Walter R. Echo-Hawk Thesis

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Secondary Source Analysis In order to create his ideal Native American standing within the American Government, which includes the non-indigenous portion of the world acknowledging and understanding Native American issues with the United States and Internationally, Walter R. Echo-Hawk, in his A Context for Understanding Native American Issues, delves into the United State’s past Indian affairs as well as his goals for achieving this ideal. It is important to consider the author’s attitude towards the topic, his desired audience and the devices he used when analyzing the strength of his arguments. Echo-Hawk brings up the point, during the beginning of chapter two, that the general public is unaware of much of the happenings between the United…show more content…
He starts with how Europeans rose to power all over the world. He brings up that places such as Africa, Australia, Oceania, India, and Asia, on top of the Americas, were subjected to European rule where the native populations significantly decreased over the upcoming years. This relates to his thesis because he is using a pathos approach to appeal to his audience. For example he writes, “the overarching question for Native peoples in the twenty-first century is: will we survive?” (15). Explaining that a group of “ about 350 million people” (14) are worried for their lives surely is enough to invoke sympathy within the reader. He also includes a quote from Robert Clinton, which reads, “the involuntary exploitation of our annexation… or the involuntary expansion” (14). By including this quote, Echo-Hawk catches the reader’s eye because the idea “involuntary exploitation” on behalf of the European settlers is an absurd idea because expansion was obviously voluntary, which leads the reader to sympathize with the Natives rather than a group that lies in a way to justify its actions. He also uses the pathos appeal when he talks about “white man’s burden” (16) and when he describes how Spaniards were doing their noble duty of colonizing, but spoke Spanish while telling the Natives that they were…show more content…
Echo-Hawk wrote a pretty strong argument in favor of educating non-indigenous peoples today and explaining why colonialism in current American legislation is hindering Native American life in the United States. His sources back up his multiple arguments, leaving the reader with an enhanced understanding. What confused me was how he seemed to very strongly want reform in American policies concerning Native Americans, yet he believed that if the United States adopted the United Nation’s minimum standards for the treatment of Indigenous peoples, that it would Native Americans lives so much better. Maybe I don’t know enough about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but expressing only wanting the “minimum” amount of consideration seems a bit counterintuitive after describing all the horrors indigenous people have been through and all the struggles they have faced with the current
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