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Native Americans History: The Other Trail of Tears

Natives are people who live a life that is very different from the rest; this is because such people lack their rights of living in that particular country. Natives are indigenous people from the regions of North America who are covered by the continent of United States and parts of Alaska. It refers to a large number of distinct tribes; states and the ethnic groups where by some are political communities.

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All natives are not from America only but there are still others who come from Alaska and other insular regions. Due to the colonization by the Europeans then the cultures and populations of these people were affected. The population decreased due to the violence that occurred to these people, there were also diseases that were brought by the rulers, there was displacement of these people from their homeland as they had no power to defend the entry of these colonists, also some were taken as slaves and there was high intermarriage that affected most of the people but the main cause of the decline of population was due to the diseases that were brought by the Europeans.

The infectious diseases that were brought by these colonizers include the measles and chicken pox that easily spread to these natives. There was also the small pox that affected the population very much which led to the destroy of the villages and it is estimated that over 90% of these natives died of these diseases, this is because there was no cure for them at that time as the natives were not developed enough and they used the herbal medicines for treatment that were not able to cure these diseases. During the 20th century the natives experienced increase in population that resulted due to the decline in mortality rates and also disease decline. (Rogers, 1983)

The increase in population was due to the increase in intermarriages and the changing of the fertility rates and it resulted from the people identifying themselves with the census form. Most of the natives who joined the struggle sided with the British with the hope that the American revolutionary war would prevent the expansion of these colonists onto the native lands and after the colonial era there was a policy that was to be enforced so that these natives could get there lands back but it was not possible because of the force of the people who had settled in these lands.

The Americans were eager to expand and the government sought to do this through purchasing the Native American lands in treaties and thus the settlers were not ready for this policy as they had settled in the productive lands of these natives. The policy that was used by the Indians in the removal forced the relocation of major natives in the eastern united states that resulted to deaths directly and indirectly and these groups were located in areas were they could be forced to leave their traditions and be pushed into the European- American society.

Due to conflicts between the US forces and many different tribes then the US government authorities introduced treaties during this time but many collapsed due to certain reasons. The policy towards these people had been evolving and at the end of the nineteenth century the reformers adapted the practice of educating the native children in the Indian schools that were run by the Christian missionaries and this education was not liked by these native children this is because they were not allowed to speak their language and thus they found it hard as they hard to learn the new language, also they were taught Christianity instead of their traditions and therefore they were forced to adapt the European American cultures. (Deas, 1985)

Many of these natives moved to different places and in earlier 1830s there was an act that was passed that is the Indian removal act which allowed for the round up of more than 15,000 Cherokee Indians in the state of US and this caused their removal to the state of the Oklahoma. The act was part of the treaty which was concerned with the agreement with the Cherokee nation to have new land in Oklahoma so that were they lived before could be sold. In 1924 there was another act that is the Indian citizenship act that gave these natives the rights of been citizens this was because of the interest that they had to merge with the American and also the service that these natives gave during the first world war.

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Currently these natives are of many tribes about 570 and they have their rights to have a government, they can enforce laws for the wrong doers, they can offer taxes to the concerned, they can license and regulate activities and thus they can do anything that a citizen can be able to do but they have no power to make war, engage in foreign relations or have their own money this has not been given to them.

Many of the Native Americans and advocates of the Native American rights point out that the government wishes to rule these people. Therefore these people required sovereign in that they wanted to be treated just like the other sovereign nations and have relations of handling their matters through the secretary of state rather than the bureau of Indian affairs. Many of the smaller tribes were trying to gain recognition of their tribal status that would enable the people to have right to label arts and crafts but it was not easy to get this permission because of the military defeat, cultural pressure, confinement on reservations, they are forced in cultural assimilation, there was no laws to cover their languages and culture and also due to the changes of policies. (Cannon, 1987)

The people were involved in human abuse that is things like, the slavery and the poverty had high impact in these people where by they were affected mentally and physically and the health problems were caused by alcoholism, heart failure and diabetes and therefore they had no cure for some of these diseases they had suffered from. So that the federal government could recognize a tribe then it had to have its existence been long enough. Conflicts between the natives and the federal government led to violence and thus the natives had to face this violence, as they had not completely been given their full control over their properties.

The cultural aspects of these people included things like the hunting and gathering that were improved through the conduct that was between the Europeans and these tribes had to make use of new technologies that led them to have efficient production. This is because at early ages they used the stone weapons that could not produce products that could be used by these people to feed their families and thus they had to make implementation on their tools and most of them were made on the bows and arrows were they used quality materials and their out come was great. They had organization that was governed by chiefs who had the rights to control the tribe as expected.

The chief was seen to be above all in the tribe and he had the right to make laws that could guide all the people and any wrong doer was liable to punishment. But before they could form the tribal structure there existed the gentes that dominated these people. This structure had several rights where by there was the right of disposing the chiefs and the sachem after been elected, there was no obligation to marry in the gens and other related things that the people were not allowed to do as per the structure. (Francis, 1987)

They had different structures that helped them live according to their cultures that is the introduction of the tribal structure then the people were able to have possession of a territory and have a name and they had supreme government that consisted of the council of chiefs who were the controller of the tribe in terms of making laws that would govern these people and therefore they had to stay and do according to what is expected of them in the tribe.

These people experienced hard times before they were given the rights of been citizens in that they were not given chance to have possession of property and therefore the rulers took from them without any fear as these people were seen to be of less importance. The rules that were governing the other people were used to punish any one who was against the law and thus these people were severely punished as compared to the normal citizens at that time. The natives had nothing they could attached a claim on and therefore they children were misused and done all sorts of mistreatment as they were not allowed to have any right of been a citizen.

