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Imagine your country had been invaded by a very powerful group of people. Before anything drastic could be done these people had invaded your shores and had creeping inward upon your land. At first they acted with scorn and called us names and disrespect. After several groups of our people revolted against these invaders they decided to negotiate certain terms with us. Then after thinking all was well many of these agreements were broken and they started to ship us like freight to areas where they could hold a lot of our kind while they abuse and take over our country/land. We tried to fight back but it was useless, we were at their strong army’s demise. It is sad that such atrocities were done to perform an act of genocide on our people. Though you might assume this is an excerpt from a Jew during the holocaust those oppressed are Native Americans and the “cruel invaders” are none other than the U.S. Government and Army. While many revere (including ourselves) the United States as a “world superpower” and a role model to other countries is it so quickly forgotten of our own Holocaust? “(Actually there are two; one killing 40 to 60,000,000 Africans, and one killing 100,000,000 Native Red Peoples).” Hitler himself often expressed his admiration for the expediency in which the American Christians removed the Native Americans and gave them mass graves like the one in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. If this is so how can we even bare to criticize and severely punish those who follow in Hitler’s example and ways if us ourselves still haven’t fully paid the dues to the extent of our crimes? The treatment of Native Americans in the U.S. is on of the most forgotten atrocities in our history. Calling ourselves Americans is basically a lie since we are not Natives to this land. Some even try to justify these actions on Natives by pointing out that the Native Americans had attacked and raided on American settlements. When has it been wrong to fight for your land to fend off a lying scandalous government who killed your people and robbed your future generations of their much-valued culture? It is believed in my mind that the United States of America, upon the tribes and cultures of Native Americans, has committed the act of genocide. Native Americans did not understand European ideology. Native Americans had no idea why the Europeans could fight for land, "Death makes us owners of nothing is what the Native Americans believed. They also couldn’t understand on how one person or group can “own” land since they couldn’t “own the sky". It is this ideology and peaceful manner of most Native Americans that made them the perfect target to the so-called treaties and land agreements give by the U.S. government. In 1828 Congress passed the Indian Removal Bill that forced the Indians in the south to relocate or "be subjected to state laws." This Bill was strongly opposed by the north while it was supported by the south. The Bill, which barely passed it both House and Senate, was a support for the popular distribution of fertile Indian lands. The United States government was lured into the relocating of the Indians because it offered more farmland for southern farmers. As far as the actual relocation went, the task of relocating the Indians fell into the hands of the Army, who then mostly signed the task off to contractors. Indian attempts at conforming were futile and quickly crushed. When the Cherokees Americanized their tribe and converted to "the American Way" the state of Georgia quickly went in with militias and forced them along their way. Various tribes of Indians fought on the side of the United States against their Indian brothers in return for promised protection against removal, government promises proved to be false. Through organized massacres (Wounded Knee) and massive relocations (Trail of Tears) hundreds of thousands of Native Americans were killed. And if not by war or fighting many Native Americans fell victim to the diseases that was brought here by the “white man”. Although many knew we came here uninvited and seized their land many are unaware the means of cultural destruction of Native Americans, which began no later than 1611. This method was one of those that included the forced removal of children from their culture and enrollment of these children in "educational programs," which were intended to instill more “European” beliefs. In 1820, the United States made plans for a large-scale system of boarding and day schools. These schools were given the mission to, "instruct its students in “letters, labor and mechanical arts, and morals and Christianity;” training many Indian leaders. In 1886, it was decided, by the United States federal government that Native American tribal groups would no longer be treated as 'indigenous national governments.' The decision was made, not by the conjoint efforts of the Native American tribes and Congress, but by the United States Legal System. This allowed Congress to pass a variety of other laws, directed towards assimilating Native Americans, so that they would become a part of "mainstream white America" My belief is that for some reason the full extent and history of the treatment of the Native Americans has been covered up and even “touched up” by many to make it look not as bad as it is. It is who holds the pen that writes the history, thus I believe that it is needed for the plight of the Native Americans at least be written or looked over by them. Knowledge is power and the learning of mistakes is the key to avoiding them in the future. It can’t be justified in any way that the U.S. treatment towards Native Americans wasn’t Genocide on our part. Not only did we seize their land, and kill their people, we robbed their future generations of their culture, heritage, and in the end their spirit.


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