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Transcript of Native Americans
What if we do nothing?
Family is the single most important thing in the life of Native Americans.
Native Americans have the highest poverty rates and the highest unemployment and disease rate. Drug and alcohol among young kids is common as well as pregnancy and suicide.
When Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, there were already 10 million Native Americans living in present day United States.
With Christopher Columbus, came diseases the Native Americans were not immune to. The Native Americans died by the thousands from diseases such as measles and smallpox. The Europeans continued to take over.
Most Native Americans still stay on reservations because it remains a place where they can celebrate their own culture, even if they're living in poverty.
Many traditional Native American ceremonies include song and dance.
Popular dances include the Rain Dance, Hunting Dance, Corn Dance, and Sun Dance.
Many Native American cultures see illness as a sign of disorder in society
Sweat Lodges - cleans body, mind, and spirit
Views on Society
Many have learned to distrust the white man because they see whites as uncaring towards their culture and believe all their problems are rooted in the white man.
Native Americans have the highest dropout rate of any minority.
4-8 out of 10 adults living on reservations are unemployed.
Many live in 2 bedroom houses (typically trailers) with 3 generations, inadequate plumbing, kitchen facilities, heating, and cooling.
The life expectancy for Native Americans is 5 years less than Caucasians.
Both are proud of their culture
Like some parts of America, both have poverty
Gangs occur in both
Rape is also a common factor for both Native Americans and Americans
Both contain a lot of alcohol related deaths
Serious crimes have been poorly investigated
All the houses are spread out
All of the animals on the res are important to daily life
Quality of life is similar to that of a developing country
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Following federal policy, Native Americans found themselves living on fixed plots of land. Farmers couldn't work with the new dusty soil and hostile tribes were forced into tight quarters.
The idea was good - give Native Americans 160 acres of land for them to live and work on and in 25 years they would be American citizens. Nevertheless, it was a disaster.
We all know that Native Americans were living in the Americas long before Christopher Columbus came along.
Following the repeal of the Dawes Act in 1934, Native Americans faced more struggles - alcoholism, illiteracy, poverty, and suicide rates were through the roof.
Beliefs and Values
Native American Beliefs
Everything is sacred from the tallest mountain to the smallest plant or animal.
There is a lesson to be learned in every occurrence and nothing happened without a reason.
Their elders hold the answers, because they are the oldest and have lived and experienced many things.
Honor, love and Respect:
They love, honor and respect not only Mother Earth, but every living creature as well
The earth is not up for sale, it's a gift from nature to us and must be respected.
- Native Americans are 177% more likely to die from diabetes
- 500% are more likely to die from tuberculosis
- 82% are more likely to die from suicide
They believe that the spirits of their ancestors help guide them through tough situations. One way that they honor them, is through the Ghost Dance
Pine Ridge is a Native American Reservation that is located in South Dakota, they descend from Lakota Sioux Indian Tribes have lived there for generations. They are one of the poorest reservations, with employment at a all time low, drug and alcohol addictions, and gang violence.
Life on the reservation is very simplistic, and closed off to the public. There are two kinds of communication in communities, their are high context and low context cultures. High context are communities like Wheaton where there are signs and directions for outsiders. However, in low context communities directions are assumed, for example directions would be "Go down to "so and so's" barn and take a left, then at the fork turn". Family is a large part of reservation life, the community is close knit and large extended families often live together in one trailer.
Native Americans believe that the earth is a gift. It's not an object to be traded or sold, so they share the land and take what they need, not what they want.
But, we believe the opposite, why?
We sell, and take ownership of land. More than what we need for ourselves, because it's a way of income. It's a way for us to keep our distance, and make us feel secure, that we have a little bit that belongs to us.
Our Thoughts and Opinions
Overall, we have learned multiple things about Native Americans. Native Americans had a great culture and environment before the white people came with disease and harsh attitude towards them. We made the Native Americans hide their culture and live in a place where they can be accepted which is their only friends and neighbors. They live in a world of poverty while we live in a world of wants, which make us different. Yet, with all the crimes happening it makes them similar to us because they are trying to make a living.