Document Based Question Essay: What was the Most Damaging to the Native American Nations? By: Yara Al-Rayyan We have all learned about Native Americans in some form or another. From the first Thanksgiving to Columbus's voyage to the new world. But, it truly seemed from that point on, that Native Americans somehow disappear from our history classes. That's more than 300 years of history that just vanished and cease to exist from that point on. Recently I have learned about some of the numerous events that happened in those 300 years. Over time, Native Americans were forced to flee or cede the land that they have hunted, gathered, and lived on for countless years. Through treaties, acts, and battles, they found themselves on reservations …show more content…
Children would be taken away from their parents and forced into these boarding schools where they were harshly punished, constantly malnourished, and remained poorly educated. In these two pictures we see Chiricahua Apaches. The first picture of when they had first arrived at the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School and the next was taken 4 months after that. The boys were seen with their hair now cut sort and all in western style of clothing. These boarding schools were clearly very much damaging to Native Americans and their intent was to, as Richard Pratt from the Carlisle Indian School, “Kill the Indian. Save the child”. Some of these boarding schools were privately owned and operated but school such as Carlisle were paid for by the federal government and under federal authority. These schools had some of the worst conditions imaginable and had the soul purpose of deculturalize all of these children. The next document further goes to prove how the federal government is to blame. The under supplying of reservations was harmful to Native Americans living there because it did little to stop epidemics and periods of starvation. In the photograph we see the extent of the lines on ration day on the pine ridge reservation in 1891. The line extend to dozens …show more content…
I can see why someone may say that. The federal government went to all this trouble to get Native Americans onto these specific pieces of land where they wanted Native Americans had to live. Lives were lost in the process and the US kept at it until it happened. But, if this were true then why id it that the reservations didn't quite work. Why is it that today 26% of Native Americans live at the poverty level. Also, that there is a 60% higher infant death rates among Native Americans as opposed to Caucasians. The list goes on and on. It is true that the efforts that were put into trying to get Native Americans onto reservations were damaging, but the federal government could have done much more to help out later. Their under supplying of reservations and all of the un kept promises didn't help Native Americans into becoming truly independent and sovereign nations. There was a lot that could have been done so that Native American Culture was still preserved and Native Americans could still be independent as they used to be. Although what it took to get Native Americans onto reservations was damaging, the battle literally did not stop then and what hasn't been done still has its lasting
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He writes, “The idea of the boarding schools was to forcibly break the family bonds that, in the opinion of many, kept Indians from becoming civilized and part of the American public” (RRACCCTW page 658). The children were stripped of their language, customs, and culture. Their hair was cut and their names were changed. Essentially, they were stripped of their identities. This is a clear example of one-way assimilation, which is when certain ethnic groups are forced to give up their culture and customs in order to fit in with society.
In 1918 the Carlisle Indian Industrial School shut its doors permanently. What remains of this experiment started by Richard Henry Pratt are not just buildings, but ghosts and scars that refuse to be forgotten. The structures that once constituted this exploratory school now stand where the Carlisle Army Barracks are situated today, and while it may seem as if the only observable aspects to remind us of the past are tombstones and markers, the stories still swirl in this town that became flooded with the desire to assimilate Native Americans. Pratt believed Indians possessed the ability to become a complimentary asset to American society if they received the proper education. He insisted that it was necessary to remove the Indians from the confines of the reservation in order to separate them from their culture and traditions, and transplant them to a setting that encouraged the Native Americans to learn the English language, to work for a living, as well as become useful members of society.
The creation of the boarding schools at the start of the 20th century was used to “Civilize and Americanize” Native children so that they could function in American society. (Little Elk) They wanted to culturally transform the Lakota children and make them civilized to American customs. The education they received in boarding schools was also encouraged cultural assimilation, where the Lakota children did not speak their native tongue but English. The Lakota children were only trained to function in specific fields.
The purpose of the boarding schools were to strip the Indians of their culture, to punish them until they believed and practiced English ways. Boarding schools were made to isolate the children and break the patterns of their backgrounds. The adolescents at were treated horribly at the school, their hair had been cut, they had been abused for speaking the only language they knew and they were locked in closets for crying. The children of the boarding schools were neglected, they returned with the language of the English and some knowledge of christianity but they did not return with the basic skills to work in the white society. The children could no longer relate to their families and the impact was huge negativity.
