Relationship Between Indians And Native Americans

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Throughout the course of history the relationship between Whites and Native Americans changed drastically. When traders first arrived to the Pacific Northwest a bond was created between the traders and the Native Americans due to a mutual dependency on both sides for a wide range of commodities. Later on the mutual bond and respect between them deteriorated and resulted in the Native American’s being categorized as inferior to the Whites. Such relationship changes were a result of three main factors; social changes, technological differences between both groups and an overarching fear of each other. These factors pushed the scale from being more balanced to falling in favor of the Whites, thus giving them more power and control over the Native …show more content…
Although they were not successful in this regard, they soon learnt that the resources the Pacific Northwest contained were very significant trade commodities, especially the furs. Thus began the exploitation of the Pacific Northwest and its development as a hinterland. The Hudson’s Bay Company was the biggest trading company in the region. They would trade guns, metal objects and wool blankets with the Indians for these furs. Along with that, the British and Americans needed Native American knowledge and technology to navigate the raging rivers such as the Columbia River. They were in awe of the Native Americans canoes and the skill with which they navigated the river. Richard White mentioned in his book that even Lewis and Clark were amazed at the conditions the Indians would navigate in and mentioned that Clark thought of them as “the best canoe navigators I ever Saw.” (The Organic Machine, 8). Therefore, both groups had an equal amount of power over each other and it can even be argued that the Native Americans had the upper hand during this time. Although some of the traders did not like the Native Americans and thought of them as ‘filthy savages’, they still treated them with respect and kept the relationship between them strong because they depended on each …show more content…
Their jobs and their income did not depend on the natives, rather they depended on the resources the Pacific Northwest had to offer. Therefore, they did not feel compelled to keep good relations with the Native Americans and started treating them as inferiors. Land was stolen from them, and they were treated as filthy and dirty humans. Christine Quintasket wrote in her autobiography that “Gradually whites moved in, but they were there as traders, missionaries, and agents working for the benefit of the people. Then others arrived and began to take instead of give. Lands….sections of the reservation….were lost forever.”(Mourning Dove, 180). This was not always the case though. During the different seasons, when the Native Americans would move to different camps, some settlers would tolerate it because they knew that they were the ones stealing the land from the Natives. For instance, Phoebe Goodall Judson, one of the settlers in the Pacific Northwest, wrote of an instance when some Native Americans set up camp on her family’s property. She stated “How could they realize they were trespassing our rights, when no doubt this spring had been one of their favorite camping places and hunting grounds, as well as that of their forefathers for generations” (A Pioneers Search, 108). The Native Americans did not understand this concept of

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