Old Iroquois Legends 'Rebuilding A Lost World'

Improved Essays
Rebuilding a Lost World
Old Iroquois legends say blood and scars of peoples ancestors can run through generations before they are healed. Americans forget they are standing on the heritage of millions of Native Americans that lived there for thousands of years. The Native American peoples have a very rich culture and are mistakenly believed to be “all one type.” Calling all Native Americans the same is similar to calling the people of Europe identical just because they are all vaguely similar. Hundreds of years of racism, genocide, and discrimination, has caused Native Americans have to live on reservations with extreme poverty, low education levels, and high crime rates. The Native Americans were the first people to inhabit the Americas.
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Many were worried, while others welcomed them as if they were lost brothers from across the ocean. The great Navajo leader Hastin Tlo’sti Hee once said “You look at me and see an ugly old man, but within I am filled with great beauty. I sit as on a mountaintop and look into the future. I see my people and your people living together” (Bruchac, 44). Sadly, the Natives were forced off their land and sometimes into slavery. During the Seven Years War, the Native Americans became weaker after fighting against the technologically stronger Europeans. Even after all that, the Europeans along with the United States, increased their expansion onto Native lands. People like the United States President Andrew Jackson killed over 10,000 Native American single handedly and passed laws that allowed citizens to slaughter any Natives as long as they believe that land is their own (Dippel 2). This lead to the deaths of 5 million Natives in fewer than 30 years, while the land and animals that once was their home was slowly tarred down and destroyed. For example, the pursuit of buffalo in the 1870’s became “less like hunting and more like extermination” (Gwynne, 152). In 1873, a hunter named Tom Nixon killed 3,258 buffalo in 35 days (153). The buffalo were not only the main food source for Comanche tribe, but was also a spiritual being to many of the Native Americans that lived in the Great Plains. Thankfully, the …show more content…
Today 36% of Natives Americans in reservations live below the poverty line and 20% of them are unemployed, making Native Americans the poorest group of people in the US today (Dippel 18). The standard income of a resident on a reservation is $24,000 a year, far below the standard average income of other US citizens (20). Most reservations are in areas were farming and resource gathering is extremely difficult; many reservations are miles away from other towns and cities. This creates massive unemployment and without any income coming in, they have to borrow money from the American government to pay for food and roads increasing their debt. Even the famous casinos that run in a select few Native American reservations are losing money, every year income has fallen 1% since 1991 (Dippel 22). Reservations have had this problem with their income for decades, and most government officials are afraid to get involved with tribal affairs since the Native Americans have been so neglected for so

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