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Native Americans Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Columbian Exchange

The term Columbian Exchange refers to the large-scale exchange of animals, plants, goods, diseases and people between the Old and New Worlds. This event is one of the more significant events of all-time as it marks the beginning of the modern era of history. Not only were Native Americans greatly impacted by the Columbian Exchange as it brought them devastation and catastrophe, but the Europeans were also affected as they benefited from the precious metals and agriculture they received. This exchange helps to explain why Europe was able to rise, prosper and go on to become a super power. The devastation of the Natives led to a great demand for labor which was met with the enslavement of approximately 12…

Native American Genocide

When people think of genocide, there are many different examples that may run through their heads. An important example of genocide that came about during World War II was Adolf Hitler’s attempt to eliminate people of the Jewish faith. This example may be the most prominent in history, but it may not have been the earliest. Many think that genocides only occur in foreign countries, but in fact, one of the first genocides known to man took place in the soil we are currently standing on. When colonists first came to America, they thought they were discovering new land. Contrary to their belief, they were actually attempting to take over land that was already inhabited by people with their own…

Why Were Buffalo so Important to the Plains Indians

Plains Indians became totally dependent on the Buffalo for their existence and it provided them with food, shelter, tools, entertainment and clothing. The Plains Indians became traveling hunters because the Buffalo moved to different places and the Indians followed the vast herds that covered the Plains. Until the arrival of the horse, the Native Americans hunted on foot. As they followed the Buffalo killed as many animals as possible for the leaner times and during winter when game was not as plentiful. The Plains Indian found many uses for the Buffalo. They would use the horns as building tools, arrow straighteners, cups and ladles. The intestines of a Buffalo would be used as buckets usually for holding water and cooking…

How Violent Was the Old West?

When people think about the Old West they usually think about Cowboys, murderers, and violence. But how violent was the Old West really? I think the people are often just exaggerating. One reason for that are probably all the western movies that represent it often in a wrong way. They show cowboys as men whose only job is to have gun fights with bad guys. Of course this isn’t true. Know something about the history of the Old West respectively the Great Plains. The Great planes were inhabited by Indian settlers. Their lifestyle was strongly influenced by the buffalos. They lived in tepees so that they can easily move after the buffalos. But in the mid 19th century white settlers…

Monkey Beach

Among the many books and films we have read and watched, I enjoyed Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson and Flight by Sherman Alexie the most. Both protagonists’ go through struggles while making decisions that will affect their own lives permanently. Zits, the main character of Flight, had a lonely and sad life, similar to Lisa from Monkey Beach. I believe that these two characters are similar through more than just misfortunes, but on a physical and a mental level as well. Both characters go through traumatic situations that shape them into sad and angry people. The similarities between Lisa and Zits lives show that character development is strongly affected by surrounding environments as well as the people you involve yourself…

Effects on spanish conquest of the Americas

? The combination of prolonged warfare, exploitation, disease and the spread of Catholicism gradually asserted Spanish dominion over the indigenous population in America, who nonetheless survived and endured both the conquest and 300 years of colonial rule. Due to Spanish pestilence and wholesale slaughter the Native American population was decimated. Committed by Royal decree, Spanish conquistadors converted their New World indigenous subjects to Catholicism. Once Native Americans were scattered Spanish conquistadors subdued and exploited them. Beginning with the 1492 arrival of Christopher. Columbus and continuing for over three centuries, the Spanish Empire would expand its borders across half of South America, most of Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and much of North America (including present day Mexico, Florida and the…

The Myth and Reality of the American West

We have all heard the stories about the old west. There are the infamous gunfights, the cowboys that steal all of the women’s hearts, and the many stagecoach robberies. But how can we tell fact from fiction? Where is the line drawn between the reality of the American west and the myth portrayed in the numerous books and movies? Everything may not have been as adventurous as we believe, or as glamorous. But the real question is: what is true and what is not? ​It is shocking how many misconceptions are made about the old west. I for one, definitely picture what most people probably do. Cowboys are always the first that come to mind. Everyone loved a rustic, rugged,…

