Understanding the Native America Woes

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Greetings to the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

I send my best wishes to everyone here. We are all aware that the area that is now the United States of America once housed more than 10 million people. We know from history that during the last ice age, Asians crossed an Ice Bridge connecting Russia and Alaska. Native Americans divided into numerous ethnic groups, each with its own distinctive culture and system of government. Due to its warm climate, places like California housed more than 100 tribes, including the Maidu, Pomo, and Salinas tribes. The number of indigenous tribes in the Americas was believed to be 18 million by the time European settlers arrived. These tribes resisted imperialism, but they were too weak to fight the global powers. Upon establishing a mission by the Society of Jesus, Fr. Andrew White sent a message to the natives stating that they came "to extend civilization and instruction to their ignorant race, and show them the way to heaven."

The Suffering of Native Americans

Why should Native Americans continue to suffer in their land? The exploitation of the Middle West plains was resisted, but the government even sponsored mercenaries to eliminate such resistance. From the 16th to the 19th century, the population of the natives drastically reduced to less than one million. The population keeps on dropping yet they were the majority about four centuries ago. Where did the rain start beating? Europeans flee their countries to escape religion and political persecution, poverty and for prospecting in the new world due to the promise of liberty and justice to all. Can we say that America has lived up to its true meaning of liberty? Attempt to issue the Native Americans with United States citizenship have stagnated. George Washington considered the Native Americans an inferior race requiring to be oriented to the new European civilization.

Systematic Segregation and Poverty

Systematic segregation of the Native American, mass murder and discrimination led to abject poverty among the society. The United States in a multicultural society that represents global diversity yet it cannot take care of aboriginals. Trust among the native has deteriorated because they feel robbed of what was theirs. It is a community condemned to extinction. An objective approach to the case is required. Our education system and culture also indicate that the Native Americans are inferior. Astonishingly, more than 25,000 natives fought alongside the Union and Confederates during the American Revolution war. How do we explain to the Native Americans about the aggression our forefathers directed towards them? Do you consider that in one way or another you could be sitting on a land grabbed from a Native American?

The Role of Education

Education will help reduce the level of mistrust and hate between Native Americans and "normal Americans". It is important to encourage the study of Native America history to understand the problem from the native's perspective. History has taught them that the immigrants occupied their land and subjected them into poverty. Understanding the culture and history of the Native Americans teaches us about their civilization and cultural heritage. We continue to subject the Native Americans into poverty without understanding that past generations may have led them into destitute. What is our responsibility? We need to correct the situation, but first, we have to understand the background of the case. If our education system encourages the study of the history of the Native Americans, it will form a strong foundation for engaging in constructive dialogue that will eventually support growth and development of the Native Americans and their culture.

Thank you.

June 26, 2023

Sociology History

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