means to try to change the system one step at a time. Some Native Americans don’t like being called “Native Americans”, much less “Indian”. We can respect those choices by simply calling them “Indigenious people”. Some don’t mind that we call them “Native Americans”, and we can respect that too. Deb Haaland, who is a U.S. Interior Secretary, even implemented procedures to remove native derogatory terms from geographic locations, and there were over 600 places with names that had derogatory terms in them. SIX HUNDRED. We need more representation like Deb Haaland, who is a Native American, in the government because they can advocate for the rights of fellow natives. They can improve the standing of Native Americans in the U.S. and get the formal apology that they deserve.

palmtreepuppy
Posts: 7

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

Moving forward in America we, as a country, must stop othering ourselves from Native Americans as if it is not their land that we are living on. Oftentimes the way that history and especially that of the earliest colonial times when kids are taught the mistruth that the Native Americans and the pilgrims sat down to have a big friendly dinner and that their relationship was a good one. In one of the passages I read “Recasting Views of Indigenous Life”, there was one quote that stood out to me more than the others: ““People are reluctant to use the word ‘genocide,’ ” says Kim TallBear, an associate professor of native studies at the University of Alberta. “But if you look at the UN definition of genocide, every single federal policy toward native people can come under that.”” The reason this stood out so much is because I feel like even when people in America recognize that what we did to the people living here was at the lowest level an atrocity. The only way to really confront our history is not by running from it but by making sure that the way we teach the information is correct and hears the voices of all sides, not just the oppressors side.


The only way by really addressing the stereotypes that this controntry has made and perpetuated is by combating. This includes taking away the hanis language that is used when talking about Native Americans. As stated in “Deb Haaland seeks to rid US of derogatory place names”, John Echohawk said ““Names that still use derogatory terms are an embarrassing legacy of this country’s colonialist and racist past,"”. The only way to stop this kind of hate is by confronting it head on and not running away from it.


Obviously apologizes should be in order for all of those who were victims of the genocide against Native Americans but truth be told, there is only so much sorry can do. Sorry can't change the fact that we are all living on stolen land. Sorry can't change the fact that a whole group's history and people were wiped out for being who they are. There isn't a real good answer to this question but there is one thing for certain, sorry isn't going to cut it. For starters it might be beneficial to give back all of the land that can be given back (land that hasn't been majorly developed on yet), start to recognize the tribes and the least that we can do is stop using Indigenous phrases, pictures and names in places they don't belong, sports for example.


Speaking from a non-Native American standpoint, something that I will try to do better at is educating myself on the people, the land, the culture and the impacts of history on it. I think in this situation the best thing to really do is just stay informed and not be part of the problem but to be part of the solution. Some actions that we can take is to take out the offensive and demeaning language that is hurtful to Native Americans but replace it with what they say is both correct and appropriate. In addition we can start teaching children and adults alike the truth about Native American history.


Babybackribs
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10
  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?

For hundreds of years, Native Americans have been suppressed and misrepresented by American culture, and no matter your political stance you can admit that this is unfair to them and we as a society need to do a better job of understanding the trials and tribulations that they have had to endure since the colonists first landed. Denial in this situation is not the answer and in order for us to better understand the "Native American Experience" we need to do a better job of incorporating their history into the education system. It starts from the bottom of our societal structure, and if we can properly educate kids on the "true history" of our country, then we can gradually get rid of misconceptions that Americans have towards native culture. Fully confronting this history is no easy feat, however if we can gradually get rid of the false history that people have been accustomed to hearing about, we can more easily dive right into the very gruesome relationship between the Native peoples and Americans. A gruesome relationship that might I add may be the longest standing feud in world history.


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

The only way we can address these stereotypes is by denying the validity to what is being said. This however can get very complicated as much of the history that has been written, was developed and created by very powerful Americans and that has sadly created a bias that no human can deny. Similar to the question before, it starts with my generation and the generation that is currently going through their K-12 educational career. If students can be properly educated on what is wrong with the stereotypes that are riddled through our society, especially about Native Americans, then they can begin to spread it throughout their friend groups. Speaking from a student perspective, I am well aware of much I am influenced by what my friends say versus what my caretakers say


  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 a little bit cliche at this point, we need to address this issue head-on as the mass killing of Natives is something that connects so deeply with them that It fir the most part I assume, is unbearable. I do believe that the only thing we as a society need to do, is recognize the atrocities that did occur and provide support systems for those who felt effected by what happened to their ancestors. In the same breath, I would be lying to you if I told you that our society as a whole, would not commit those same treasonous acts today. Sadly it is unfeasible to grant back all the land to them as we as a country our too economically dependent on the real estate that we have.

