Native american rights

North Dakota Pipeline/Standing Rock

The North Dakota Pipeline/Standing rock has been talked about a lot in the news lately. What is going on is there is plans for a pipeline that would go through and contaminate Natives burial sites and drinking water. Many people have protested and been harmed in the protests, while there are occasionally violent protesters, there have been cases of violence against protesters even if they are not violent.

Pine Ridge Reservation/ The Lakota

Pine Ridge Reservation is a reservation in South Dakota populated by Oglala Lakota Native Americans located about 370 miles away from us. Pine Ridge Reservation is highly impoverished with the average income per year being $3,000 dollars. Many people in Pine Ridge are hooked on drugs or alcohol with the alcoholism rate at around 80% in a population of about 15,500. There is an extremely high death rate in infants and adults.

Terrifying facts about Pine Ridge

1. The rate of diabetes is 8 times that of the United States

2. The rate of heart disease is twice as much as the U.S.

3. The teen suicide rate is about 4 times that of the national average

4. The life expectancy rate is the second lowest in the northern hemisphere

The Wounded Knee Massacre

What happened at the Wounded Knee Massacre?

The Lakota had lived in the Black Hills comfortably until gold was found and a flood of white men came in to get the gold and invaded their land. The people who came digging for gold took over their common hunting ground and killed their game and put down places they could stay in. The Lakota slowly became confined to living in specific government reservations, the Lakota danced a dance call a Ghost Dance, the Ghost Dance continued to spread and white people were alarmed, a government agent even sent a telegram saying "Indians are dancing in the snow and are wild and crazy". A group of 5,000 troops arrived where a group of the Lakota led by Sitting Bull were and many of them left to wounded knee, at wounded knee, troops massacred the Lakota killing about 150, destroying their homes and supplies, about half of those killed were innocent women and children.

Sand Creek Massacre

The Sand Creek Massacre is an event that has no justification. During the time of the gold rush, more land was taken from the Cheyanne and Arapahoe along with other tribes because of gold being found, there were treaties signed that took away land from the Cheyanne and Arapahoe which made some of them unhappy and they protested and stayed. Violence broke out between both sides but two chiefs decided they would like to create a truce and were told to camp at Fort Lyon, Colorado along with having to fly an American flag to show they are peaceful. Despite having the American flag flying, a troop of 700 was sent to attack while most of the men were out hunting, they attacked despite the waving of an American flag along with the waving of a white flag, killing innocent Natives and women and children, genocide was committed to an innocent group of people.

How Much land have we taken away from Native Americans

The map speaks for itself

So what is the problem?

The problem is for years the Natives have been massacred by Americans fueled by greed and prejudice. There land has been taken, they have been attacked un fairly, their culture has been appropriated, their opinions have been ignored, and their culture has often been killed.

What can we do?

Hopefully over time we can give them their land back. We can respect their opinions and culture. When we can pay to see performances by them and stand with them in times of need. We can stop appropriating their culture, ex: Halloween costumes, large non Native American companies selling dream catchers. And finally we can teach far more of their history and stop glorifying all we've done to get to the America we have now.

When I look back now from this high hill of my old age,I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. -Black Elk

Credits:

Created with images by bimbatoe - "wigwam tepee tipi" • otisarchives3 - "cp 2012 wounded knee" • Boston Public Library - "Freckled Face, Arapahoe" • USDAgov - "An undated photo of Black Elk"

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