Friday, September 6, 2019

Racial Diversity of Native Americans Essay Example for Free

Racial Diversity of Native Americans Essay Native Americans were settled in the country before anyone else. But they ended up being the most â€Å"abused† out of any race that ever settled in the country. Native Americans had to fight for land that was originally theirs and sometimes fight just to stay alive. The fight was usually the same too. If it wasn’t against settlers, it was against the government. In some areas, it’s still happening today. Now it’s just with land developers. What has been forgotten is the rich culture that Native Americans possess. There are states that have many towns whose names are originated from Native American names. But they only serve as a small reminder of who used to reside on that land, centuries ago. These people are now residing on reservations that they were forced to move to and some still reside there today. There are small tribes scattered all over the United States, but the larger ones are as such. The Apache Nation still resides in the Southern Plains, Southwest and Southeast of the United States. Cherokee are located in East Tennessee and North Carolina. Cheyenne are in the Plains, along with the Sioux. Chinook reside along the Northwest Pacific Coast. The Iroquois are located in the Northeast of the United States, while Mohawk are primarily in New York. The Navajo Nation is located in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Except for a few Native Americans that made it into the history books like Pocahontas (1595-1617); Geronimo (1829-1909); Squanto (1581-1622) and Cochise (1815-1874), the history of the Native American is not one to be proud of. Some of the incidents that they had to endure are: Iroquois, the â€Å"Northeast† Native Americans welcomed some of the first European immigrants in the early 1600’s. They taught the immigrants how to survive in the new world. In return their land was taken or purchased for next to nothing and in the end they were pushed out. Currently, Native Americans living in Virginia are not recognized as Native American because of Walter Ashby Plecker. He was a White Supremacist and the first registrar of the state Bureau of Vital Statistics. He believed the Native Americans had been crossbred with the African American population. So a law was passed in 1912 by the state’s. General Assembly, which stated only two races would be recognized, ‘white’ and ‘colored’. Plecker had so much power that he was able to pressure the local government into reclassifying the Virginia Native Americans as ‘colored’. All of the records of the race were then destroyed. Ironically enough, as a â€Å"Thank you† to the Native Americans, the Indian Citizen Act of 1924 was put in place. The law gave official citizenship to Native Americans across the country. It was done because of the heroic service of many Native Americans during World War I. Native Americans are one the most culture filled races in the world. From totem poles, to peace pipes to even currently dream catchers, all of these things had special meanings and purposes to the Native American people. The Europeans probably appreciated these things initially, but over time they tried to make them all disappear. The more time the Europeans spent with the Native Americans, the more they didn’t like their customs. So eventually the Europeans tried to force their culture on the Native Americans via ‘deculturalization’. Over time, the Native Americans were forbidden to speak their language, practice their religion and cultures. The Europeans even forced the English language on the Native Americans. They were punished or even jailed when they attempted to ignore these new rules that were placed upon them. Native American children were removed from their families and sent to boarding schools, so they were ‘Americanized’. These children were forced to change their hair and wear clothing that felt wrong to them. The process demoralized the Native Americans and broke their spirit. As if the practice of ‘deculturalization’ wasn’t enough, as if these people slowly losing their property to the settlers was not enough, the government took another step in constraining the Natives. President Andrew Jackson decided that the Natives weren’t being pushed out fast or far enough so on May 28, 1830, the Indian Removal Act became a law. The purpose was to make the Natives leave their land all together and move to the area of the country commissioned as ‘Indian Territory’. Initially, it was to be a peaceful, legal trade of property. Trade the property in the Southeast United States for the property in the ‘Indian Territory’. The Natives that did not comply were eventually forced out all together. The Cherokee Nation specifically moved west crossing the Mississippi River from the Southeast. This trek became known as Trail of Tears because approximately 4,000 Cherokee died from starvation, exposure, and illnesses. One of the last battles between the government and the Natives happened in 1890. Disdain towards the ‘white man’ started the sparks flying in South Dakota and it turned into a power struggle over firearms. When the bullets stopped flying, it ended up being one of the worst massacres on record. On December 29, 1890, warriors, women, and children were ferociously slaughtered by the U. S. Cavalry at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Because the American government’s forces were so much stronger than the Natives, there was really nothing they could do to stop anything the government did. Many tried to appeal to the courts, but the cases were always lost. So the Native Americans did what they could to start over again on the reservations and made it a point to never trust the ‘white man’ again for anything. The United States government decided to resolve issues with Native Americans. One of the first things done was the Indian Reorganization Act, put into law on June 18, 1934. The purpose was to decrease the federal control of Indian affairs and increase Indian self-government and responsibilities. The act encouraged written charters and constitutions giving the Natives the power to handle their own affairs. Also funds were made available for revolving credit programs for the Native Americans for all that were interested in purchasing tribal land, for education and to assist in organizing the tribes. Many tribes and villages accepted the act and moved forward with plans to make improvements for themselves, as well as the tribe. Many improved their economic position, while others did purchase land to expand the acre size of the reservations. Improvements were also made within the health and educational services on the reservations and children were able to go to public schools. Currently there are over 500 recognized tribal governments in the United States. There are currently more than 5 million Native Americans alive today, according to the 2010 census bureau. They are self-governed and considered to be independent people. They are also one of the most resilient people in this country’s history. Even though life on the reservations is still difficult to this day, due to unemployment and high rates of alcoholism, Native Americans have a true spirit of survival. Despite how they were treated when the Europeans got settled, Native Americans always believed that the spirits would always watch over them and bring them over the mountain of despair. And it did. REFERENCES All About History (2002-2013) Native American History. Retrieved by http://www. allabouthistory. org/native-american-history. htm American Indian Heritage Foundation. (2012) Native American Culture. Retrieved by http://www. indians. org/articles/native-american-culture. html Census Bureau. (2012). The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010. Retrieved by http://www.census. gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-10. pdf Creations, N. (2013) Native History, Native Experiences- Native Voices of First Nations People. Retrieved by http://firstpeoplesvoices. com/beginning. htm Encyclopedia Britannica. (2013). Indian Reorganization Act. Retrieved by http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/285946/Indian-Reorganization-Act PBS. (1995). Trail of Tears. Retrieved from http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567. html The Wild West (2012). War Between the Settlers and The Native American Indians. Retrieved by http://www. the-wild-west. co. uk/war-settlers. htm.

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