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These people were engaged in design work where they made the products on basis of their tribal stories and legends these was work for some groups and other tribes made them in association with the religious ceremonies which were won by the dancers with the view of impersonating their ancestors. Sculpture work was not highly developed but they carved stones that were made for religious use. Their arts can also be recognized on weaving and embroidery work where by they made items and did a lot of decoration to them using the rich dyes.

They also made the jewelry and high quality pottery work and formalized pictorial arts. Therefore on artwork these people were able to make items that could be used to symbolize something that was of importance in the society and thus they were not able to leave their culture easily.

The traditional music for these natives included drumming or use of other percussion instruments that were made from wood, cane, or bone and the tuning of these flutes depended on the length of the wood that was used. Economically these people dried meat and fish and thus they were able to sell them so that they could earn a living. There was also some who did farming and were on the eastern woodlands where by they used hoes and sticks to plant and those in the southern desert hunted small animals and gathered acorns. (Jones, 1987)

These people did activities depending on the area where one was situated and thus they were able to work so that they could feed their families. Most of these natives faced many challenges in their life time this is because most of them were involved in drinking and through this they were able to get diseases that led to death as there was no medicine at that time. The sample that was taken to these natives showed that most of these natives were involved in taking alcohol that was dangerous in their lives.

The natives were not given the same priority to have possession of things just like the others and therefore they lived lives that were full of problems and many of them were mistreated as in the schools the children were not seen as important but the main target of mistreatment was to ensure that these people loss their cultures and traditions and be able to use the cultures of the other people.

They were faced with the problem of been homeless and the reason is because they were not able to make their own and also due to the discrimination that occurred and therefore these people were not able to construct homes. The whites that interfered with their religion invaded the Native Americans. This is because the colonists were technologically armed with weapons, diseases that were foreign and due to this then the Europeans were are to conquer then and introduce their own practices apart from that of the natives.

The history and the culture of these natives were lost during the invasion. Due to lack of written language to most of the tribes then they were forced to depend on aril tradition that were difficult to maintain and therefore they lost their traditions.

These people did not know how to read or write this is because the reading and writing was introduced by the colonizers as they used to communicate these traditions to the generations through tales and stories and they had separation of gender where by the girls were taught by their grand mothers and the males were taught by their grand fathers and therefore due to this problem then each sex learnt of the things that they were expected to know. (William, 1930)

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Therefore after the invasion by then Europeans then there languages were affected and it became hard to locate information concerning their beliefs and rituals as these colonizers did this away with. The rituals were practiced by certain tribes to symbolize something like for example the Iroquois tribes performed the rituals as a symbolic worship services that occurred in accordance to certain seasonal periods throughout the year and they were handed down through the generation and remained unchanged. There was also the festivals that occurred during important agricultural periods were by they worshipped and thanked the great spirit for protection and survival and they had one of the invisible agents that was greatly honored and this was done depending on the period of the year. (John, 1986)

The people had loosely organized council of qualified individuals who were expected to perform these rituals and all in the tribe respected them. But due to the civilization that was brought by the colonizers then these rituals were affected as they introduced Christianity that was far from the beliefs they had and also the Christianity brought about the collapse of these councils as their children in school were taught on Christian basis but not on the traditional background and therefore these children brought changes in the society as they were greatly affected by the school learning criteria that never allowed them to use their language and have their culture been followed and they knew how to write and read.

The religion brought about many changes to these people both on the positive part and the negative. The positive impacts are that the people were able to know how to read and write and therefore the use of new technology was easily adopted where by the production was raised. This Christianity also changed the people’s way of life were by they believed on great spirits that were able to offer security and they were easily convinced to know about God been their provider and giver of every thing and thus it brought about the change of people’s culture from the traditional to the civilization basis.

The negative part of is that it brought about many mistreatments by the people who brought it to the natives and therefore these people faced all sorts of challenges that could lead to the effects of the proper survival of the natives. Most of the people who brought this religion did not care for the traditions that were observed by these natives and therefore they imposed it and forced their practices to the people thus affected most of these people as they were not allowed to have their rights of doing what they thought was right. (Katty, 1985)

The native Americans were people who were greatly affected by the colonizers and most of the effects was in the children that were forced to attend the boarding schools that were run by the Christians these children were not given freedom, of speaking their language and therefore they were forced to learn the new language that was taught by these colonizers. Also in the traditions and cultures they were not allowed to practice and therefore the colonizers stood a better chance of enforcing their own cultures to these people and the their religion was changed to Christianity as the schools belonged to these Christian missionaries therefore the only religion that was accepted was this Christianity.


Cannon, M. (1987): The crisis and the overland journey of these natives to the west. Cambridge university press.

Deas, J. (1985): The problems faced by the natives that led to the migration to the west. Journal of Cherokee studies, pp. 239.

Francis, N. (1987): The history of Native Americans in the United States. Oxford university press.

Jones, P. (1987): the population losses during the trail of tears. A population history. Lincoln: university of Nebraska press.

John, M. (1986): The emigration of the detachments in America. A journal of Cherokee studies, pp. 78.

Katty, R. (1985): the tragedy of the natives in America. Norman: university of Oklahoma press.

Rogers, J. (1983): The rituals that were performed by the Native Americans in respect to their ancestors. CO: Bauu press.

William, S (1930): the history of the natives in India and their legends and folklore. The warden company.

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