Native American Culture

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The author of the article what is it to be human begins with a comparison of the various myths that explain the existence of human being. In native America, worldview human being can be traced from a specific group with different characteristic and exist for a particular reason. Consequently, each group adapts to the place they find themselves. Human beings are viewed as social animals that exist as a herd with exception of the ability to communicate effectively with each other and greater memory capacity.

The Native America worldview of the existence of humanity as a group derives important social aspect of the society. The group eliminates the individuality approach and makes the people feel more obligated to the larger part of the society. Contrary, the western society view group as a threat to their individualism. The group is responsible to teach the children on how to become responsible and contribute to the overall good of the community. The child is given the freedom to explore the environment with minimal control and left to deal with the consequence of his decision. The western way of child upbringing involves parental control (Potts and Sloan 146-147).

According to (Witherspoon 3) the aim of anthropology involves different channels through which human being communicate. Language is a symbolic code through which Native America communicated. Similarly, the action and behavior of the human are done and interpreted I a specific way to convey the feeling of belief and thoughts of the person. Native America being social people utilized language to effectively communicate with each other.

The article represents native America as a social animal. This creates a communal system where each individual is tasked to work for the greater good of the society. This eliminates the individualistic approach that focuses on personal growth and development. On the contrary, western society is structured systems that guide them on how to act and constrain their action through written laws (Miller 1)

            The article depicts human as a social creature and needs to work in a group in order to foster a community development rather than individual development. I like the approach of the Native American on early childhood education. Children are left to interact with the environment and learn to take responsibility at an early stage of life.

On the other hand, Lopez article, the rediscovery of North America, the quest of power by the Spanish led to appropriation and incursion of the continent viewed as a source of wealth. The reflection of the ruthless approach in the acquisition of wealth should not define modern society. However, the author asserts that it is important to acknowledge the evil done with an aim of making people adapt to more eco-friendly environmental approach.

            The colonial enterprises imposed their ideas to the natives rather than proposing their views. This was a primitive way of doing things that resulted in the loss of cultural values, language and slavery in the quest for wealth. The wisdom to have courtesy could have been utilized to have the wealth America offered and acquire the local knowledge. Achievement of local knowledge could have reduced the greed to wealth and promoted harmony. In addition, local knowledge fosters intimacy and turn exploitation into residency. Spanish, for instance, aimed to exploit the wealth of North America and then leave for their home (Lopez 2-5)

            According (Vitousek et al 2) to health planetary ecosystem is at the risk of toxic chemical and decades of mining. The perpetrators are driven by the financial gain attributed to the activities. This standard way of thinking has led to environmental degradation to the earth that supports the living of habitats.

The author claims that in the new world the act to listen is slightly embraced as opposed to imposing views. This has promoted the relationship between the people and the place they occupy. The increased awareness has changed the mindset and the old culture that disregard the environmental conversation that led to the exploitation of resources. Consequently, the author acknowledges challenges in the system to provide the necessary wealth that is dreamt for by people. 

The arguments in the article are well structured. The author intertwines the historical approach of colonial enterprise effectively with an aim of improving the modern thinking of improving the world better. I agree with the view understanding the local knowledge would have reduced the ruthless nature of the colonial approach and promoted harmony.

Last, in Roxanne’s article Yes, Native Americans Were the Victims of Genocide, depicts the genocide approach applied by the US settlers to eliminate the existence of the Indians. The land was an attractive aspect for the US settlers that could not be easily surrendered by the native easily without resistance. The United State applied military force to the subject in order to terminate the existence of people. In addition, the author claims that the United State socioeconomic and political existence is as a result of a historical colonial process characterized by genocide approach to indigenous people (Roxanne 2-5)

The author defines genocide as an act committed with the intention to destroy part or whole ethnic religious or racial group. The Indian race was seen as a threat to the security of the United State and the killing men, women and children would guarantee their safety. The united stated also need to protect its civilization and they termed the Indians as an untamed race that they needed to eliminate. Trade network was disrupted and resulted in economic hardship that led women to be involved in prostitution.  The Sioux Nation, for example, was reduced to six reservations without their consent. The community was separated from their historical cultural setup and they were surrounded by Europeans settlers. Native Americans were not willing to give their nomadic life for a sedentary life of farming (Lomawaima, Tsianina, and Jostler 81).

The article argues that the United State system exists as a result of imposing the genocide policy in Native America. Consequently, this led to the large scale of the slaughter of Indian men, women, and children in order to satisfy the need for land. The Native children were kidnapped and forced to attend abusive boarding schools and stripped there language and heritage. However, the application of the concept of genocide in the modern society raises a moral and legal question. The moral standing dictates caution in condemning the conduct of the war that conformed to the then prevailing moral standing of right or wrong. In addition, the legal system rejects the application of retroactivity.

Finally, even if the article depicts activities that describe genocide against native America it is not justifiable to condemn the whole society. The extreme force on Native America was probably unavoidable at the time.  The social-colonist wanted land by any means and were unwilling to give the natives the land they required for their nomadic life. Notably, guilt is personal and the genocide crime conducted could only be placed individually and not placed for the entire society.


Works Cited

Lomawaima, K. Tsianina, and Jeffrey Ostler. "Reconsidering Richard Henry Pratt: Cultural Genocide and Native Liberation in an Era of Racial Oppression." Journal of American Indian Education 57.1 (2018): 79-100.

Lopez article, The rediscovery of North America,

Miller, Barbara D. Cultural anthropology. Pearson, 2017.

Potts and Sloan What is it to be human?

RoxanneDunbar-Ortiz  Yes, Native Americans Were the Victims of Genocide

Vitousek, Peter M., Lloyd L. Loope, and Randy Westbrooks. "Biological invasions as global environmental change." (2017).

Witherspoon, Gary. Language and art in the Navajo universe. University of Michigan Press, 1977.

August 14, 2023


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Native American

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