The American Indian Genocide

The American Indian Genocide
Textbooks and movies are still hiding the genocide of Native American Indian cultures, which began five centuries ago. There were many friendly and close relationships between early immigrant settlers and native peoples, but these were not the main current in their relations. U.S. history is destroyed by acts of genocide against native people, made worse by the deadly impact of new diseases spread by contact between new settlers and native Americans. Many aggressive attempts were made to reform the Indian peoples according to European cultural models, whether under threat of death or, later, through separation to government boarding schools.
Government policies guided the destruction and control of native American cultures, concluding in the problematic status of Indian people today. Despite this historical situation, there has been only the most begrudging admission of any public responsibility for the damage done to native American cultures. Little public support has gone to efforts to preserve, retrieve and build upon native cultural traditions. Where affirmative steps are called for, none has been taken. Chief among the U.S. government\'s initiatives toward native peoples has been the reservation -- remarkably like the former South African "homelands." The current laissez-faire federal policy pretends that Native American cultures are now free to enjoy an even chance in our society, to compete for resources with dominant cultural forms and traditions. The official alternative to the reservation has been pressure to assimilate into the mainstream culture.
Through much of the time that Native American peoples have endured this cultural combat, the idea of "the Indian" has been a powerful symbol within our national culture. We usually see Indian people portrayed as brutal and warmongering, worthy of punishment at the hands of white settlers and the U.S. government. Nevertheless, Indian influences on contemporary United States culture are extensive. In Hollywood films and western novels and "cowboy art," Indians have symbolized connectedness and sensitivity to nature (and the loss of the wilderness), highly developed skills, and individual courage. The "new age" philosophies which emerged from the 1960\'s depend heavily on traditional Indian knowledge; within their frameworks, Native Americans symbolize balance, inner wisdom, ordeal and transcendent experience, and natural dignity. Recently, Native American activists have done much to revitalize their cultural traditions. Assimilationism has lost some of the attraction it had in the past. But history cannot be undone.
American Indians around the United States have been protesting against

Did you know that most of the Native Americans live in reservations, managed by a part of the US government called the Bureau of Indian Affairs. And on these reservations, the Native Americans can’t grow their own food; there is not enough land. They can’t grow maize corn and they can’t have buffaloes for meat. So the Bureau of Indian Affairs gives them modern processed food, which is entirely foreign to their way of life. And the result – diabetes.
Some of the Native Americans live in villages and cities in the western states, and the unemployment rate there is the highest in our country. And these cities comprise the poorest counties in our country. And these cities are where there is another disease that debilitates the Native Americans – it is called alcoholism.
Since we don’t see any of these Native Americans in our normal everyday lives, it is hard for us to realize that one time, some 200 years ago, they occupied all of the United States, and they had a rich culture, and we destroyed all that. Do you own a home, or condominium? You think you own the property that it sits on – but do you know that your property was stolen? Stolen from the Native Americans.
American Indians want a National Apology for what has done to them 200 years ago and is currently going on in a different way today.

American Natives still have to deal with the aftermath of cultural and ethnic genocide. Many of their ancestral languages and ways of life remain threatened. Political, cultural and economic autonomy is a work in progress.
Causes of the Native American Genocide
Diseases: cholera, smallpox, measles
Famine: caused by the destruction of wild buffalo populations
Massacres: wars from 1866 to 1891.
Major Native American Nations
Abnakis Maine
Delawares Middle States and Virginia
Cheyennes Middle States and Virginia
Sauks Middle West