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Transcript of Forced assimilation
The History of Forced Assimilation
Home's the place we head for in our sleep
Boxcars stumbling north in dreams
don't wait for us. We catch them on the run.
The rails, old lacerations that we love,
shoot parallel across the face and break
just under Turtle Mountains. Riding scars
you can't get lost. Home is the place they cross
The lame guard strikes a match and makes the dark
less tolerant. We watch through cracks in boards
as the land starts rolling, rolling til it hurts
to be here, cold in regulation clothes.
We know the sheriff's waiting at midrun
to take us back. His car is dumb and warm.
The highway doesn't rock, it only hums
like a wing of long insults. The worn-down welts
of ancient punishments lead back and forth.
All runaways wear dresses, long green ones,
the color you would think shame was. We Scrub
the sidwalks down because it's shameful work.
Our brushes cut the stone in watered arcs
and in the soak frail outlines shiver clear
a moment, things us kids pressed on the dark
face before it hardened, pale, rembering
delicate old injuries, the spine of names and leaves.
Indian Boarding School: The Runaways
What is forced Assimilation? How did I get started? Why?
Indian Boarding Schools
Six Goals of Dawes Act
Code of Indian Offenses
By: Lousie Erdich
Forced assimilation is the process of which a ethnic or religious minority group is forced to follow the customs of the majority.
Two main reasons for forced assimilation: 1) Many believed if natives adopted the "white" lifestyle, especially farming, more land would be freed that could be used.
2) Many believed it was their duty to "civilize" the "uncivilized" man
The idea to forcibly assimilate the natives into the "white" culture gained prominence in the early 1820s.
The Before and After
Known as Making Apples
Some natives adopted the American culture thinking it will result in peace
Many others resisted
Sitting Bull -Tribal leader, led many wars, and was later killed.
Methods of Assimilation
Forced relocation (Indian Removal act)
Indian Boarding Schools
Code of Indian offenses
Indian Removal Act of 1830
Passed by congress under Andrew Jackson
Supporters of this act believed Indians should assimilate into the country, and it was unacceptable to have sovereign tribes in the US
Opponents, such as Jeremiah Evarts, believed this act was made to destroy the native culture and take over their land
Led to the Trail of Tears resulting in the death of 4000 Cherokee
The Sun Chief of Hopi
"As I lay on my blanket I thought about my school days and all that I had learned. I could talk like a gentleman, read, write and cipher. I could name all the states in the Union with their capitals, repeat the names of all the books in the Bible, quote a hundred verses of Scripture, sing more than two dozen Christian hymns and patriotic songs, debate, shout football yells, swing my partners in square dances, bake bread, sew well enough to make a pair of trousers, and tell "dirty" Dutchman stories by the hour. It was important that I had learned how to get along with white men and earn money by helping them. But my death experience had taught me that I had a Hopi Spirit Guide whom I must follow if I wished to live. I wanted to become a real Hopi again, to sing the good old Kateine songs, and to feel free to make love without fear of sin or a rawhide"
Young children were forcibly taken from their parents, usually separated from family for months without sight
Forced to look european - Haircuts, clothing, etc.
Given new European names to "civilize" and "Christianize"
Forced to learn how to do American Jobs, especially farming
Children were forbidden to speak in their native tongue, practice their native religion, and were forced to live under strict military fashion rules
Assimilation was not viewed as a evil, but rather as good doing
"I rejoice, brothers, to hear you propose to become cultivators of the earth for the maintenance of your families. Be assured you will support them better and with less labor, by raising stock and bread, and by spinning and weaving clothes, than by hunting. A little land cultivated, and a little labor, will procure more provisions than the most successful hunt; and a woman will clothe more by spinning and weaving, than a man by hunting. Compared with you, we are but as of yesterday in this land. Yet see how much more we have multiplied by industry, and the exercise of that reason which you possess in common with us. Follow then our example, brethren, and we will aid you with great pleasure ..."
-President Thomas Jefferson, Brothers of the Choctaw Nation, December 17, 1803
Dawes Act of 1887
The stated objective of this act was to assimilate natives into the American lifestyle
One essential way for assimilation is through private land ownership
Led to Curtis Act which no longer recognized tribal governments
Broken up land was sold to Americans
breaking up of tribes as a social unit
encouraging individual initiatives
furthering the progress of native farmers
reducing the cost of native administration
securing parts of the reservations as Indian land,
opening the remainder of the land to white settlers for profit
A list of codes that that suppressed certain "evil" practices
Included a ban on religious rituals as they were considered "uncivilized"
Led to Ghost Dance movement, which resulted in the Wounded Knee Massacre
"Sun Chief." - Simmons, Leo W.; Talayesva, Don C.; Hine, Robert V. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
"The Wounded Knee Massacre - December 1890." The Wounded Knee Massacre - December 1890. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
"Primary Documents in American History." Indian Removal Act: (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress). N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
"Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest." ::: American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection :::. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
"Sitting Bull | Biography - Sioux Chief." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
The Period Of Assimilation
This period of assimilation denied the rights of millions of Natives to have their own culture
Effects are still seen today, as many languages and practices have died out
Some argue forced assimilation still goes on to a limited degree