Post World War Two Native American Culture And Lands Were Destroyed By The Federal Government

Post World War Two Native American Culture And Lands Were Destroyed By The Federal Government

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Post World War Two Native American culture and lands were being destroyed by the Federal Government through a series of Termination polices, which resulted in forced assimilation into modern American life, Native Americans suffered throughout this period being subject to poor living qualities, poor education and high unemployment; this caused anger among Native Americans who began to fight back through direct action to gain the rights they deserved. Red Power was a centralised community movement based on the ideas of fighting government oppression, although no single movement orchestrated or spoke for the movement, it brought allies to where they were needed . To question when Red Power started and finished is hard to consider, since the movement had been popularised through nine years of successful social protest, making substantial change to Native American lives, which is commonly thought to have started with the Occupation of Alcatraz in 1969 and ended with The Longest Walk in 1978. Although the movement has been popularised through this period, it is clearly evident that Red Power was already there for Native Americans in the early 1960’s, with the creation of The National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) which was established in 1961 as a result of the Chicago Conference and had early successes with protesting to protect and recognise treaty rights, notably in Washington State with the Fishing Rights “Fish Ins”. It is clear from the ideological goals behind Red Power that it was not only a nine year movement, these rights for self-determination and cultural revitalization have been imbedded into the culture of the Native Americans, since the start of European American rule up until the present date; key examples behind this being...


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...wly found boundaries and without licences. Many Youth Council members, like Hank Adams and Bruce Wilkie, saw this as an outrage and in 1964 tried to bring the problems of Native American treaty rights to the forefront of the national media. The Council learnt from the African American Civil Rights Movement, the use of direct action and sit-ins and tried to replicate this in the Pacific Northwest, which the Indian Youth Council did with success in the “Fish Ins”. To gain national media attention, the Council enlisted Marlon Brando, who as previously stated was an avid supporter of Civil Rights, he actively got involved and kept the same message, that treaty rights should not be ignored. The use of Brando was perfect for the Council, since he helped the nation notice and it was from this that activists knew to get celebrities involved to bring the attention with them.

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