The Native Americans are a prime example of the repression, poverty, and discrimination many minority groups have had to endure throughout the years. The Native Americans had their own land, culture and language. They were people able to adapt well to their particular region by hunting, fishing and farming crops. Their cultures primarily rested on wise use of all natural resources available. Many historians believe there were between 6 and 10 million Native Americans living in what later became the United States before the arrival of the Europeans (Parrillo, 2011). This paper will analyze the views the Europeans had about the Natives, what came about from these views and where the Native American culture is today because of the dominance the Europeans had over the them. According to Parrillo (2011), the Europeans and Native Americans were immensely different in race, material culture, beliefs and behavior; Because of the obvious physical differences Columbus’s first impression of the Natives when he arrived was ethnocentric.
Columbus was not interested in understanding the Natives way of life he was judging them the less superior ethnic group that could be easily manipulated into their servants. The Europeans viewed the Native Americans as savage barbarians. Many people thought of the relationship between the whites and the Native Americans as violent and hostile, however peaceful coexistence initially throve. The Europeans considered themselves the sophisticated of the two and wanted the Natives to assimilate to their way of living. Europeans described the Native Americans as heathen, irregular people in need of Christian teachings, rude and ignorant; some went as far as saying they were a superior animal species (Herndon, 2012). Because of the obvious communication barrier that existed between the two there were many misunderstanding. The Natives did not understand why the whites used beating, hanging and imprisonment