Native American Essay

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 3 (915 words) Published: April 24, 2014

The European arrival into North America was an extremely significant point in history. The arrival in 1492 led to a cultural diffusion between the immigrants and the Native Americans who helped form America as it is today. Although many colonies made peace with the Native Americans upon arrival, there were many people who did not mind executing the Native Americans for their land. The Chesapeake Bay colonies (Virginia and Maryland) were the first of several colonies to begin massacring the native peoples for land. The execution of the Native Americans later led to a genocide during Lincoln’s presidency, and Indian reservations were created with the means of concentrating the Native Americans. Although many new inhabitants to North America knew the Native Americans as peacemakers, many still persisted to call the natives savages and warlike. This misinterpretation has carried on to present-day when in fact the white or European immigrants were the savages who led people to believe false accusations of the Native Americans.

Stereotypes of any kind are difficult to obliterate, especially those that began at the start of a new settlement and have lingered on into present-day. Common stereotypes are that Native Americans still live in tee-pees, are warlike savages, dumb, always serious or mean, alcoholics, and so forth. Stereotypes of Native Americans are so overpowering through the 1998 production of Smoke Signals that contained characters who disagreed on how a Native American must look. As one character said to another, “‘You gotta look mean or people won’t respect you. White people will walk all over you if you don’t look mean. You gotta look like a warrior, like you just came back from killing a buffalo.’ ‘But our tribe never hunted buffalo; we were fisherman’” (Alexie). False accusations about Native Americans have become so dominant that Native Americans think they must act a certain way to be part of their own culture such as when Sherman Alexie...

Cited: Alexie, Sherman. “Sherman Alexie on Living Outside Cultural Borders.” Interview by Bill
Moyers. Moyers & Company, 2013. Web. 4 Sept. 2013.
Munson, Barbara. “Human Beings Are Not Mascots.” Rethinking Pop Culture and Media.
Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools Ltd., 2011. 149-52. Print.
Pewewardy, Cornel. “A Barbie-Doll Pocahontas.” Rethinking Pop Culture and Media.
Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools Ltd., 2011. 110-11. Print.
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