The Portrayal of Native Americans

Decent Essays

Throughout my life, I’ve seen Native Americans portrayed in many different ways. The thing I have noticed is that white-based media and history has portrayed Native Americans much differently than history told by Native Americans has. It seems to me that the white-based media makes Native Americans look like savage people while the whites were heroic, while the Native American media and history shines a better image on their people. Killing Custer by James Welch with Paul Stekler goes over events that happened in the time of the Wild West from the Native American standpoint. Even though it doesn’t go over the white settlers’ personal standpoints too often, it does talk about what the government at the time was doing to Native Americans, and it does talk some about the white people felt at the time. The book talks about settlers being afraid of running into Native Americans because they were led to believe they were dangerous and bloodthirsty. The book also talks about how some citizens, whether they be civilians, army personnel, or government officials, sympathized with how Native Americans were being treated, while other white people just wanted them assimilated or terminated completely. One phrase that is used a few times in Killing Custer is “Nits make lice”, which was said to make it seem okay when innocent women and children were killed in battles between the army and Native Americans, or when they died from the small pox outbreak brought on by white

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