Native Americans

Native Americans have been the center point of numerous amounts of stereotypes and relocation during the 18th and 19th centuries. These circumstances has created an imminent impact on the history and culture of multiple Native American tribes, like the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and many other tribes in North America. This time and onwards to the 20th century and after, Indians were exposed and exploited with the use of the media, mascots, and propaganda. This put an unfavorable image on their identity and they were distinguished as lesser race.

In the passage A Different Mirror, the author discusses and illustrates how the U.S. government planned to sway and ultimately remove Native Americans from their present lands. President Jefferson began a land-allotment program as a “principal strategy for taking territory away from the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Choctaws”. Following the Choctaw treaty of 1805, Jefferson’s plan was to create “the Choctaws into farmers”. This mark the start of Indian oppression by the federal government. Even after become “assimilated” into society like becoming “property owners and producers for the market”, they were still not well recognized by the white Mississippians in the region. Ultimately in 1830, the Choctaw Nation was discontinued and talks began to displace the tribe west of the Mississippi River. The Choctaws rejected the agreement at first issuing that they did not wish “to sell the land of their forefathers”. Regardless of this refusal of the agreement, the Choctaws were involuntary forced to signing a treaty with the U.S. or “be governed by Mississippi state law or … If they resisted, they would be destroyed in a few weeks”. Their culture and identity was demoralized after they were forced to leave their homeland after centuries and were not given compensation.
In I hated Tonto (Still Do), the author offers his own past experiences on Indian stereotypes and how the film and media industries influenced Native Americans into resembled as barbaric and antagonistic. He even mentions how the films he has watched over the years has influenced his viewpoint on Indians, “I’ve seen so many Indian movies that I feel like I’m constantly accompanied by ominous music. I always feel that something bad is about to happen”. The author goes on to list how Indians portrayed in films differ from Indians in real life, such as “cinematic Indians never had jobs”, “cinematic Indians were rarely played by Indian actors”, and “cinematic Indians were deadly serious.”


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