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Before Christopher Columbus and his fleet of ships set foot on American soil in the Bahamas, it is thought that they were the first to settle the continent. 12,000 years ago, the nomadic ancestors of today's Native Americans did trek across a huge land bridge from the Asian peninsula to Alaska. Ten million of those people were already living in the area that we now refer to as the United States of America when scholars estimate that over fifty million people were already residing in the region by the time European explorers arrived in America during the 15th century. Over time, those migrants and their families relocated to the South and the East (History.com Staff).
Native Americans did hike over a massive land bridge 12,000 years ago from the continent of Asia to Alaska. Scholars estimate that by the time the European travelers arrived in America during the 15th Century, over fifty million people were already staying in the country where ten million of those people were already staying in the location, which we call today as the United States of America. As years went by, those migrants and their families moved South and East (History.com Staff).
Native Americans continue to suffer low economic growth as opposed to other citizens of Americans due to the massive poverty levels and high unemployment rate among them. Currently, they make up about 1% of America's labor force even though they have a population of 5.2 million in the country. According to the census in 2013, around 49% in the United States identify themselves as Alaska Natives and Native Americans only while 51% are combined with other races. They comprise of 2% of the America's population. The U.S. national data points out that 1 in every four native individuals dwell in poverty whereby their labor participation rate is 61.6%, which is the lowest in all the races and ethnic groups in America (Peralta, 2014). Algernon Austin, the former director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE), explains that the main reason for the weak economic growth in the natives is due to racial discrimination and lower levels of education among them. Poor education leads to low employment rates thus poverty in their households (Peralta, 2014).
Most of the natives suffer from diseases, and their youths are at higher risks of committing suicides than other races in the country. However, they advantage over the other ethnicities due to the unique legal status they have in America with the Government whereby the federal agency (the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs) oversees their health. They receive free medical care from the Wisconsin Relief and Indian Health Services.
Past and Present Social Life
In traditional Native American societies, the social structure played a vital role in their daily activities. Even though they were not written down as a set of rules, the society was supposed to follow a set of social norms, which they were expected to abide by them in their daily lives.
Tribes and Clans. Tribes were the highest level of the Native Americans. They were huge groups of individuals who shared the same culture, language, and geography. In tribes, there were small sub-units referred to as clans. Members of a clan shared the same ancestor; thus, being considered as related to each other. Each clan was known for its spirit or symbol, which gave them their name. The majority of the clan names were mostly animals while some other forms of nature.
Leaders and Chiefs. Tribes and clans leaders were known as chiefs. They were elected by the people. They did not possess all the powers; however, they were much respected for their positions thus offered advice to the clan. Tribes had both civil and war leaders whereby the local leaders took the role of guiding the tribe at times of peace while war leaders guided them at times of war.
Rules and Punishments. Different tribes had various forms of punishments though they did not regard physical. Individual who committed crimes against the tribe were typically rebuked in front of the whole tribe thus being embarrassed. In cases beyond being pardoned even after being ashamed, the criminals were expelled from the villages. Regarding material value, they did not put a lot focus on them since they had little in forms of ownership and possession. Individuals did not have vast lands or many cattle’s or horses but what they did value most is their honor, respect, and status in the community.
They were governed by the Tribal government which is one of the oldest forms of governance in existence in the Western hemisphere (National Congress of American Indians). They were based on principles of freedom, equality, democracy, and respect. Founders of America saw tribal governments as honorable and something to be admired. The U.S. Constitution is modeled after the native Indian’s Constitution referred to as “The Great Law of Peace.” At some point in the sessions of the tribal council, it was noticed how civilized the Indians conducted their affairs. In 1831, the Supreme Court granted Indian nations in Georgia v. Cherokee Nation the full legal rights to manage their issues whereby they would govern themselves without any interference from the U.S government thus engaging in political and legal affairs with the federal government and its subdivisions (JUSTIA US Supreme Court). Up to now, the tribal government still exists thus contributes to well-being of the natives of Indian origin. They also work to encourage and preserve the culture of their people and to give support to higher education.
Native American religion dwells on nature ("Native American Religion", 2017). The plants, animals, other environmental elements, and landscape play a significant role in the native’s religion. Most legends of the natives’ mighty events are usually explained through nature. The natives’ religion involves some ceremonies, practices, and traditions that were done in the name of special events. The standards and beliefs of the practice of consuming hallucinogens were used to make a person gain an excellent communication with one's gods. Symbolism with animals is also a normal part of the natives’ religion. The selected animals were used to represent some characteristics, ideas, and spirits. Some people also used them to tell stories of how the gods created them. For instance, the Raven was behind the Tlingit Indians.
In the past, their beliefs were not clearly understood thus not defining their religion due to not having written guidelines ("Native American Religion", 2017). Medicine men and Shaman were used in placed of clergymen and priests. They enjoyed a high status and privileges in the community since most of them were wise. They participated in roles like decision-making and ceremonies.