Westward Expansion before 19th Century

American history was powerfully influenced throughout the 19th century by the steady push west and the development of the Western frontier. This began of course with the establishment of the first English colonies beginning with Jamestown (1607). At the time the Western Frontier was just a few miles up the James River. Gradually the Western Frontier was seen as the Appalachian Mountains. The British effort to close off the land beyond the Appalachians was one of the major causes of the Revolution (1776). The West for the early American Republic was the Ohio River Valley, which the Erie Canal played an important role in opening. To the south there were other lands beyond the Appalachians, which proved to be ideal…

Cultural Assessment Journal Entry

When I first started this course I began to ask myself, “Am I culturally competent?” Did I even know what cultural competency means? The Office of Minority Health (2005) describes cultural competency as “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.” Every year the healthcare system I work for includes this in our annual training. We are to watch a video on cultural diversity and answer a series of questions to deem that I am competent in cultural diversity for our facility. The problem with this educational method is that the testing system will allow you to answer the questions without having to…

Is Western Culture Dominating Indian Culture

Now we are in 21st century ,if we compare the culture which means the way we live,the way we love,the way we give respect to yelders and teachers,the food we eat,the way we dress,etc., of the 20th century I can say that the western culture is not dominating but going to dominate unique Indian culture. Today youth occupy most of the population of our country.Youth contribute to the uniqueness of any nation.Our nation has its uniqueness in its culture through the world.Most of the countries respect our culture. But for a doveloping country like India some of the western principles are necessary to make it dovelprd country.This reason is making our youth attracted to the bad part of western culture…

Silence: Sociology and Western Apache Culture

In his paper “To give up on words” K.H. Basso tells us about the study of Western Apache culture that was conducted in east-central Arizona in 1964-69. This work was devoted to exploring the reasons of refusal to speak and maintaining silence among American Indians. Athtor uses the testimony type of evidence to support his claims calling actual witnesses “informants”. The research showed that depending on the different social roles and various circumstances there are 6 types of situations when Western Apaches “give up on words”: 1.”Meeting strangers”, 2.”Courting”, 3.”Children coming home”, 4.”Getting cussed out”, 5.”Being with people who are sad”, 6.”Being with someone for whom they sing”. Summarazing all evidence athor concludes that the main reason of maintaning silence…

Three Cultural Regions of America Before Colonization

The three cultural regions of North America preceding colonization were the southwest, south, and Northeast. In these three cultural regions, there were several different groups of people that occupy the land. The Southwest region has the Pueblo Peoples or Pueblos. The south region has the Cherokee. The northeast has the Algonquians. The Pueblo peoples or the Pueblos settled mainly on the east of the Grand Canyon. The Pueblos traditional homes were made from the sandstone, which was held in place with mud. The houses were stocked up together as defense in mind. There were several groups that made up the pueblo peoples. The Pueblos spoke several dialects but one thing they all had in common was their affection and commitment…

Dbq Indian Removal

DBQ When the Native Americans lived east of the Mississippi river, they didn’t want to follow the law and be part of U.S. government and wanted to govern their own people. Andrew Jackson being a president of United States didn’t want the group to ignore the government therefore, proposed to move them west of the Mississippi river. In order to justify and keep threats away from the U.S. settlers, the U.S. government promised them bigger land, money, pay for their needs and support for one year as said in the excerpt from Indian Removal Act 1830 (source 1). This act should be justified because it resolved the conflicts between the U.S. and the Indies were given comparable land and support….

Bonding over a mascot

“Bonding over a mascot” an essay to show the country that an Indian mascot can’t bring a college, a community down, is a great expression by one student to show how ridiculous things are getting in America. The Seminoles are what Florida State is all about, just like the Golden Bears is what California Berkeley is all about. These symbols of pride and school spirit are what most colleges love to represent. In Florida the Seminole is being portrayed as a joke or disgrace in the real Seminoles tribe’s eyes but that is not what these students are trying to do. In Joe Lapointe’s essay he is showing us how some students love the fact that there mascot is something…

Burial Rituals of Native American Culture

At some point in our lives, we all come to realize that death is a part of life. Cultural diversity provides a wide variety of lifestyles and traditions for each of the unique groups of people in our world. Within these different cultures, the rituals associated with death and burial can also be uniquely diverse. Many consider ritualistic traditions that differ from their own to be somewhat strange and often perceive them as unnatural. A prime example would be the burial rituals of the Native American people. Leslie Marmon Silko’s story entitled The Man to Send Rain Clouds describes a funeral service carried out by a Native American Pueblo family. Though many perceive the funeral service narrated in this story…

