Native Americans and their Civil Rights

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Native Americans and their Civil Rights

While Native Americans lived in different ways, they shared a love for their land. Many Native Americans still speak of the “mother earth.” Our ancestors were taught to view the land as part of them. For Native Americans the land was not something the people could own, it could not be bought and sold. The cultures of the different tribes respected the land upon which they built their lives. But, who had the rights to the land? History tells us that Native Americans settled on this land many years ago along the Atlantic Ocean. In 1942 strange looking men came upon the island in which the Native Americans called home. We welcomed the men as brothers and shared all that we had to give. The strangers were sailors from Europe. Eventually more Europeans would cross the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the Americas. As the numbers grew there became conflict over who had the right to the North American land. On one hand the Native Americans who did not believe that land, or any other resource should be owned. Instead the Native Americans lived on the land and shared the wealth. But yet the Europeans came to North America in search of land, something to call their own. Today Native Americans fight with the federal government for the right of land, sufficient social, medical and educational services for our tribal members. This tends to be an important issue for us today. In the late 1800's, Native Americans gave most of their land to the federal government in exchange for the promise that they could remain on their reservation land and have their rights upheld. The federal government has not held up their end of the responsibilities to this date. The U.S. government made a legal commitment to the Native Americans when the land was ceded to the United States. This commitment is written in dry ink in treaties, federal law, executive orders, judicial opinions, and international doctrine. The promise in which the U.S....