Native Americans Essay Research Paper Native American

Native Americans Essay, Research Paper Native American s Native Americans have almost been exterminated in the many genocide s and have been neglected by the federal government. As the United States government exercised

Native Americans Essay, Research Paper

Native American s


Native Americans have almost been exterminated in the many genocide s and have

been neglected by the federal government. As the United States government exercised

more control over the lives of the Indians, increasing efforts we made to force Native

Americans to abandon traditional cultural practices and adopt the way of white society .

Religious beliefs consituted (and still constitute) one of the major examples of cultural

differences separating whites and Native Americans. The Native American religion has

been misunderstood, maligned and misapproiated. Definitive analyses of particular Native

American religious traditions have been written by non-Indians, who lack any lifelong

experimental basis for their analyses. Many times the Indian is embarrassed and baffled

by the white man s allusions to nature in terms such as crude, primitive, wild, rude,

untamed and savage. (Standing Bear) More than anything the hostilities between the

Europeans and the Native Americans was a clash of cultures. Native Americans believed

that the land belonged to the spirits of the animals who lived on it. White people believed

that one person could own a piece of land and that person could do whatever he or she

wanted with it.

The Trail of Tears, Indian wars and other events occurring in the 1800 s

show what the Indians were put through, and how the white men killed them without

mercy. In the Indian wars, many Native Americans were labeled hostile and massacred

by the union army. The way of conquering them is much more easy than of civilizing

them by fair means, for they are a rude, barbarous, and naked people (U.S. General) The

lure for land to farm and develop brought a steady stream of white settlers in to many


Indian territories. Other lures, gold, mineral wealth and natural resources induced many

whites to move into Indian lands. For some Americans, the solution to disputed land

claims was simple. Indians were merciless savages and as such had no rights of

ownership to the land which they lived on.

During The Trail of Tears Native American Indians were forced to march up to

800 miles from their homelands to Indian Territory which is modern day Oklahoma,

under cruel conditions. During the Trail of Tears , over 4,000 Cherokees alone died, out

of the 15,000 moved. Native Americans died due to disease, exposure, and starvation.

Smallpox had little resistance, killed almost all of the Massachust tribe and two-thirds of the

Wanpanoag. The major tribes that once flourished over all of North America were

whipped out, with only a few small reservations to live on. The reservations where Native

Americans were forced to live on were usually harsh, in hospitable regions where no one

else wanted to live.

The Native Americans fought many battles and outnumbered the United States

army for many years before defeated by the federal government. Many bloody battles took

Place due to the demand of Indian territory by the white Americans. The Union army was

a ruthless enemy. They attacked many harmless villages, and killed many Native

Americans in the massacres of Powder River, Sand Creek, Little Wolf, and wounded Knee

The Native Americans had won many battles against the union army but they also lost so

many warriors that they were forced to surrender. Reservations and Indian territory were

taken over and settled by the white men. Even when the Indian territory was reached, the

United States government was not satisfied. The United States signed close to three

hundred treaties with Native Americans between the late eighteenth and late nineteenth


centuries. Many treaties, were written in confusing legal language barely intelligible to the

average white citizen who understand english. As the United States government exercised

more control over the lives of the Indians, increasing efforts were made to force Native

Americans to abandon traditional cultural practices and adopt the way of the white society.

Many important Native American war chiefs fought in many bloody battles against

the United States army. Native American war chiefs were not like leaders in the United

States army. Indians did not have absolute power by virtue of rank or title, they led by

reputation. Every Native American tribe has had its share of celebrated leaders. Leaders

were chose for their warrior skills, their grasp of military tactics, and for exhibiting

exceptional bravery on the field of battle. Since, Native Americans did not have a written

language, however, the stories of some chiefs have been changed and embellished over the


Red Cloud was a very important chief during the Bozeman Trail War of 1886 to

1868. Red Cloud rose to be head chief of the Itescicha tribe because of his bravery and

leadership skills in battle. In 1868, Red Cloud signed the Great Plains Treaty. He made

trips to Washington to speak for his people. Red Cloud lived his life out on a reservation

preaching for peace.

Sitting Bull was a major leader in many battles between the United States army.

Sitting Bull was a skilled hunter and warrior who killed his first buffalo at the age of ten.

He proved to be a strong warrior. He became a war chief who led the Sioux nation into

many successful battles. Sitting Bull along with Red cloud fought in the Bozeman Trail war

between 1866 and 1868. Sitting Bull was also a leader in the wars for the Black Hills, and


lead his tribe in the Little big horn Battle along the Washita River in 1876. Sitting bull

dedicated his later years to encouraging his people to preserve their traditions and spiritual


American Indians have not vanished from the United States, even thought many

people think that many of the original inhabitants have been driven away. The State of

Maine is still the home of approximately 2,200 Indians, most of them belong to one major

tribe the Passamayuoddy. The land that was left to the Indians was established as a

reservation by the state of Massachusetts. Many of the men are employed as lumbermen

or workers in local paper pulp mills. The children attend their own schools on Indian

township reserve. The schools are taught by Catholic nuns, a tradition dating to the early

eighteenth century when Catholic France was an important European influence in the

area. Many Indians press strongly to preserve their history and heritage.

In 1970 census numbered over 28,000 Native Americans in New York giving them

the second largest Indian population of any state along the Atlantic seaboard. More

Indians live in New York State today than even before. Indians in New York belong to

two of the major language groups on the East Coast the Iroquois and the Mohawks. Almost

70 percent of the Indians in the state live in the cities and surrounding urban areas. Many

live and work in Syracuse, Buffalo and other cities in central New York . Indians are

employed in many of the same jobs as non Indians, in factories, mines, hospitals and

schools. Casinos have generated immense profits for a small percentage of Native

American tribes, enabling them to become more self sufficient and to improve their quality

of life. The children largely attend integrated schools in local school districts, rather then


the all-Indian schools.

Native American s today are still signing treaties and trying to get land back that

once belonged to them. Native Americans are also strongly teaching there religion and

beliefs to their children, who will someday pass the tradition on to their children.

Native Americans have almost been exterminated and have been neglected by the

Federal government. The clash of cultures between Europeans and the Native Americans

caused a great deal of hostility resulting in the killing of a highly developed culture

Native Americans tried hard to fight for their land and preserve their heritage. The Native

Americans were overwhelmed with the size and strength of the United States army. Many

great Indian leaders fought and died for their nation with great dignity. Today many

Indians are passing on the traditions of the Native American culture.