The representation of the Native Americans in our current popular culture has comprised the traditional culture of native’s through many imaginations of them being savages living with nature in harmony. The popular culture has at some point depicted them as bad guys who are uncivilized in the Western genre in their pieces of art. Typically, the majority of people have different perspectives regarding the Native Americans, which at some point are not always true. Yes, it is correct that the male Native Americans are fierce warriors when protecting their communities but they can be calm, humble, and be caring too. For example, Johnny Depp portrayal to be a warrior in his role in the movie “The Lone Ranger” failed to impress the natives who referred to the film as a racist type of art, thus affecting its rating and box office performance, which was dismal (Staff, 2013).
The Native Americans education is funded and overlooked by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). It is an agency that is within the United States Department of the Interior, and it directly supervises 126 schools that are tribally controlled and operates 57 institutions for the Native students. They provide education to less than 10 percent Native American students and Alaska Native learners in America (Klein, 2014). However, the students in those schools tend to provide poor performance as compare to native students in regular public schools. The most worrying thing is that even the native learners in regular public schools together with their counterparts in BIE schools are still ranked as one of the lowest performing students in the entire country. They also have lowest graduation rates entirely since most of them abuse drugs, girls getting pregnant in school while some dropping out. The reason why there is poor education among the native students is that they have less access to high school high-level courses. Most of them also are not good in reading or in mathematics computations by eighth grade. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, most eighth grade native learners do possess only the core competencies both in math and in reading. They have also hardly improved on their reading portion regarding the NAEP test over the past ten years (Klein, 2014). Due to less education, most of the native’s youths tend to suffer from unemployment. Also, even if they are qualified, their probability of getting the same job as their white colleagues is 31 percent because of racial discrimination.
Native Americans history of the past has helped in shaping the roles, structures, and meaning of family today. The natives define family as members who consist of fictive and non-fictive kin, extended family, the whole nation of Native Americans today, and the tribal community. Their perspective of the family does not depend on whether one is blood-related or not. Thus, a person is without a family as long as kinship network exists. In their structural role, their women are given roles of domestic tasks, childbearing, and taking care of their families while men are supposed to defend their families in conflicts, acts medicine men, and also community leaders.
Nature Love in Religion
In religion, the native's love and belief in nature drive them to conserve and appreciate every nature. Thus, concerning air pollution caused by cars that have broken exhaust fume machines, a majority of the natives will be keen in advising and helping the clients with their cars to preserve nature.
Poor Education System
Due to the poor performance of the Native Americans both in BIE schools and regular public schools thus leading to poor graduation numbers, majority suffer in term of job employment due to poor attainment in education.
The Native’s social life regarding tangible value was meaningless. They only valued their honor, respect, and status; thus in their profession, practices like stealing of firms resources is never witnessed. Disrespecting other work colleagues is minimal too.
Due to the presence of their tribal government, which is always seen active and promotes principles of freedom, equality, democracy, and respect, most of them tend to respect properties of client and follow the work ethics to the latter.
Everyone as a Family Member
They believe everyone is part of their family no matter the blood differences. This perception makes them friendly and kind at work since they treat every client and work colleagues as family members.
Possible real-world situations, which would raise awareness to potential conflicts between cultures and promote tolerance in a training module that is relevant to the automotive shop profession include:
The inclusion of the Native American as one of the trainers during the training to make their native counterparts feel part of the motor vehicle workshop.
Acknowledging every participant's religion in the seminar, especially, during the training, instructors should know the facts of a different religion to avoid making some people uncomfortable.
Recommendations for the Training Module
Based on a brief assessment by my automotive shop trainers, we came up with the following recommendations:
To conduct a short learning needs assessment just before we start the training, to measure the participants’ level of understanding and awareness regarding the Native Americans challenges, and to avoid rush changes in the developed agenda.
To invite Native Americans individuals to present their situations since they are the ones who understand themselves properly.
To revise more so the power point presentations so as to make them more engaging by doing the text less heavy.
To have one or two trainers who are Native Americans.
To have systems that can help in following up the results of the training.
To retain a catalog of culturally-insensitive icebreakers thus including them in the training kit whereby trainers can use them for reference.
Describe the Objectives of the Workshop
The general progress aim of the seminar is the greater enjoyment of human rights by Native Americans through the help of the federal government of the U.S. and also other ethnicities in the country. Major instantaneous objectives include:
To achieve larger mainstreaming of Native Americans’ challenges into federal government’s work at national level.
To gain a wider understanding of different agency initiatives on the native’s issues.
To achieve a greater understanding, awareness, and achievement of appropriate policy guidance regarding the native’s issues, especially, the ones that are related to decisive engagements of Native American’s and recognition of their rights in processes of development too.
