From the beginning of the 20th Century, there were nearly 250,000 Native Americans in the United States who accounted for approximately 0.3 percent of the population. This population was mostly residing in reservations where they executed a restricted extent of self-government. Native Americans have experienced numerous challenges related to land use and inconsistent public policies. Actually, during the 19th Century, Native Americans were dispossessed of a huge section of their land through forced removal westwards, through a series of treaties that were largely dishonored, and through military defeat by the United States in its expansion of control over the American West (Boxer par,1). Moreover, Native Americans have experienced inconsistent public policy toward them since some of these policies seek to make the Indian more like Whites who migrated to this country whereas others reflect cultural relativity.
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativity in Public Policies towards Native Americans
As previously mentioned, Native Americans have historically experienced inconsistent public policies. The inconsistency is evident in the fact that some of these policies represent the idea of making the Indian more likes the Whites who migrated into the country whereas other public policies show cultural relativity. Generally, the country’s public policies towards Native Americans have been characterized by broken promises and deceit. As a result, some public policies towards Native Americans reflect the dominant groups’ ethnocentrism and others reflect cultural relativity.
The original national public policy towards Native Americans was to try and civilize them through motivating them to take up farming and own private pro...
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...ion toward Native Americans. The policies have been successful in contributing to the general acceptance and consideration of Native Americans as inferior to the Anglo-Saxon Americans. This in turn contributed to the unfair and unequal treatment of Native Americans based on broken promises and lies (Jackson par, 1).
In conclusion, Native Americans have historically been subject to inconsistent public policies towards them. Some of the public policies towards them represented ethnocentrism of the dominant groups’ whereas other public policies focus on cultural relativity. While ethnocentric policies contributed to segregation of these people, cultural relativity focused on promoting autonomy of the Natives in their own reservations. An analysis of these set of public policies demonstrate that ethnocentric policies are more effective than cultural relativity policies.
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