Oppression of American Indians in Our Hearts Fell to the Ground

1318 Words 6 Pages
From the Sioux in the North, to the Tonkawa in the South, tribes filled North America when the Europeans first set foot on the soil that we now know as the United States. The relationship between the Native American tribes and the Europeans had its fair share of difficulties for the next thirty years. Faced with the threat of the westward movement, as well as the ruthless military treatment that came with it, the North Americans began their unjustified, inhumane battle for survival.

The Europeans colonization of North America has forever changed the lives and cultures of the Native Americans. The white settlers, in many ways, destroyed the Native American population. Throughout the 19th century, they brought fatal diseases,
…show more content…
Having no immunity at this time, the diseases that were not so fatal to the whites often proved to be fatal to the Indians. Sometimes, a disease would destroy an entire village with an overwhelming outbreak.

Indians were victims of an unjust federal policy. The federal policy proved to be ambivalent, and the Europeans were the ones who usually benefited. For example, the passing of the Dawes Act in 1887, allowed the federal government to separate tribes and begin to alter their way of life. Under this act, an Indian could only become a citizen if they abandoned their lifestyles and began acting as the Europeans did.

The government made it almost impossible for the Native Americans to sustain their culture under the circumstances they provided with their various acts. In efforts to pass white beliefs and values to Indian children, the Europeans created boarding schools. Children had to leave their families because they were influencing them by teaching the native culture.

They left homes to be malnourished, abused and brain-washed at these schools. Luther Standing Bear has memories of bread and water being the main food course at most times. Soon after, he realized that he had no choice but to follow the demands and begin living his life as the white man did.

The traumatic boarding schools forced Native American children to abandon and be ashamed of their own culture. Jim Whitewolf clearly remembers the Indian children having to
Open Document