“At the schools the students were stripped of their culture as if it were clothing.” This statement from a paper written by Sarah E Stone explains the poor treatment of the Indians in the boarding schools. This paper also perfectly states not only the treatment of the Indian children but, also the great lengths taken to change them. It seems like such a simple task for the enforcers yet an awful act in general. American Indian children and the wolf girls at St. Lucy’s were forced to assimilate into the civilized culture of the white man through many approaches and techniques that in the end ultimately reached the goal of the enforcers, which ended with benefits to society but not to the Indian children or the girls.
Furthermore, the promised reserves were often located in remote and unpleasant areas, far from any sources of water or food. In addition, the promised rights of education, health care, and other services were often not provided, or were provided at a much lower level than promised. “From Confederation to the present day, Indigenous people still fight for the treaties to be honored and have always maintained that the land was never surrendered. The government continues to fight Indigenous communities who claim title to lands that were never surrendered through treaty-making.” This quote by Chief Perry Bellegarde demonstrates how the indigenous people have been targeted for defending their lands and how they continue to fight throughout this struggle.
Native American Circle One of the most controversial parts of American history is the treatment of Native Americans during the colonization of America. Native Americans were enslaved, abused and killed without justification and these horrendous events destroyed part of Native American culture. Breaking the Native American cultural circle, even as early attempts to repair were unsuccessful furthermore breaking the circle, Native American culture is still alive today and slowly but surely the circle is being repaired. Although it realistically will never be fully repaired working to improve it helps not only Native Americans but others learn from the past.
However, boarding schools specifically targeted the younger generation creating a more impactful lasting effect. As talked about in lecture, these children were taken from their homes and forced to completely disassociate themselves from tribal life. At these boarding schools, children were taught in and forced to speak English, which led them to forget their own language. Once done with school, if the children decided to go back home, they would often times not be able to communicate with their parents and grandparents because many Native Americans living on reservations didn’t know English. This ruined relationships and the transferring of culture through generations as children had no way of communicating and were never home to learn from their peers and environment about culture.
Our nation’s history is very much entwined with the American Indian. When Europeans first came to the Americas, the Indian population was quite large. For a time, Americans and Indians coexisted but as more and more white people came, the Indians were pushed farther westward. The early Americans wanted more land and the Indians were to them, simply in the way. Relations between the Americans and Indians at the time of the Revolutionary war are indecisive.
There were many reasons for children to enter into the boarding schools. In some cases children were rounded up and transported to the schools without permission from their parents, some parents chose to send their children because of the lack of resources they had to care for the children, and still others thought that the education would be beneficial in the ever changing society. The reasons for sending the children were diverse. Towards the end of what is now called “The Indian Boarding school era” it was estimated that by 1931, two-thirds of Native Americans have attended a boarding school (Warne, & Lajimodiere, 2015).
Native American Indians have been portrayed in the media, movies and stories very negatively. The media, in today’s society barely recognizes Native Americans. It is like they disappeared. They are perceived as people of the past. When they are featured on a news channel, it is usually due to protests subjected around their territory.
These were schools that Native American children were sent to by Americans. The reason for doing this was that they thought that if the Native American students where sent to these schools they could essentially “fix” them. When I say fix I mean what the American people thought as turning them against their own beliefs and ways of life. Stripping these children of their culture and true self-beings.
The indigenous people of America had a significant aspect of the diverse culture, and America’s history. The Native American are the native people of America who are usually live in tribes. There are several types of tribes such as Algonquian, Iroquois, Powhatan, Seneca, Mohawk, Tuskegee, Delaware, Cheyanne, Wampanoag, Oneida, etc. The Native American tribe Powhatan, Algonquian, and Iroquois were both tribe that were very well known in America. They are famous tribes that both are very different in many ways.
America has been very unkind to the Native American. Throughout history, from Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492, who called the natives “Indios”, thus beginning the label of the Natives as “Indians”, to the 19th Century, a time of enormous hubris, greed, prejudice, Indians suffered enormous violence. From the foundation of the Manifest Destiny in 1845 giving white men all the privilege, while the Native’s saw their culture, and homes ripped away from them. Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” brilliantly captures the actual truth of the plight of the Native Americans from 1860 to 1890. Dee Brown’s reason for writing “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” was to tell the truth of the Native Americans.
Current American society is constantly affected by events from the past, but sometimes what society thinks is in the past is not so far behind. It is heavily seen in articles, poems, movies, novels, and more that the way Native Americans were treated historically continually plays a part in current American society. Due to the racism and stereotypes carried throughout American society the Native American cultural circle is constantly under fire, and will never truly be repaired. Everything has the ability to become broken, to form cracks and chips, but in the case of the Native American cultural circle, it was shattered. A whole people was decimated and still trying to recover from events that occurred years in the past.