For instance, to me the visual image that I imagine of Native Americans is that they have long black hair; dark skin, masculine bodies, and they’re wearing handmade clothes that are decorated with beads. As I was watching James Luna’s video of “take a picture with a real Indian”, it was interesting the way everyone was acting by seeing the same person in different appearance. And I got shocked how people were thinking a Native American should look like. However, stereotypes are propagated in the mass media. Obviously, I didn’t just think that’s the way Native Americans should look like, the idea came from the day when I was a kid and I started to watch Pocahontas Disney cartoon.
The Americans used fear to try to “civilise” the Indians because if they were going to be near the American society they had to blend in. Plus their religion was made illegal, so not long after people lost touch with their native roots and converted to Christianity. Another example would be their loss of independence. When the first treaty was made, both the Indians and Americans were considered equals and Native American Indians were seen as a sovereign nation. This only lasted till people in the Congress gained plenary power and abolished all the political systems of the Indians (“Native American Rights”).
Native Americans’ social structure was very different from the way Anglo-American’s believed was the correct way for men and women to live. This created a major conflict as the Anglo’s begin to press on the Natives’ land. Anglo-American’s believed that the best thing for the Natives’ was to be assimilated and transformed into their way of life. The Anglo’s intervened into the Natives’ life with a Civilization Program, removal and reservations, and boarding schools. The ramifications had lasting negative effects on the Natives’ gender roles.
While still in the United States, Native American tribes are considered sovereign countries. Tribes have their own system that tends to the needs on the reservation. This includes their own government structures, passing laws and ensuring they are enforced. When Native Americans were forced onto reservations, agreements were made between tribal leaders and government officials to ensure that Native Americans would be able to govern their own people, enabling each tribe to protect their distinctive cultural practices and identities. Yet with this distinct divide, many Native Americans do not get the same treatments and benefits that many others get in the dominant society.
Native Americans; Then and Now In the Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a young boy named Junior faces many struggles in life as a result of his Native American background. Before America was actually known as America, it was inhabited by the Native Americans. However, the Spaniards came to America and took control of their land. By understanding the information given in this novel, we can link it to the history of Native Americans and how modern day Native Americans’ lives are an outcome of previous colonization. By doing this, we can learn how Native American schooling is affected, alcoholism is common, and sports mascots have become offensive.
White Americans saw themselves as the advanced version of the the natives and the mistreatment of the natives of simply a part of America's development. The ideology was that it was only natural the more advanced society (Agricultural Americans) replace the uncivilized one (Hunter Natives), many citizens believing that “as civilization advanced westward, it must inevitably displace savagery” (Rogin, 101). The conquering of these natives whom had rightful claim to the land was also justified by the ideology of “parentism”, or the belief that the Native Americans needed to be protected by the superior American government. The Native Americans were seen as a childish society, naïve and in need of protection. President Andrew Jackson stating that it was “the moral duty of the Government of the United States to protect” what remained of the Native American population (Jackson, 109).
During the era of Western exploration in the U.S., a variety of myths arose concerning the vast, untouched territories of the West (untouched at least by white settlers), as well as myths about the Native Americans that inhabited them. A common myth that was advocated by many 19th century commentators about the Native Americans was that their communities would soon become extinct, unable to adapt to the rapidly changing world brought to them by the Americans; although there was some truth to this statement, the reality was that some Native Americans were able to persevere and endure the intrusion of Western settlers into their homelands, as well as preserve their Native American culture to some extent. The myth of the “vanishing Indian” is
American Indian culture, characteristics, and history have been utilized in all aspects of society, from names to logos to clothing. Although it originally was meant as a way of honoring American Indian heritage, Native American inspired ideas have turned into discrimination in the past four decades. A Crayola crayon received the name “Indian Red,” and although the name was revoked, the color is still in circulation as well as the memory of the insulting name. Moreover, searching for the right Halloween costume? Try looking for an “Indian” costume that stores have the audacity to sell—complete with a stereotypical headdress, worn traditionally by only the most respected Indians in a tribe, such as chiefs and warriors, and face/war paint.
As Friesen & Friesen (2002) put it: to teach a Native to hunt you take him hunting, you do not explain it from a book and expect them to learn. Natives also learn from legends and stories often told by the elders and medicine men. Legends are a necessity in the indigenous culture and can be spiritual, moral, entertaining as well as teaching. The European educators had an authoritarian style and were new to Canada thus were not aware of the native ways or their culture. When the government was supposedly helping the Indians they were actually hindering them by ignoring their native ideals and instilling European ones instead.
Native Americans had created pottery for mostly burial offering with their own design. However, Spanish missionary had, “encouraged potters to replace Native designs-which might involve association with animal spirits and other sources of power-with Christian designs such as flowers, Maltese crosses, and eight-point stars.” This shows that they did not want any of their beliefs on the Spanish pots because they wanted the native Americans to follow theirs. Besides their tools affecting them, the food can cause a negative effect to Native Americans. It is acceptable to trade food for trying out a new dish or ingredient ,but “mission indians” were eating about three times a day with a “diet very high in carbohydrate…., high-quality proteins, vitamins A and C, and riboflavin.” Native American’s diet is basicly wheat, corn, beans, vegetable, and fruit. Which is why the they had poor condition and that mostly women and children were “more susceptible to disease.” Overall, Europeans’ trading system had made Native Americans to lose their identity in order to be depended on them by adapted their homes, losing their traditional pottery designs, and changing their