The Conflict of Europeans and Native Americans
After watching the movie The Snow Walker, I was very intrigued by how welcoming the Native American tribe known as Inuit was to the white man. However, in the movie Dances With Wolves the Sioux tribe was not as trusting and welcoming to the white man. My curiosity grew even more after watching and comparing both movies as to the differences in these two tribes and their attitudes towards the white man.
As depicted in The Snow Walker, the Inuit Tribe was mostly contained within the Arctic Tundra. Whereas, in Dances With Wolves, the Sioux Indians were west of the Mississippi River in what is known as the prairies and plains. During the 19th century as Europeans ventured westward and began to settle in what we now know as the United States. (Strudwick) Conflict grew out of the Native Americans reverence for Mother Earth and the European’s concept of land ownership. These earlier territorial concepts were a premonition to the overall Indian-white conflicts. The Native Americans were treated as obstacles in the white man’s path to advancement and their interpretation of manifest destiny. The Europeans would aggressively force Native Americans off of their land and claim it as their own. Though, Native Americans believe that “no man owns land, which it belongs only to Mother Nature”. (Johnson) The Native Americans would wage wars; however, they were futile in their attempts due to using primitive weapons against guns carried by the white man. Eventually, the Native American population began to drop rapidly due to warfare, disease, and the white man’s brutality.
Even though the Native Americans often had more peaceful philosophies than the whites, Europeans still viewed them as savages and unintelligent. In both movies, the writers show how resourceful the Native Americans are and that when one is willing to learn they are eager to share their knowledge of the land and their surroundings. In the movie, The Snow...
Cited: Turner, Kate, and Bill Freedman. “Nature as a Theme in Canadian Literature.”
Environmental Reviews 13.4 (2005): 169-97. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 15 Apr. 2012.
Bonvillain, Nancy. The Inuit. Ed. III Frank W. Porter. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995. Print.
Johnson, Michael. Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, INC., 1994. Print.
Strudwick, Leslie. Inuit Indigenous Peoples. New York, NY: Weigl Publishers INC., 1970. Print.
The Snow Walker. By Charles Martin Smith. Dir. Charles Martin Smith. Perf. Barry Pepper and Annabella Piugattuk. Lions Gate Films, 2003. DVD.
Dances With Wolves. By Michael Blake. Dir. Kevin Costner. Perf. Kevin Costner and Mary McDonnell. Orion Pictures, 1990. DVD.
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