Indian Americans


In a separate paragraph, another item to mention is the name used to refer to these people. What is your preferred term and why? Terms to consider (and research if you do not know their usage) include Native Americans, Indians, Native American Indians, Indigenous People. Please read my example post as a guide.

In a separate paragraph, discuss

All forums/Discussions require 1 original post and at least 2 replies. Write one original post of at least 250. It is best to put your word count at the end of your post to make sure you have enough words.

Read the post to understand what I am looking for in this discussion.

My post (originally written Fall 2015):

I came to understand American Indians first in elementary school when I learned that there were indigenous people on North America when the Europeans came to America. I do not recall the Europeans being glorified, but I do recall, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”. There is a permanent exhibit in the Houston Museum of Natural Science where students took field trips, which displays thousands of years of indigenous cultures from North and South America. All I remember from childhood was the shrunken heads on display. As an adult, I have returned to actually learn about the pottery, beadwork and other exhibit items. Even in high school, while the Europeans were not glorified, the decimation of the indigenous population was glossed over for the most part and there was no discussion about American Indians living anywhere except on reservations. Looking back, it seems that once we were taught about the Cherokee Trail of Tears and the Dawes Act, the discussion ended. We learned that the Alabama Coushatta had a reservation between Houston and Dallas. In essence, we abandoned the discussion once American Indians had been forced to move onto reservations. There was little if any discussion about the dissolution of tribes in the mid twentieth century. And certainly, we did not discuss current topics at the time affecting American Indians. This early education, which created first opinions about American Indians, was quite subjective based on the European conquerors’ viewpoints.

The way we acquire knowledge after these early lessons from the viewpoint of Americans who are not Indian is by being motivated and actively seeking it. Instead of education becoming more diverse and imparting knowledge about minorities, including American Indians, it seems to have become more narrowly focused. In the past few weeks, the AP U.S. History standards have changed to focus on American Exceptionalism which will focus on the positive things in America’s history. This most certainly will not cover the atrocities committed against the indigenous peoples of this land.

The challenges created by myths and stereotypes include fear and arrogance induced by ignorance. If the masses have only heard the stereotypes about someone or a group of peoples, they are more likely to mobilize in fear of the unknown.

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