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American Frontier Policy: Genocide of Native Americans and the Roots of Injustice , Intolerance, and

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Title: American Frontier Policy: Genocide of Native Americans and the Roots of Injustice , Intolerance, and


1
American Frontier PolicyGenocide of Native
Americans and the Roots of Injustice ,
Intolerance, and Racism
  • Dr. Brian L. Christenson
  • Lewis-Clark State College

2
The Declaration of Independence
  • We hold these truths to be self evident. That
    all men are created equal. That they are endowed
    by their creator with certain unalienable rights.
    That among these are life, liberty, and the
    pursuit of happiness. (The United States
    Declaration of Independence)
  • On July 4th, 1776, American Colonists Declared
    Their Independence from British Rule

3
History of the Genocide of Native Americans
  • Southern white settlers defined Native Americans
    as nonpersons
  • By doing this they did not feel guilty about
    their policies or actions towards Native
    Americans
  • Violence was seen as serving the broader needs of
    society
  • Many colonists believed that killing Native
    Americans was promoting the advancement of
    Christianity and civilization

4
  • In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance upheald the
    rights of Native Americans to hold their lands
    through a Supreme Court Decision
  • Although the court upheld the ordinance,
    Manifest Destiny became the views within
    government and throughout society
  • Manifest Destiny is the belief that white people
    should own all of North America. It was seen as
    a declaration of war and genocide by many

5
  • White people and the U.S. Government began to
    carry out murder, planned raids, and militia
    genocide of Native Americans under the guidance
    and approval of all presidents after President
    Adams who gave initial approval to do so
  • Native Americans were pushed westward and it is
    estimated that over half of the Creek Nation died
    during the first years of migration

6
  • The Gold Rush of the 1840-50s drove the genocide
    of the Native Americans
  • In the summer of 1854, American troops began to
    attack and kill the Lakota
  • Red Cloud unites multiple tribes to fight for the
    right to keep their land

7
All I want is what is right and just Red Cloud
  • In December 1866, the Lakota attack a U.S. fort
    and kill all 80 men
  • In 1868, U.S. troops leave the lands and headed
    east through a U.S. treaty of peace with Red
    Cloud
  • Established the Sioux Reservation
  • Promised food, clothing, and promises through the
    treaty by the U.S. government are not honored

8
  • 3,000 Lakota Sioux did not sign the treaty under
    the direction of Chief Sitting Bull
  • Crazy Horse, an honored War Chief sat united with
    Sitting Bull and his people
  • The Gold Rush of the Black Hills begins and the
    U.S. government breaks the treaty they have with
    the Lakota
  • In 1875 the U.S. issues an ultimatum to Sitting
    Bull and Crazy Horse to come to the reservation
    or be considered hostile

9
  • In 1876, Custer leads a U.S. invasion to
    eliminate the remaining Lakota including Sitting
    Bull and Crazy Horse
  • At the Greasy Grass/Little Big Horn, Custer and
    his 272 men attack the Lakota and they are all
    killed by the Lakota in a fierce battle
  • U.S. retaliation birthed and all non-reservation
    Native Americans were pursued and killed
  • In 1877, the remaining Lakota surrender to the
    reservation and Crazy Horse and his followers
    surrender in Nebraska. Even though he
    surrendered, he was arrested and killed by a U.S.
    soldier with a bayonette while he resisted when
    they were taking him to the stockade.

10
  • The Federal Government eliminated the political
    rights of Native Americans in 1871 declaring them
    wards of the government
  • A study in 1870 by the government stated, It was
    cheaper to feed them than to kill them. (Day,
    2003).
  • The Allotment Act of 1887 also known as the
    Dawes Act divided Native American lands,
    approximately 140 million acres among freehold
    farmers
  • Many Native Americans were cheated out of their
    land or they were forced to sell it cheaply to
    survive
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs was established, but
    corrupt agents did not provide for the Native
    American tribes as established
  • The Bison were slaughtered by the Government and
    Westward settlers

11
  • They gave us rations once a week. Just enough
    to last one day, and the Indians, they started to
    eat their pet dogs. After they ate all their
    dogs up they started to eat their ponies. All
    this time the Indian Bureau had a warehouse full
    of grub.Early that spring in 1884 I saw the dead
    bodies of the Indians wrapped in blankets and
    piled up like cordwood the other Indians were so
    weak they could not bury their dead what were
    left were nothing but skeletons (Day, 2003,
    p.203). Presented by a member of the Assiniboine
    before Congress

12
  • In 1890 it became U.S. policy to carry out the
    genocide of Native Americans on a large scale who
    resisted living on reservations. With the
    invention of the Gatling gun (machine gun), this
    policy was carried out swiftly and a large number
    of Native Americans were slaughtered
  • Boarding schools were opened by the U.S.
    Government in 1870 for Native American children
    to Americanize them
  • Children were taken from their parents and
    enrolled in more than 227 boarding schools across
    the country for four-eight years
  • They had their hair cut to end their heathen
    ways, were subjected to moral discipline, and
    were not allowed to see their parents for months
    at a time (Day, 2003).
  • Discrimination, broken treaties, and racism
    continued

13
  • The U.S. Congress turned over Native American
    programs to states to rid itself of the Indian
    Problem in 1949 (Day, 2003)
  • The process called Termination began in 1953
    freeing tribes from Federal supervision and
    turning control over to individual states. There
    were mainly negative consequences to tribes
  • Termination ended after 1960 due to pressure to
    do so from Native American advocacy groups such
    as the Red Power ideology movement, the National
    Indian Youth Council, formal complaints, and
    protests

14
  • By 1973, over 300 land claims had been heard by
    the courts and over 300 million awarded to Native
    American societies
  • In 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the
    government illegally seized the Black Hills from
    the Lakota and soon thereafter Congress offered
    over 300 million in repayment to the Lakota. To
    this day the Lakota have refused the money and
    continue to fight for their land
  • Native American tribes continue to advocate for
    their rights and the reclamation of their land
  • To date, Native American societies do not
    receive, for the most part, state or local aid.
    They do receive some federal aid, but in some
    Native American societies unemployment is between
    40-80 percent

15
  • Understanding the history of the genocide of
    Native Americans and the roots of injustice ,
    intolerance, and racism is crucial to be an aware
    social work practitioner and American citizen
  • Intolerance and racism being confronted,
    challenged, and torn down begins with you.
    Educate your children, families, and community
    about the real history of Native Americans and
    their treatment
  • My challenge to you is to advocate for the rights
    of Native Americans, their communities, and
    families. Even today, U.S. Treaties are not
    honored or followed as written

16
References
  • The Discovery Channel (1993). How the west was
    lost A good day to die kill the Indian, save
    the man. USA.
  • Jansson, B. S. (2005). The reluctant welfare
    state American social welfare policies Past,
    present, and future (5th ed.).
    Thomson-Brooks/Cole. Belmont, CA
  • Day, P. (2003). A new history of social welfare
    (4th ed.). Allyn Bacon. U.S.
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