Native Americans Essay, Research Paper
The Native American
Through time the concerns of a certain group can stay consistent. The legacy of common attitudes and goals of Native Americans of the last century have transcended to their present day descendents. The concerns of the last century Native Americans were that white men were infringing and stealing their land, while they were constantly trying to defend it. In their speeches of the last century, attitudes and the goals of Native Americans are reflected in present day writing.
The Native American speech of Red Jacket, a Seneca clearly states his attitudes and goals. Red Jacket shows great respect for the land and fear of the white man taking it without invitation. In his speech, he talks about how they took the first white men in as brothers-in-need escaping wicked men in their own countries. Then the white man became greedy and selfish. He said ?they wanted more land; they wanted their country.? Later he tells how they brought their poison (liquor) in return for their hospitality. Red Jacket also stated that once they took the country they pressed their religion upon them, which caused even greater resentment. The goal in which he strived to achieve was that of a harmony between the white man and his people. Harmony that only would be attained through the possession of separate lands.
In Red Clouds speech a Sioux Chief to President Grant, the speech follows the same basic ideas of Red Jacket. The speech tells the President Grant that they agreed to let the white man pass unharmed for fifty-five years and they kept their promise. He also states that they committed no murders, no depredations, until the troops showed up. Once troops arrived treatment of the Plains Indians deteriorated. Also white man forced them to farm and they were treated cruelly. Later he talks of bad men who were rejected from the east and sent to the west. ?The men cheated and drank whiskey; the men caused many problems? Red Cloud said. Near the end of his speech he said ?You belong in the east and I belong in the west.? In this quote was carrying on the idea that the white man is unwanted and he wanted separate living space. Also he stated that the Native American people were gaining even stronger resentment that would be branded into generations to come.
Present day Native Americans still possess respect for the land and resentment towards the white man. The Way to Rainy Mountain by Scott Momaday shows immense respect for the land and life conveyed in other Native American speeches. Using his grandmother as his topic, he depicts his respect for the environment, which the white man has pressed upon. Momaday tells how, ?When she was born, the Kiowas were living the greatest moment of their history. They had controlled the open range from the Smokey Hill River to the Red, from the headwaters of the Canadian, to the fork of the Arkansas and Cimarron. In alliance with the Comanches, they had ruled the whole of the southern Plains?. This harmony lasted until the U.S. Cavalry arrived. The Cavalry forced them out of their native land causing them to become nomadic. Finally suffering from starvation they surrendered to the soldiers at Fort Sill to prevent dying from starvation, they were imprisoned in the old stone coral. This displayed once again the harsh treatment and neglect pressed upon the Native Americans. And in turn continued resentment of the white man.
Many things change through time. But, certain attitudes and goals can stand unchanged if the proper conditions exist. As seen the Native American people fought hard to achieve there goals. Because of their goals the negative attitudes towards those who stood in the way of them have been handed down through generations. From the last centuries Native Americans to today?s and other generations to come these goals and attitudes towards the white man will be most certainly present.