Cultural Relativism Essay

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There were times of hesitation and skepticism leading up to taking a course on American Indian studies. Am I even interested in this? Is it relevant to me? Will I take anything away from this course? These moments of worry were short lived and now near the end of the course I find myself promoting the importance in learning of these once unfamiliar tribal people for good reasons. It is important to learn about Native Americans in Iowa so that we can support their communities, understand the complexity of their culture, build respect for their culture, clear up any misconceptions we have towards Natives, and help people come to realize their ethnocentric thoughts and turn towards cultural relativism.
Learning to respect the diverse natures between American culture and American Indian cultures so that we can better relate to peoples who lived/live in our state is undeniably important, but can only happen by taking the first step in actually educating oneself on some of those differences. Some basic yet essential differences lie in Iowa Native’s economic principles along with their kinship system. I believe it is most important for Iowans to start with two big differences in culture like these to start breaking down the barriers of personal bias as to what culture “should” look like. Iowa Native’s economy operated on the basis of the exchanging of gifts with one another in a sort of indirect bartering (Whitman 4). No real rules mean this system can get complicated quickly much

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