It took a long time to change the image of Native Americans from the bloodthirsty (it: assetato di sangue) crazies (crazy: pazzo, folle) into what they really were: a proud (it: orgoglioso) group of people who would, when necessary, stand up (it: opporsi) and fight for what they thought was right.
Many Native American tribes were very peaceful. And some of the tribes who went to war only did so after the Europeans upset the balance (it: sconvolgere l'equilibrio) of things, trying to take land from the native people.
The Europeans invaded native lands and yet, even today, the most common image of a Native American is a warlike stereotype.
The Indian Removal Act began the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans in what became known as the Trail of Tears.
Native Americans opposed removal from their ancestral lands, resulting in a long series of battles with local white settlers. The forced relocation freed more than 25 million acres of fertile, lucrative farmland to mostly white settlement in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
More than 46,000 Native Americans were forced to abandon their homes and relocate to “Indian Territory” that eventually became the state of Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died on the journey—of disease, starvation, and exposure to extreme weather.
Fraser intended the work as a commentary on the damaging (it:rovinoso) effects of Euro-American settlement on American Indian nations confined on government reservations. Seated upon a windblown (it: battuto dal vento) horse, Fraser's figure slumps over (slump over: accasciarsi) hopelessly, embodying (it: incarnando) the physical exhaustion and suffering of a people (it: popolo) forcefully driven to the end of the trail. The sculpture captures every horror, every injustice, every betrayal in the forced Westward resettlement of the country's Native Americans post-1830.
Native American boarding schools were established in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to educate and assimilate Native American children and youths according to Euro-American standards.
Indian people would be taught the importance of private property, material wealth and monogamous nuclear families. The reformers assumed that it was necessary to “civilize” Indian people, make them accept white men’s beliefs and value systems.
Boarding schools destroyed Native cultural identity by removing all signs of tribal life that the children brought with them.
The long braids worn by Indian boys were cut off. The children were made to wear standard uniforms. The children were given new “white” names and surnames. Traditional Native foods were abandoned, forcing students to acquire the food rites of white society, including the use of knives, forks, spoons, napkins and tablecloths. In addition, students were forbidden to speak their Native languages, even to each other.
Here are some of the most horrible massacres of the Native American population located within the United States.
1813 Tallushstchee: Tennessee Troops Attack Creek Town 200 killed
1813 Autossee Massacre: Georgia militia sets fire to Creek village 200 killed
1850 Bloody Island Massacre: US soldiers attack Pomo village 100 killed
1851 Old Shasta Town: Miners set fire to Wintu village 300 killed
1860 Indian Island Massacre: White settlers attack Wiyot villages 250 killed
1863 Bear River Massacre: US soldiers attack Shoshone village 280 killed
1862 Tonkawa Massacre: Union soldiers attack Tonkawa village 400 killed
1864 Oak Run Massacre: White settlers attack Yana’s at spiritual ceremony 300 killed
1864 Sand Creek Massacre: Colorado militia attacks Cheyenne village 160 killed
1870 Marias Massacre: US soldiers attack Piegan village 173 killed
1871 Camp Grant Massacre: White and Mexican posse attack Apache village 140 killed, 40 sold into slavery
1890 Wounded Knee Massacre: US troops open fire on Lakota at Wounded Knee 300 killed
Read the following data and draw your own conclusions.
In the reservations - but also outside - the Native Americans have to deal with further worrying social developments. Of all ethnic groups in the USA the American Indians have the:I
- highest rate of school drop outs (about 54%),
- highest rate of child mortality,
- highest rate of suicide
- highest rate of teenage suicide ( 18.5 per 100,000),
- highest rate of teenage pregnancy,
- lowest life expectancy ( 55 years)
Mass problems among the American Indians:
- drug abuse
- domestic violence
- decay of the reservations