The Neglect Of The Native American Indian
Length: 795 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
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Nearly every Native American Indian tribe has experienced some kind of neglect or discrimination. The white man has forcefully moved tribes from their homes, broken
treaties that were promised to them, and senselessly slaughtered thousands of innocent
Indian men, women, and children. This kind of neglect is what led to the Battle of Little Bighorn Creek, a battle that is talked about in The Great Plains, the book I chose my topic from. The reason this subject touched me personally is because almost everyone who presently lives on the Great Plains has a certain percentage Indian blood running through their veins, including myself. The neglect of the Native American Indian in America has been a problem for generations, but it is a part of our history as Americans and therefore worth studying.
Although everyone should be involved in finding out more about this subject, historians and the ancestors of Indians who have been neglected have a tendency to be the more interested than others. Historians, like Edward Sherrif Curtis, the writer of "The North American Indian", are aroused by the mysterious past of the Indians. Their curiosity is what drives them to devote their entire lives to find out more about this historic past time. Curtis, for example, devoted more than thirty years of his life, following, living with, and taking more than forty thousand pictures of eighty different Indian tribes (Curtis, par.1). Another well-known seekers of Indian information are the Indians themselves. Their drive comes from keeping their heritage alive and giving justice to their ancestors who were mistreated by the senselessness of the white man. One of their goals is to share the wealth of information that has been passed down from their elders, to help us better understand their way of life.
During my research on this topic, I found that there is a vast amount of information out there, and it can be found almost anywhere. The Internet is where I began my search. Websites that talk about the history of the Indians like, Eyewitness: History through the eyes who lived it, Tour of the Florida Territory during the Seminole (Florida) Wars, 1792-1859, and Bitterroot National Forest of Western Montana were very useful tools for writing this paper. They talked about the hardships of the Indians, the wars they were in, how those wars were started, and how the tribes in those wars have been mistreated.
Television documentaries and movies also contain valuable information about this topic. Although they are not always 100% factual, they paint a picture of past Indian life while they entertain you. Personally, I become bored easily when reading historical material, so being able to visually see what these acts of mistreatment looked like on a screen helped me to better understand the information at hand.
In general, the history of the Indians has been horrible, mostly because of the white man. The Pequot War, in 1637, was the first major incident of the Indian/English rivalry. This war set the standards for future generations of English settlers on how to treat Indians. Since this war in 1637, settlers, frontiersmen, and the U.S. Government have mistreated the Indians to many times to count. The Massacre at Wounded Knee in1890, the Creek War of 1836 on the Chattahoochee River, the Nez Perce War, and the Battle at Little Bighorn Creek are some examples of those times. Each of these examples played a significant part in the history of the Indians and all of America.
The goal of the sources used in this paper is to, educate you about the history of the neglect of the Indians and to make you aware that this neglect is a problem. The neglect of the Native American Indian in America has been a problem for generations, but it is a part of our history as Americans and therefore worth studying.
Generally there are two different positions taken on this topic, positive and negative. The Indians themselves tend to be on the negative side, because of the neglect of their ancesters. The rest of the people can be catagorized into to parts, the negative non-Indian if they feel sorry for the Indians, or maybe even are a little Indian themselves. The positive non-Indian if they think that the Indians brought it upon themselves or they might think that this is all the past and the Indians should get on with their lives.
The following are questions commonly asked about the topic. Why could the Indians and the white man not live together peacefully? How many Indians were killed due to the neglect of the white man? Will the white man ever be able to pay back what they took from the Indians? These questions tend to come up more than others because