The group in which I identify with most and want to learn more about is the Native American tribe Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa Indians. The Chippewa Indians were to be found near the Mississippi River and along the northern border of Michigan.
The Chippewa tribe and all Native Americans suffered prejudice, segregation, and racism almost to the point of extermination. During the winter of 1850-51, a misleading plan was arranged against the Wisconsin Chippewa; Remove them from their homelands, move them west to Sandy Lake at Fond du Lac, and refused their annuities. The adult males were required to bring his family and once the families arrived, the rations and goods were purposefully delayed until the winter. This did not allow the tribe to prepare for the winter season, resulting in hundreds perishing (St. Germaine, n.d.). The pilgrims killed off thousands of Native Americans; they took their homes and moved them to special Native American reserves. Land that they held dear and close to their heart was snatch away, sacred mountains were carved into to honor presidents, and they were chained and sold in to slavery. In addition they called them names like redskins and wet back. ???The United States formulated a policy during the 19th century toward Native Americans that followed the precedents established during the colonial period. The government policy was not to antagonize the Native Americans unnecessarily. Yet if the needs of tribes interfered with the needs, or even the whims, of Whites, Whites were to have precedence??? (University of Phoenix, 2006, p. 153). When European pioneers began their journey to North America and started settlements, they found it inhabited by Native Americans. The Europeans noticed the differences such as darker skin, traditions, and a different language between themselves, and the Native Americans. Because the European settlers thought they were different they decided that they must be alienated. Prejudice and racism was established by separating the Whites and Native Americans. Native Americans were forced to be looked upon as lesser peoples. In addition to segregation the Native Americans were even forced off their lands to live on reservations.
The Native Americans were affected by environmental justice issues because they were required to live in unsafe surroundings with contamination and other harmful chemicals. Native Americans have been pushed into Dual labor markets, ensuring they do not make the same salaries as others. Some of these jobs have little or no benefits and some are even dangerous and unsafe. Many have also encountered redlining, glass wall, and glass ceiling. These issues make it difficult to further advance in their careers. A Native American with better credentials may not receive the job because of the fact they are Native American. Even though these issues do not carrying the severity they did long ago, they are still there and dealt with in certain parts of the country.
Affirmative action and the Native Americans are offered equal opportunities when concerning jobs, so most people think. When in truth jobs depend on the areas in which the Native Americans live. There remain other parts of the country that still believe that the Native Americans do not have the rights to be equal.
???Environment Justice Issues ensures that all people have the opportunity to live in safe environments away from pollution and other harmful chemicals??? (University of Phoenix, 2006). Environmental issues bring together many of the concerns previously considered surrounding Native Americans: land rights, environmental justice, economic development, and spiritualism. Many environmental issues more than a century old still plague the Native Americans such as land disputes arising from treaties and agreements and the land and the natural resources it holds continue to be major concerns (University of Phoenix, p. 178).
The list of injustices starts with ???The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, According to Politics and Civil Rights (1995-2010),???The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians. Their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent.” The Intercourse Act of 1790 said Indian land could only be taken by treaty. In spite of numerous treaties, however, Indian lands were routinely invaded and taken by whites, often by use of force to overcome Native American resistance. In 1854, pressured by railroad interests, the federal government abolished much of the former Indian Territory to create the Kansas and Nebraska Territories. The Dawes Act of 1887 set Native American policy for decades, breaking up their lands, encouraging farming rather than hunting, replacing native languages with English, and in general promoting assimilation and destruction of traditional life. Native Americans became the poorest racial group in the United States??? (Native Americans: Trails of Tears).
I identify with both the Native Americans and the United States mainstream culture. In the recent past I have partaken in more Native American traditions and spiritual guidance. The topic discussed in this research paper has amplified my interest enough to continue my search for answers in the Native American culture even after this course is completed.
University of Phoenix. (2006). The Native Americans. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, ETH/125 website
Politics and Civil Rights. (1995-2010). Retrieved from http://wps.prehall.com