Native Americans as a whole have been widely oppressed in the United States of America. Since “Columbus discovered America” they have been dominated by the “the founders”, the European. Though the Native Americans have the most ties to the land historically and culturally they have been struggling to hold on. The Native population was almost wiped out by massacre and by the Europeans bringing over diseases their immune systems were not equipped to handle. The surviving natives were pushed from their lands, which they concerned a part of them. They were thought of as scavenges and less than humans.
As the country progressed the young Native Americans were forced from their homes to boarding school were their culture was lost and were forced to “act white.” Native Americans were forced to assimilate into white culture or they would have a hard time surviving. They were punished for speaking their language or even dressing certain ways. Now as a country we view Indians in a certain way. TV and Movies portray the cowboys and Indians, that all Indian wore feather, rode horses, and had bow and arrows. That is just not the case; there are many different tribes around the country that have many different aspects to them. We generalize and do not recognize their cultures. American easily forgets we are the immigrants to the Native Americans yet we continuously oppress them as if they did not belong.
Education on American History continues to teach that America has a great history and is not showing the brutal treatment of the Native Americans. We celebrate Columbus Day every October and yet do not take in to account that we are celebrating a man who massacred and oppressed people. We do not learn that side of our own history.
Many groups have been organized to support Native Americans and their tribes. There are many urban centers that are there just to support Native Americans in the area. There are actives from all different tribes trying to get their stories out and message across. Most are just looking for recognition and understanding. There are federally acknowledged tribes that are able to protect their own laws and own lands. Many are taking progressive roles making movies or websites in support of their tribes. There are many tribes where there land is being compromised for the benefits of businesses, and it is not right.
The United Nations have written a declaration that is in support of all indigenous nations throughout the world called “Minimum Standards:” The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The document is urging all nations to listen to the indigenous voices and see their views on many things such as environmental issues since they are the ones that have the most ties to land and understand it the most. There is still a long way to go in Native American Rights but there has been significant steps that have been taking in the right direction.
“Minimum Standards:” The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples