Study "Native American Indians" Essays 276-330

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Henry Stuart's "Report From Cherokee Country Thesis

… Henry Stuart's "Report from Cherokee Country"

Henry Stuart's position as the British deputy superintendent of Indian Affairs during the American Revolution and the years immediately prior to it required a great deal of political savvy and tact. As this text acknowledges, the various Native American tribes that existed in the wide area of now-European dominated land were often at war with one another, in addition to the disputes they had with the various groups of white settlers -- the separatist colonists, the British and the colonial loyalists, and the French. Each of these groups laid their own claim to the land, and Henry Stuart's job was to us these forces to persuade the many disparate Native American groups to the British point-of-view -- an impossible task at which he did not want to appear a failure, which necessarily colored his interpretation and representation of events.

The many different factions represented many more viewpoints on the wide array of general and specific issues that existed between and within these groups at the time, and Henry Stuart would have needed to deal diplomatically with all of them if he ever hoped to reach a peaceful conclusion, which seems to have been his desire even when he knew it was hopeless. He does say, after all, that after the great meeting between the tribal leaders, "it was in vain to talk any more of Peace, all that could now be done was to give them strict charge not to pass the Boundary Line [and] not to injure any of the King's faithful subjects" (Stuart, 204).

With a brother who basically awarded him this position, it is safe to assume that Henry Stuart came from a fairly well established British family. Yet he also shows himself, even without meaning to, to be a quite capable man for the job he was given, though it was doomed to failure form the start. The amount of diplomacy, tact, and respect that Stuart shows for the Native Americans is impressive given the time period.

The picture of the situation that Stuart paints is clearly in disagreement with the Native Americans; they end up deciding to go to war with the colonists instead of waiting as Stuart and the other British delegate plead for them to do. In this instance, Stuart does portray some of the classic ethnocentrism that history has taught us to expect of imperial forces. When the Native American urge his companion and him to take up the war belt, he describes how they begged off: "We told them that Indians did not understand our written Talks and we did not understand their Beads, nor what were their intentions" (Stuart, 204). It seems fairly clear from Stuart's writing that he did understand their intentions, but that he did not agree with them. In a way, then, this passage shows some amount of condescension, but an even greater amount of diplomacy. By claiming not to… [read more]

Civil War Chapters Essay

… Civil War

Chapters 1 & 2 of the Boisterous Sea of Liberty (pp. 31-83)

The coming of the Europeans and Africans to the New World: Issues crucial in understanding this period of time

They have no iron, steel, or weapons,… [read more]

Life in the Everglades by Buffalo Tiger Research Proposal

… ¶ … Life in the Everglades" by Buffalo Tiger and "The Seminole Indians of Florida" by Clay MacCauley. Specifically it will compare and contrast the two authors' views on Miccosukee culture. These books, written over 100 years apart, show two… [read more]

Importance of Ethnobotany to the Seminole People Thesis

… Ethnobotony Seminole

Ethnobotany Amongst the Seminole: Tied to the land through faith and for food

The Seminole are a Native American tribe indigenous to the American Southeast. The land from which they came is very fertile. For the Seminole people,… [read more]

Color Blindness Gene Thesis

… K.C. Adams' Aboriginal Photography:

In the K.C. Adams photographs "Useless Beauty" and "Cyborg Hybrids," the photographer uses images of aboriginal women and non-aboriginal women in traditional poses to make a statement about contemporary men and women of mixed race. According to Adams, by having the men and women wear the same clothing and posing them in positions reminiscent of Native American photography of the pioneer ages, Adams suggests that the models "challenge the viewer to try and classify their identity" (Adams). Unlike other contemporary Native American photographers, Adams uses both native and non-native models, a concept that encourages viewers to refrain from making judgments about a person's race or ethnicity. Other contemporary Native American photographers Tom Fields and Bernard T. Matus offer different views of modern Native American art. Fields' photography is "dedicated to the creative spirit of the Native American people" (Fields). His images mix the traditional with the modern, photos of grandmothers and children in traditional garb are mixed with photographs of graduations and Native Americans in contemporary dress. Similarly, Matus's work tends to deal with traditional Native American design. Thus, K.C. Adams's work is much different than other Native American photographers' images, making a social statement about stereotypes instead of attempting to preserve traditional Native American culture.

Both of K.C. Adams's photographs make impressive aesthetic and social statements. In his first photograph, "Useless Beauty," women are combined with images of the material, such as shoes and headphones. The abundance of rabbit fur in the photograph, along with a T-shirt with the slogan "dirty little Indians," brings the aboriginal element into the photograph. The material use of rabbit fur and the T-shirt make a powerful social statement about the contemporary culture's tend to generalize, while the overwhelming amount of white makes a dual… [read more]

Values of Northern Arizonans From the 1890s Through Today Thesis

… Values of Northern Arizonans From the 1890s Through Today

In the course of foreigners embarking on the gold rush and the American Indians being conquered by the Europeans, the lands of Arizona had been caught in the midlle. Attracted by its huge potential, settlers hurried to Arizona dreaming of getting rich over night. Indeed, the land could have given a lot if properly exploited. It could have easily supported large numbers of inhabitants due to the fact that it was a source of income from various points-of-view. As settlers came in great numbers, the Indians, with their native home in Arizona, were forced to make way for the new-comers.

The concern for the environment was no issue back then. Typical for the colonists, the scenery began to suffer irreparable changes because of the methods they used to take advantage of the resources, namely mining and tree-cutting, hardly paying any attention to living place for recovery, as seen in the following picture:

During the 1890's Arizona was a very welcoming place and settlers were constructing rail-roads to speed up and increase the operation of gaining profits from the land. People were now beginning to upgrade the industry by building dams as the Hoover or the Boulder Dam.

Arizona also had favorable places for… [read more]

Who Owns the West by William Kittredge? Research Proposal

… ¶ … owns the West? By William Kittredge: Reflection

Who owns the West?" The simple answer is "all of us," writes author William Kittredge at the beginning of his historical and personal memoir Who Owns the West. But who is meant by 'us' -- all Americans, all human beings, all people who have roots in the region, or all species? Ownership of the American West is a complicated question, given the history of the relationship of settlers to Native Americans, the relationship of farmers to the land that they alternately try to master yet are dependant upon, and the self-concept of modern 'Westerners.' The West represents an infinite American landscape of progress and a great American tradition of absolute freedom from the law.

Although cinematic Westerns have declined in popularity, the mythology of the West lives on and inspires passionate debate. The book's provocative title is deliberately ambiguous and it suggests that Westerners like Kittredge are still striving to understand themselves and make peace with the land. Do they own the land or merely inhabit the land, renting it from nature? Within the cover of the text lies a series of tales that weave memoir and essay and remind the reader of the unique, yet quintessentially American nature of the West along with the fact that industrialized farming has not always served the soil or economy of Western America very well.

The book is structured along the lines of three essays, encompassing different views of the West, and different aspects of the author's relationship with the West. In "Heaven on Earth" Kittredge's only half-ironically titled story of his youth paints a picture of him bound to the land, loving it and hating it, remembering it as a paradise of freedom yet buying canned goods while disciplining the soil day and night, because his family had no time to grow crops they could eat. But although man's domination over nature is an important theme of the book so is the author's love for the image of the lonesome cowboy. He writes that the 19th century confidence in the power of the horse lasted until around "the spring of 1946" when his grandfather traded in some of his two hundred matched teams for John Deere tractors, the first sign in Kittredge's lifetime of the great changes he would witness in technological innovations in farming (19) Improved technology and progress was accepted if it furthered the goal of enhancing industrialized… [read more]

Mary White Rowlandson a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration Term Paper

… Mary Rowlandson's Narrative

Mary Rowlandson's the Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration: An Examination of Culture Clashes Through Literary Themes

From the epic poetry of Homer to the historical logs of Thucydides, the victor has always earned the right to function as the historical storyteller. In her short book, "the Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson," however, it is not the victors, but rather the captive who writes history. Because of this, Rowlandson's work can be considered a monumental piece of literature. In fact, University of California professor Harvey Pierce writes that this type of work, later called the captivity novel, has an important function in the literary realm as a piece of historical literature in which "historical fact" becomes second to "what the narrative was for the readers from whom it was written" (Pierce 1). Pierce notes that "what the narrative was" for its readers can range from "religious confessional" to "visceral thriller;" and Rowlandson's work exhibits a bit of both of these extremes (1). In fact, Rowlandson uses both the themes of "religious [confession]" and "visceral thriller" to establish the cultural gap between herself and the Native Americans.

Through constant reliance on and references to God and religion during her captivity, Rowlandson not only establishes her narrative as part "religious confessional," but also suggests the impenetrable cultural differences between herself and her captors. The most straightforward example of this can be observed in "the fifth remove" on the Sabbath Day. Rowlandson narrates that her captors "bade [her] go to work," to which she made the naive reply that she wished to rest, considering it was the Sabbath Day, and would do much more on the consecutive day. This logic was received with the natives' threat to "break [her] face." After this exchange, Rowlandson contemplates why God has allowed the Native Americans' continual escape from the Englishmen despite their constant defiance of Christian doctrine (Rowlandson).

Through this episode, one can not only conclude that Rowlandson uses the captivity narrative as a confessional -- questioning a God that allows "heathens" to escape the muskets of Christian men -- but one also realizes the stark difference between the Native's religious beliefs and hers. Contemporary observers reading Rowlandson's account would readily understand the differences between the two cultures' religious beliefs based on the vast amount of scholarship, research, and study available about both faiths. According to American Passages: A Literary Survey's renditions of Native American creation stories through the ancient oral tradition and contemporary poetry of Luci Tapahanso, Native American faiths "link people to the culture, myths, and land" through elaborate symbolic mythology ("Native Voices"). Similarly, contemporary students understand that the Christian faith presents a much more rigid view of creation, life, death, and life after death. Religion, therefore, represents a major gap between the two cultures. Because Rowlandson portrays the Native American religion as wrong or inferior, readers can quickly grasp… [read more]

Diabetes Why Study Diabetes? Term Paper

… Diabetes

Why Study Diabetes?

There are two kinds of diabetes, Type I and type II, and they both tend to be a problem for many people throughout the world today, but for Americans it is especially alarming. The major concern… [read more]

Seminoles of Florida Term Paper

… ¶ … Seminoles of Florida by James W. CovingtonThe Seminoles of Florida. Contributors: James W. Covington - author. Publisher: University Press of Florida. Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL. Publication Year: 1993. Page Number: 1.

Although the Native Americans shared many… [read more]

Sherman Alexie's Short Story "What You Pawn Term Paper

… ¶ … Sherman Alexie's short story "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," a central symbol is Jackson's grandmother's regalia, which he sees in the window of a pawn shop he has never noticed before. Jackson is a Spokane Indian in Seattle, an alcoholic who is himself representative of the plight of the Indian today. Jackson wants to redeem his grandmother's regalia and is given one day to find the needed thousand dollars. Instead, what money he does get is spent on alcohol and breakfast. In the end, though, the pawnbroker gives him the regalia.

The regalia represents the more glorious past of the Native American, a time when he was in his own land and tied to tradition. His links to the past are largely broken, and the stolen regalia represents the way the white man has stolen not just the land but the culture and traditions of the Native population. In the land today, the culture is held hostage in the way the regalia is kept in the pawnshop, and the price for recapturing the culture is simply too high. For Jackson, the regalia is remembered as his grandmother's, and her dancing in that regalia is associated with a time… [read more]

Louis and Clark Expedition Three Challenges Term Paper

… ¶ … Louis and Clark expedition

Three Challenges of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked upon their expedition when America was still an unknown territory -- before trains, planes, hotels, or the assurance a traveler would have a reliable source of food or water. Native American attacks were a constant threat, as American dominance over the territories remained in question. Their expedition, west of the Mississippi River was an unknown quantity. "The mental maps of expedition members could not prepare them for what lay ahead; nonetheless, they met and overcame numerous challenges in the diverse habitats they encountered" ("Challenges of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," National Geographic Society, 2001). Fears and myths abounded about the area -- some said it was filled with woolly mammoths, Peruvian llamas, and blue-eyed, Welsh-speaking Indians ("Circa 1803,", 2007). Because the climate and topography of the area was an open question, it was difficult to know what to carry, what to wear, and what mental and physical challenges to expect.

