Historical Report on Race
Historical Report on Race
I am writing as a Native American, a letter to my friend of a different culture. Dear Molly, I am writing in response to the letter you sent me, to answer questions and expand your knowledge about the Native American culture. First off let me start by saying that life wasn’t always grand for me. As Native Americans, we learned to adapt our own way of life. We lived off reservations and lived a more traditional way of life. A life that we thought was best for us and our kids to grow up in. We produced our own food, shelter, and weapons and provided for ourselves in the most natural way possible. It wasn’t always easy though, and others have seen more value out of our land and resources than us. I was forced off my land and had to adapt to the new people’s way of life. That in which they called a white society; this society created many acts in my lifetime in order to weaken our society such as those of the Allotment Act and the Reorganization Act. People of my culture lived on reservations, we had learned to separate ourselves and adapt our own way of life and government. Native Americans had created their own nation and it caused and has caused a lot of tension between us and the U. S. culture. As Native Americans, we were all about to live the traditional way of life. There was value to our land and the resources that we used and the white people wanted and did take it from us.
It seemed as if we were constantly at war with the white people so that we could protect what we thought was rightfully ours. They had created an act known as the Indian Removal Act, which was passed in 1830. This opened more land for settlement and allowed people to come in and take over our reservations. In 1946, Congress had created the Indian Claims Commission. This was a good thing for us, or so we thought. It meant that finally, our voice was going to be heard. There were three members apart of the commission, and they were given a five-year deadline, but they’re kept getting extension after extension, until; in 1978 the whole thing was abolished. At times, it seemed as if maybe the government was trying to help us, that or they were trying to use us. In 1952, the BIA began programs, so that they could relocate young Native Americans to Urban areas and by 1962 they had created what was called the Employment Assistance program; also known as the EAP.
Basically their primary goal was to relocate us by offering us better job opportunities than, that of the reservation could not offer. But this plan had soon backfired on them. By 1965, one-fourth to one-third of the people in the EAP had returned home to their reservations. Today, most of our land has been taken from us and no longer exists. Native Americans themselves are not being treated as badly as we were back then, but it’s the culture and our name that continues to be insulted. Schools have such a thing as mascots, and they create names for them. They use those such as the “Braves” or “Redskins. ” Those names have a meaning to the Native American culture, it tends to bring up the past for us, and though their intentions may not be that of insulting us, some of us don’t like it too much. It hasn’t always been easy for us, and at times I wanted to give up. But everything seems to turn out for the better. I’ve learned that every culture and person has their own way of living and when someone sees a greater value of that person’s living then they have to have it. Things don’t always have to be that way; people can come up with their own greater value of living. Remember, you don’t always have to have someone else’s greater value to have a greater value of your own. Make an even better living for yourself than trying to take someone else’s. I hope you learned well from this letter and I wish you the best. Your Friend!
Schaefer, R. T. (2012). Racial and Ethnic Groups (13th ed. ). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.