Native American History : The Trail Of Tears Essay

Native American History : The Trail Of Tears Essay

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1830 saw the instatement of the Indian Removal Act, a forced relocation of several Native American tribes. This spurred what is now known as the “Trail of Tears.” The Five Civilized Tribes, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muscogee, and Seminole were forced to relocate after resisting assimilation with American civilization. Over 17,000 tribe members were removed and sent to what is now Oklahoma by the order of President Andrew Jackson. Despite the ruling of Chief Justice John Marshall, Jackson set in motion the Trail of Tears. Many perished on the way, and many perished after. (“Q&A: The Trail of Tears”)
So it is clear that Native Americans have faced more than their fair share of hardships through prejudice and what could have led to full on extinction in the past. What about today? Today, it is clear that North American’s do not really know much about Native American’s or their history. In fact, many people admit that they rarely see Native American’s in their day to day lives. Studies also show that many people express regret over injustices to Native American’s in the past, but conversely show resentment for what they believe is “preferential” treatment by the United States government. (Lowe) Stereotypes today commonly associated with Native American’s include the old western movie take, “cowboys and Indians,” where Native Americans are generally almost naked with a headdress and war paint on, the Indian princess frequently connected with Pocahontas (even more frequently the Disney movie Pocahontas), and the gambling, smoking Indian who owns a casino.
One of the main problems for Native American’s today is the lack of awareness by the non-Native. While, as states earlier, many people feel regret, it is obviously not enough bec...


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... history books, as well as being grossly misconstrued to reflect the “pilgrims and Indians” ideal held by America today. The way for Native Americans to move forward from the current issues of unemployment, poverty, and so much more, is to begin with educating the public on their history and bring light to these issues. Too often, people assume that Native Americans have the ultimate pardon from the government, going untaxed and rolling in riches because of the abundance of casinos they own. These people would likely be surprised to learn that many reservations do not even have a casino on the premises, let alone are many of them anywhere near “rich.” The bitterness that is shown towards the Native American people is unfounded and needs to come to an end, which can only happen through learning and understanding amongst both Native Americans and non-Native Americans.

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