Conflicts with White Settlers

There were many causes of the conflicts that occurred between white settlers and Native Americans. The Europeans who came to the New World in the early years of their exploration found native people who had a complex civilization with a very different culture than the Europeans did. With the clash of these two cultures, conflict was inevitable. Each culture fought to keep theirs alive and dominant. One major cause of conflict was broken treaties and promises with the settlers. This caused a lot of anger on each side. Along with broken treaties, constant invasion on one another’s land was another major cause of the conflicts. Lastly, unfair treatment and trade negotiations were also helping the fights continue. In conclusion, the…

Native Americans vs American Settlers

There are a number of dissimilarities between the Native Americans and the American Settlers. Although the Native Americans wanted to live in peace with American Settlers, their cultural differences led to warfare. This essay will compare and contrast a couple differences of these two cultures. I will discuss both groups opinion on land and resources. Then, I will explain both groups’ views on Nature. Native Americans Conserved land and viewed its resources as scared, while the Americans felt as though the land was nothing but opportunity for their colonies. While hunting, Native Americans used every piece of the animal from the hide to the bones and everything in between. They respected the land and believed it belonged to mother-nature, so…

Reaction to Dances with Wolves

Manifest Destiny was an idea that America should take all the land and spread its blessings of Democracy. In this film “Dances with Wolves” you see how this idea affected the Native Americans. A stereotype was put on all Indians. They were thought of as violent and beggars and thieves. One tribe the Pawnee did fit this description and attacked white settlers. John Dunbar, an American soldier, was sent by the government to communicate with the Indians. While communicating with the Lakota tribe he discovers the true man he is. Dunbar admires the tribe and their many qualities and all the cultural differences. Even Though many cultural differences stood between John Dunbar and the Lakota tribe they communicated, compared differences…

Racial Divides in The Last of the Mohicans

Throughout James Fennimore Cooper’s novel The Last of the Mohicans a common theme of interracial friendship and love and the difficulty it takes to overcome such an obstacle, is shown strongly in the work. In the novel Cooper shows how the America people of European decent treat those that are native, by showing how negatively they treat the Native Americans. Chingachgook and Hawkeye have a friendship that is genuine and deep, bypassing the normal relationship between that of a white man and a Mohican Indian. Interracial love and romantic relationships are condemned in The Last of the Mohicans, for example when, Cora, the older daughter of Munro, is approached by Magua and he explains his desire for their marriage it…

Mary Rowlandson

In A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, the author depicts a transformation she undergoes during her captivity at the hands of the Indians. While her first inclination in captivity is to end her suffering as quickly as possible by giving up on her life, Rowlandson quickly takes up the role of survivalist, determined to stay alive long enough to be released and returned back to civilization. Along the way, however, Rowlandson compromises on aspects of her life in order to achieve this survival. As a means of surviving the ordeal of a constantly changing environment, Rowlandson adapts her opinions regarding food, the Native Americans, and even the land around her to take on the perspective…

Native American Spirituality

The purpose of this essay is to present the spiritual world of the Native Americans, which is one of the oldest forms of Spirituality that exists on earth. The main reason why I have chosen this topic is because I want to find out more information about their spiritual dimension and perhaps to understand better the main differences between our religion and theirs. In order to better observe this aspect, I will be analyzing the religious beliefs of three Native American tribes, such as: The Iroquois, the Apache and the Dakota tribes. To start with, I consider it relevant to mention that the Native American religions centers on a collection of beliefs, which vary from tribe to tribe. However, almost…

Turner Thesis Summary

Throughout history society has to go through many changes that not only affect many of the people but also the areas around the transformation. The main point of Fredrick Jackson Turner’s thesis is what the real essence of America is, and how we’re all influenced by the many changes we have to go through. He believes that American history should not be focused on the extension of European enterprise. The society will have to realize that America will have to be emancipated because of the fact that we had a country with an unlimited amount of boundaries and have to come to realization that we have many closed-spaced limits. The views in the seminal essay share his thoughts on the…

