Research Paper On Native American Experience

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Melanie Mata 11th Grade U.S. History Thandi G. 3/13/17 Topic: Native American Experiences Over Time Native Americans are an important part of the culture of the United States. While their people have inhabited the United States for thousands of years, today their numbers are dwindling. From Columbus's arrival to America up until modern day life, Native American tribes have been oppressed by white settlers. In the late 1800s, they fought a tough battle in pursuit of protecting their land. The Native Americans were pushed onto reservations, and they were forced to make treaties which the U.S. government. Federal government policies like the Homestead…show more content…
The Native American reservations were viewed as corrupt and unsanitary. Congress devised a solution to both the “Indian problem” and settlers' continued desire for land through the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887. The Dawes Act, which fit into the government ulterior goal of assimilating Native Americans into mainstream society, divided existing reservations into individual allotments of 40 to 160 acres of land. Native American male heads of household were assigned these allotments in trust. If they farmed their land successfully, they would gain complete ownership and U.S. citizenship after 25 years. Land that went unassigned was sold to white settlers. The government gained a lot of land with this act, which was used to their advantage. The land was used to build railroads, highways, or even telegraph lines. The Native Americans were forced to assimilate a more “modern lifestyle” since they were viewed as uncivilized. If they adopted the habits of a “civilized” life, they would be granted citizenship. Native Americans had their human rights taken away from them because they were viewed as “savages” and “un-American”. They had no rights as people and their land was being exploited for profit by the government. Native Americans were being treated unfairly and were severely oppressed due to the governmental policies…show more content…
To this day, Native American territory is being exploited by the government. As much as Native Americans fight, they are silenced and forced to comply. According to The New York Times article, “North Dakota Oil Pipeline Battle: Who’s Fighting and Why”, The Dakota Access pipeline is a $3.7 billion project that would carry 470,000 barrels of oil a day from the oil fields of western North Dakota to Illinois, where it would be linked with other pipelines. The pipeline will pump millions of dollars into local economies and create 8,000 to 12,000 construction jobs and is viewed an efficient transportation. The pipeline’s original path crossed the Missouri River, just north of Bismarck, a city that is 90% white. But when concerns were raised about an oil spill, the pipeline was rerouted south to go under Lake Oahe right next to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. This caused major upheaval and led to protests due to Native American inhabitants stating it was would contaminate drinking water and damage sacred burial grounds. The US Army Corps of Engineers suspended the project last year. However, Donald Trump signed an executive order to advance the construction of the pipeline. The order stated that the pipeline will “serve the national interest”. This is similar to the governmental policies in the past because the government is taking over Native American territory. Native American’s have been forced to give up land and

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