Stereotypes Of Native Americans

1388 Words 6 Pages
Native American culture had always intrigued me, even more so when I discovered my grandma was involved in it. My family doesn’t see my grandma often; she lives about four hours south, and it’s usually a one time a year occurrence. Last year my family and I went to visit her. When we got to her house, she was huddled around a group of her great grandchildren in the living room and was telling a story. She was a great storyteller, for she was a part of a time when stories were passed down verbally rather than written. This story, in particular, was about her grandmother, who walked the Trail Of Tears in 1839. When my sister and I sat in front of her, she was discussing the beauty and liveliness of the Cherokee tribe and how they tried to work …show more content…
However, to no avail, they were dragged away in the end. Native Americans have been stereotyped as uncivilized, nonreligious and inferior (land), to solve this problem we must educate ourselves to see them how they honestly were, rather than how most of history saw them.
The first problem associated with the Native Americans is the thought that they weren’t civilized before the Europeans came over. Which isn’t the case at all, the Indians were civilized; their cultures were just different from those of Europeans. The Cherokee, in particular, were very socially and culturally advanced, but the Europeans still saw them inadequate because their way of life didn’t match that of the Europeans. The strong traditions of the Cherokee strengthened their civilization.
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The Cherokees especially, because in their society, the culture was split between genders. Before the arrival of the English explorers, specific rituals, behaviors, and beliefs were kept distinctly for the women. Before the arrival of Europeans, Cherokee women held much of the power in their society through government positions and social reverence. These gender roles were strictly obeyed and established women in leadership positions until the arrival of Europeans, who invaded the Cherokee’s beliefs and traditions with their schools of thought. White Americans’ switch from attributing differences to race increased prejudice against Native Americans. “Not until they were thought of as inferior ‘redmen’ rather than unenlightened ‘whites’ did their separate and unequal status become firmly fixed in the American mind.” (Vaughan) The view of Native Americans as inferior and destined for extinction was displayed in newspapers. “It appears destined by the God of nature, that they should yield to the superior genius and intelligence of whites” (Berkshire Star) The decimation of Native Americans was also viewed as a normal process unrelated to the actions taken by the American government. “We maintain only, that the extinction of the Indians has taken place by the unavoidable operation of natural causes” (Newburyport Herald, 1823) The government didn’t even want to take the blame for what they were doing. Even years later

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