Practical Application for my Workplace
In my automotive shop business, I will highly recommend recruiting and hiring of ethnically and racially diverse staff members.
I will also recruit and hire ethnically and culturally diverse executives, board members, and managers.
I will also talk with Native Americans on my staff and ask them about the barriers they face at work. Examining my newsletter and looking out for stereotypes, exclusions, and negative portrayals will also be my task.
I will also form a committee and a permanent task force, which is dedicated to monitoring and establishing a plan to fight racism and promote inclusion in my workplace.
The purpose of the hearing: Requested by the C.EO of FILCO Automotive shop to provide a solution to the undermining of employees human rights and more so the Native Americans at the workplace and to be held at Hilton Hotel and attended by government officers, all workers, and stakeholders, to be held on 23-25 March 2017.
DAY 1 (THURSDAY, 23 MARCH)-CONTEXT
Opening and Introduction
2. Welcome address
3. Introduction of participants and facilitators
4. Ground Rule
Concept of Native Americans
5. Identification, to incorporate census
8. Conceptual framework 9. Native Americans 10. Comments and questions
Local Norms and Standards Session Objectives
• Basic ideologies and Overview
• Native Americans and their history
• Native Americans’ rights
• 1831 federal government deal with the native’s
Filco Automotive shop Processes and Mechanisms
• Expert Mechanism on the Rights of the Native Americans’
• Comments and questions
• Group Exercise
Day 1 Session Objectives
Summarizing the day’s session contents
Clarifying any concerns/questions
DAY 2 (FRIDAY, 24 MARCH)-CHALLENGES
Native Americans situation and perspective of their Architecture in the United States
Native Americans laws according to the tribal government and association with the United States federal government
• Main substantive issues
• Implications and Challenges
• Sharing of Agency interventions
• Exercises/Group work
Day 2 Session Objectives
Summarizing the day’s session contents
Clarifying any concerns/questions
DAY 3 (SATURDAY, 25 MARCH) - COMMITMENTS
Native Americans’ and Development Session Objectives
• To introduce major development issues • Education
• Participation and Discussion
• Challenges and Practice
• Comments and queries
• Group Exercise
Making the MDGs More Pertinent for the Native Americans
• Strategies and challenges
2 hours and 30 minutes
• Federal government help
• Programming Cycle
Subsequent Steps and Follow-up
• Native Americans Programme
• Presentation & Discussion
• Certificates Presentations
• Final remarks
Charts, Papers, and pens
Brief scenarios, for example:
Scenarios Regarding Government Officers
You are beginning to work as the new automotive shop in a new city. You will have to approach some of the government officers in the area- who will you reach out to for help? What exactly will you ask them? Will you carry along some paperwork with you?
What are the necessary things in life that you need to which the government can provide? How do you approach officers in the government to get those things?
Scenarios Regarding Journalists
Some of the automotive shop details including pictures are posted in the local newspaper without your permission. What will you do?
You are organizing a free car service to the entire regular customers and a discount off the standard rates to the new clients, how will you manage to get a good media coverage?
A local station reporter reaches out to you and asks for questions regarding an alleged scandals regarding one of the automotive shop employees and a client. How do you respond to his or her question?
Scenarios Regarding Politicians
You are organizing a free car service to the entire regular customers and a discount off the standard rates to the new clients, and you need an influential politician to attend to raise the profile of the event. How will you persuade the politicians to participate in the event?
A local gang in the area has been harassing you and some of the clients. Can the politicians assist you in dealing with them? And how?
The roads leading to the automotive shop is full of potholes and poor drainage system. What steps will you take so that the politicians can help you?
Scenarios Regarding Police
One corrupt officer has been harassing you for bribes? What will you do?
A local gang in the area has been harassing you and some clients. What will you do to get the officers help?
History.com Staff (2009) Native American Cultures. History.com Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/native-american-cultures
JUSTIA US Supreme Court. (n.d.) Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. 5 Pet. 1 1 (1831). Retrieved from https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/30/1/case.html
Klein, R. (2014). The Education System Is Failing Native American Students. Here's Proof. THE HUFFINGTON POST. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/18/native-american-education_n_5593253.html
National Congress of American Indians (n.d.) Tribal Nations & the United States: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://www.ncai.org/about-tribes
Native American Religion. (2017). Indians.org. Retrieved from http://www.indians.org/articles/native-american-religion.html
Peralta, K. (2014). Native Americans Left Behind in the Economic Recovery. U.S. News. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/11/27/native-americans-left-behind-in-the-economic-recovery
Staff, I. (2013). The Real Problem with a Lone Ranger Movie? It's the Racism, Stupid - Indian Country Media Network. Indian Country Media Network. Retrieved from https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/arts-entertainment/the-real-problem-with-a-lone-ranger-movie-its-the-racism-stupid/
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