Indian Nations

For Centuries, Indian Nations converted their knowledge into wealth and social order through that process of innovation. The purpose of innovation is to create a new value for a society at large. Indian Nations created those new values in the form of advancements in many fields like Mathematics, Architecture and Religion that modern society continues to build on. Divergent Indian Tribes, throughout North and South America, had been thriving and living for generations with a deep reverence for their God or Spirit, and living in symbiosis with the land. As the new settlers arrived, they introduced their own brand of social order, however, they failed to understand the impact their desire to conform or corral the native people would forever…

Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals portrays the some of the problems Native American Indians have had to deal with over the years. The main character is a young Native American teenage boy, Victor Joseph, (Adam Beach), and how alcohol affected his life and relationship between him and his father, Arnold Joseph, (Gary Farmer),. This story brings to light the custom of storytelling by the Native American’s. Story telling is used as narration by another character, Thomas, (Evan Adams). These stories by Thomas prompt flashback memories and explain the nature Victor and Thomas’ relationship and how it formed from the time they were infants. Victor and Thomas set out on a road trip to Phoenix to retrieve Victor’s fathers remain after his death and…

French and Indian War

The French and Indian War altered the political, economic, and ideological relations between Britain and American colonies. Ideologically, this War brought up resentment toward Britain this changed the political relationship between Britain and its colonists because the British were forced to unfairly tax them due to their debt. The French and Indian war transformed North America by only leaving the British and the colonists left in their region. Greedy as the British were they did not treat the colonists fair by taxing them lead to resentment that lead to the American Revolution. After the French and Indian War, North America completely changed. Before 1754 English, French, Spanish, and the Russians had a portion of North America that they had power…

Settlement of the West over the Whole Period

In considering the process of the settlement of the West over the whole period, how far can the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 be seen as the key turning point? The war of 1812 was followed by a period of exploration of the West which had been greatly expanded by the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The process of expansion was huge and resulted in the original 13 states being 45 states by 1906. As well as the Louisiana Purchase, the Mexican-American War and the Californian Gold Rush of 1848, the Homestead Act of 1862 and the Exodus movement from 1879 were all key turning points which helped the process of Westward Expansion. The key criteria for judging a turning point is…

Motivational Interviewing

The Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change approach is complementary to the cultural values of Native American people and emphasizes listening, learning, and respect. Addictions in this day and time can be contributed to many factors and effect every ethnicity of people. Substance addiction has even affected the smallest ethnicity of people, Native Americans since their encounter with white people. Motivational Interviewing (MI) has even helped Native Americans through counselors learning and implementing the techniques. Even though clients are naturally resistant to change, utilizing the three pillars are very effective in helping even Native American people because expressing empathy shows that you care and developing discrepancy between client’s present behaviors and values & beliefs. Counselors today need to be trained…

Treatment of Native Americans

From the very beginning of American history, settlers have poorly treated the Native Americans. As some people know, “poorly” is an understatement. The treatment of the indigenous people was horrible during the 1800s from being forced to move west, having laws made against them by the government, and mass murder, even though that isn’t what our history books like to tell us today. In 1804, fur trading was established with the Oglala and became a big part of their life. Then, the Oglala and Lakota tribes decided to expand their control and influences west toward the Big Horn mountains. Then, on March 26, the United States government forced the Native Americans to move west past the Mississippi River. This meant…

Native Americans in the United States and Hardy Individualism

Prompt: Although the development of the Trans-Mississippi West is popularly associated with hardy individualism, it was in fact largely dependent on the federal government. Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to western economic activities in the 19th century. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the idea of the far west captivated many. The chance to begin life anew attracted thousands of individuals and families alike to move out west and escape their current life, which was usually full of poverty and for some, full of discrimination. As the west expanded and grew into an important part of the United States, westerners found it somewhat difficult to survive with important resources going scarce. Although the development of…

The Five Civilized Tribes and the “Trail of Tears”

The Indian Removal Act and the “Trail of Tears” was one of the worst tragedies in American history. It shows that the US government was forcing Native Americans to move from their homelands and endure great hardships of famine, cold and harsh weather, long treks on foot, and unfamiliar places with no regards to their safety, culture, history and wellbeing. Since the settling of North America by European colonists, relations between Native Americans and their increasing neighbors had been a bone of contention. While various groups were able to maintain peaceful relationships for a short time, the most general and often remembered state is one of hostility and disagreement. Both before and after its forming, the United States would encroach…