  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

A few things that I think we could do to integrate them into our society without completely altering their culture, can be through

1. Allow them to feel comfortable to be who they are (ie: clothes language, culture)

2. Providing equal access and opportunity to the same benefits that all Americans get (rich or poor)

3. Learning about their culture history could really allow for bonds and relatability to develop between us and them

4. Destroying the stigma of "US" vs "THEM"

bigbear
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

The Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

Native Americans are constantly faced with problems resurfacing from the past, and even today people are constantly being taught false information about what happened to the Indians in order to make themselves look better. We need to do a lot moving forward in order to better understand the Native Americans in this country, and one of those ways is just listening to the stories of their ancestors about the real history, and also about the life that they have experienced here in America. In order to fully understand the Native Americans, we have to be accepting of any changes that we may have to make in order to correct the false information being taught, for example, discontinuing the Plymouth Parade. We can address the stereotypes in many ways, but the first could be to start teaching the real stories of what happened to Native Americans at Thanksgiving, instead of the current history we know of that was told years after the real thing even happened. We have to teach the younger kids, even though it may be a little gruesome, the real truth about the Indians, instead of lying to them about how America is perfect in every way, and that there have never been any issues that have occurred here. There are not many ways that Americans can atone for what they did in the past, nor is there any way that we can reverse the damage that we have done to the Native American population. Even if we apologize it won't bring them back, however, we can make amends by honoring the dead, and accepting that what America did was wrong by holding memorials for the Native Americans, and teaching the people the true story. There are many ways in which non-indigenous people can become allies of Native Americans, and one of those ways is to teach them the truth, but also to take part in spreading the awareness because even though the children may be educated of this in the future, there are still adults who may not know the real truth so if they is taught then the bond between the two will become stronger in time. Some concrete actions we can take are to participate in demonstrations to change the structure of schools, as well as children's stories being. I'm not saying that we should change the stories into the truth because it would be a little to gruesome for the younger kids, but to gradually get rid of those books from the schools, and kindergarten because they teach kids false information.

green64
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 8

Firstly we need to teach it throughout the country because outside of a select few schools there is no requirement nor suggestion to teaching it. The fact that most of us were never taught about the American genocide is one of the biggest failures of our education system. We have a very pro-American schooling system which is definitely something that is needed for a successful country but when it starts to get too extreme we begin to be okay with things such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Americas have to try to put themselves in the shoes of natives who have gotten their land and dignity stripped while still trying to bargain and make peace. The horrible things such as the fertilization of thousands of natives in the 1960 and 70s which is something that I had never heard of or considered a possibility in this country until now need to be put in textbooks and taught to kids in doing that people will be forced to no longer ignore it.


I feel the main stereotype is that Natives are savages. But what I view most as twistory is not ever seeing things in the news about natives or even on social media. They are a very underrepresented group in my eyes. I don't think I ever once heard my parent talk about anything related to Natives and I consider myself and my parents well-versed in news/politics.

Again I think it all has to do with the schooling and what we teach our kids. We learn about slavery, Japanese internment camps, and the Chinese exclusion act yet somehow a whole genocide got swept under the rug. It is very difficult to make amends after killing millions but a start would be a land return and an official apology from POTUS. Another thing is to put better programs into the reserves instead of leaving the massively underfunded and giving young kids a path to succeed in life. A lot of these communities live through their kids. the more success and Opportunities they are given the more the communities will be lifted up to repair damages.

Help support movements that are trying to bring light to Native struggles and successes. Become more well-versed in the topic and get out to the polls to vote on pro-Native laws. Along with that try to raise awarness in school and talk to your local politican.


Steely Gibbs
Posts: 10

Effect of Settler Colonialism on Native Peoples

Something we need to do moving forward is to put more emphasis on Native American history and not keep it as something that is "easily swept aside". To fully confront the history, people have to stop trying to erase it in the first place. Giving more representation to Native Americans through our textbooks and media would help start a conversation at the very minimum. Currently, people aren't even aware of them. If they do, it's very surface level information. I think that we can further confront the history by starting conversations about it and not further enabling things that stem from stereotypes.

We can address the stereotypes, misperceptions, and the "twistory" by challenging them and educating people. By further educating, kids in school will know more and bring it home to their family. Claudio Vaunt, author of "The invasion of America", suggests making it mandatory to learn about this history, instead of having it be glossed over. By making it mandatory, there won't be as many misinformed as there once was. This would start conversations that could have a positive effect in minimizing the stereotypes. Another way would be talking to Natives and learning it from them first hand.

I think that we address the fact that there was a genocide against the Natives by acknowledging it first. Apologies would have to be made at high levels like representatives of states or the country as a whole. Amends we could make could be altering the 'Doctrine of Discovery', which was adopted by the US Supreme Court as well as reinstating treaties that were severed by the US.

Non-indigenous people can become allies by listening to stories and becoming part of a support system for Native Americans. Madeline Sayat talked about how people "benefit from hearing more kinds of stories". She follows up this statement by stating: "More kinds of stories mean we have more potential. We have greater comprehension for what might be possible, for empathy building and learning and recognizing there are many paths." This sentiment comes from "Native Americans are recasting views of indigenous life" reported by Tristan Ahtone. Concrete actions we can take to move forward could be participating in movements such as the National Day of Mourning as discussed in our classwork that was paired with the Wamsutta Frank James censored speech.

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