The plight of the Native American

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drankin

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This is a spin off of another thread. We are discussing the plight of the Native Americans and what the obligation of the US government is to them.

I believe the biggest tragedy is the loss of the rich culture and traditions as generation after generation become more "modernized". I lived in Alaska for many years and worked with 1st generation natives (born and raised in native only villages) and have witnessed how their ways are quickly watered down and forgotten over just a few generations.
 

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  • #2
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Well the indians in my state are living the good life with a few casinos to fatten their pockets.
 
  • #3
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I don't know what to do about Native Americans, but if you figure it out, tell the Israelis about it.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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I believe the biggest tragedy is the loss of the rich culture and traditions as generation after generation become more "modernized". I lived in Alaska for many years and worked with 1st generation natives (born and raised in native only villages) and have witnessed how their ways are quickly watered down and forgotten over just a few generations.
My ancestors were some of the first Germans to settle Pennsylvania. I certainly have no desire to go back to their way of living. Do Native Americans really want to abandon modern life?
 
  • #5
Astronuc
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I don't think Native Americans necessarily want to go back to the old ways, although some perhaps do.

I think they should have been (or should be) encouraged to preserve their various cultures and allowed to adapt those cultures to the modern age.

I think encouraging Indian casinos was a mistake, and in fact I think development of the gambling industry is a mistake, but that's people. People gamble, and many or most squander their money (that's a whole other issue).


The question would be how to compensate, other than simply giving a check or the equivalent of welfare (with which I disagree)?
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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I think they should have been (or should be) encouraged to preserve their various cultures and allowed to adapt those cultures to the modern age.
How exactly would one adapt a tribal hunter-gatherer society to the modern age. And again: why? The very suggestion quite simply makes no sense to me.

Same example as before: there is nothing identifiable about my way of life that would tell you that I'm German-American. There is nothing about what I do that is based in any way on the culture of the 1600s settler/farmer lifestyle.
The question would be how to compensate, other than simply giving a check or the equivalent of welfare (with which I disagree)?
Compensate who for what?
 
  • #7
Integral
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There is more to a culture then hunting and fishing. What can and should be preserved from these ancient cultures is the language and mythology, unfortunately there are fewer and fewer of the descendants who have the interest in doing so.

How and why could the survivors of these lost cultures be compensated for atrocities that are now over a century old? Neither the victims nor the perpetrators of the crimes are alive now. The best we can do is learn from the past and make every effort not to repeat the mistakes.
 
  • #8
turbo
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There was a great participatory democracy, called the Iroquis Confederacy by the French and alternatively known as the Six Nations.

Before the traditional Iroquois convened their consul meetings, they invoked this declaration : In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
It seems that we could learn a lot from these people - thinking 150 years out before making a decision that could negatively impact their descendants. The French worked cooperatively with the native inhabitants of the New World - the English were not so nice.
 
  • #9
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I don't think foreign settlers of America really were worried about negatively impacting the indians. I'm pretty sure the goal was to negatively impact them. They used all kinds of shady tactics to wreck it for the Natives. They systematically carried out their plan which worked pretty much as best as they could have hoped for.
 
  • #10
turbo
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I don't think foreign settlers of America really were worried about negatively impacting the indians. I'm pretty sure the goal was to negatively impact them. They used all kinds of shady tactics to wreck it for the Natives. They systematically carried out their plan which worked pretty much as best as they could have hoped for.
Actually, the French traders and settlers intermarried with the Native Americans, traded with them and generally tried to get along, which is why I have French-Indian heritage on my mother's side.
 
  • #11
loseyourname
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Same example as before: there is nothing identifiable about my way of life that would tell you that I'm German-American. There is nothing about what I do that is based in any way on the culture of the 1600s settler/farmer lifestyle. Compensate who for what?
It's kind of ironic that you use that as an example. Some of the modern world's most notable Luddites are Germans that settled in Pennsylvania. I met a few on my last trip out there and they seemed happy enough and they actually seemed to make a pretty decent living, mostly because they make some money and spend almost none and maintain a virtually closed economy but for the influx of cash from sales of goods.

I'm speaking of the Amish, of course.
 
  • #12
turbo
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My father's neighbor and friend deal with the Amish a lot. He buys up standard-bred horses that have been trained as trotters, but perhaps weren't doing so well on the track, and he trailers them to PA, sells them to the Amish for buggy-horses, and uses the money to buy the simple but elegant furniture that they make. He sells that out a little shop in back of his house. Rocking chairs, gliders, cradles...
 

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