April 28, 2013
Madasamy Thirumalai, PH.D.
The Myth of Native American History
Written from the perspective of a news reporter.
In contemplating the history of the Native American one cannot help but conjure up images of the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto, pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving feasts. Many of us can recall in our grade school years assembling our shoebox dioramas depicting scenes of Native American culture and historical events. How convenient was it for the education system to put Native American History in a neat little box instead of tackling the difficult reality of our dark past. The truth of the matter is that the Native Americans have endured the atrocities of genocide and relocation while the rest of society has turned a blind eye.
"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" . . . and made the first contact with the "Indians." For Native Americans, the world after 1492 would never be the same. This date marked the beginning of the long road of persecution and genocide of Native Americans, our indigenous people. Genocide was an important cause of the decline for many tribes. "By conservative estimates, the population of the United states prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand.” (Tabich, 1997, para. 2-3
As more and more Europeans came to colonize the new land, conflict began to develop. Native Americans were willing to share and allow the use of the land but the...