Native Americans- Minority Role Essay

3423 Words14 Pages

Since the arrival of the Europeans in 1492 the Native American has systematically been dehumanized, decivilized and redefined into terms that typify a subordinate or minority role, restricted life opportunities persist today as a result.

I. Introduction-Majority/Minority group relations- the role of power

II. Historical Overview

A. Native American life before contact with the White man.

B. Early contact, efforts at peaceful co-existence.

C. Conflict and its consequences for Native Americans

III. The continuing role of power

A. Control techniques used by the majority group

B. Native American life today, SES, housing, education, etc.

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In most cases, the early explorers found the Native American peoples to be friendly and generous. Columbus was immediately struck by the peaceful, generous nature of the Taino. The Taino society was highly organized around a patriarchal hierarchy and distinguished by happiness and friendliness. Columbus frankly stated how surprised he had been to make friends with the Indians. He wrote, "They are gentle and comely people. They are so naive and free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would never believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone... They willingly traded everything they owned..." (DiBacco, 1995)
When the Europeans settlers started to arrive in the 16th- and 17th-centurys they too were met by Native Americans. “The Natives regarded their white-complexioned visitors as something of a marvel, not only for their outlandish dress and beards and winged ships, but even more for their wonderful technology - steel knives and swords, fire-belching arquebus and cannons, mirrors, hawkbells and earrings, copper and brass kettles, etc.” (Jordan, 1991). Increased interaction led to the Indians becoming less self-sufficient and economically dependent on the whites. As the years went on,
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