The natural climate and geography of the area was the first obstacle. Some of the things the explorer could not have even prepared for had they known more about the area. An early winter storm while the Lewis and Clark corps made their way across the Bitterroot Mountains was entirely unanticipated and a test of their endurance in the bitter cold. The animals, including bears and buffalo they encountered also frightened the men ("Challenges of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," National Geographic Society, 2001)

Some elements of the native populace were unsurprisingly hostile, although that was expected. "An encounter between the expedition and the Teton Sioux grew tense, and both sides prepared to do battle; delicate negotiations brought the crisis to an end" ("Challenges of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," National Geographic Society, 2001). Every tribe was different and had different attitudes to white Americans. Lewis and Clark and their men came into contact with nearly fifty Native American tribes. Some tribes had never seen a white or black man before Lewis and Clark, although others spoke English and even wore hats and coats they had obtained by trading with European sea captains ("The Native Americans,", 2007).

To introduce themselves to tribal leaders, Lewis and Clark… [read more]

What Are the Similarities and Differences Between Navajo Witchcraft and European Witchcraft Beliefs? Term Paper

… Navajo and European Witchcraft: A Brief Study

As might be expected, there are some similarities to be found between Native American Navajo witchcraft and European witchcraft. The reason being, of course, that "witchcraft" denotes a term that is supernatural in… [read more]

James Cooper's the Last of the Mohicans Term Paper

… James Cooper's The Last Of The Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans

Race Relations in 1757

Residing in the literary genre of the Romance novel, Cooper's work, the Last of the Mohicans' dominant backdrop is that of an adventure in… [read more]

Educational Psychology Within the Work Someday Term Paper

… Educational Psychology

Within the work "Someday My Elders Will Be Proud" is an intimate description of the struggles and challenges that many Native American youth face when they attempt to adjust to non-native education. The work expresses one Native American… [read more]

Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma Term Paper

… Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma

Townsend, Camilla. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma. New York: Hill and Wang,

The figure of Pocahontas, the Native American princess who saved the English explorer John Smith from certain death at the hands of her… [read more]

Jack London's Law of Life Term Paper

… Law of Life

Jack London's "The Law of Life" needs to be applied to a sophomore American literature course for three reasons - London's details are rich elements of good writing, the story gives a glimpse into a Native American lifestyle that is long passed, and it forces the reader to confront their own fears of death and the unknown.

Jack London is a fine writer, and this is one of his lesser-known but representative works on the Arctic and the lives of the people who live there. He fills the story with rich details of Native American life, such as the custom of leaving the old and infirm behind to die, so they do not weigh down the entire tribe. Studying London's writing is important for students, because it illustrates how to use vivid details and descriptions as part of a memorable story.

The story also illustrates London's understanding of the Native Americans in the Arctic - how they live and how they die. This is a glimpse into the past,… [read more]

Tom Whitecloud Blue Winds Dancing Term Paper

… Blue Winds Dancing

Symbolic words, phrases, acts, objects and the characters in this story are part of the power that is generated in Whitecloud's narrative. His use of metaphor, too, which offers symbolism to the mind's eye, is part of… [read more]

Apachean People Term Paper

… Apache

What are the metaphors for the Mescalero Apache? Do you think metaphors influence the way we see the world? Or do you think they are a reflection of our perceptions? Try to come up with some common metaphors that… [read more]

Anchorage AK Term Paper

… Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage Alaska is a young and growing city. The majority of people live around the "Anchorage Bowl" and near the downtown, which has many apartments and multi-family buildings. The rest of the population is spread to the East (Cook Inlet borders the West) about 42 miles and South of the Anchorage Bowl about 40 miles (Anchorage 2).

Population growth has been limited thus far because Anchorage is in a bowl, bounded on the east by the Chugach Mountains and on the West by Cook Inlet. On the south and north are Knik and Turnagain Arms, bodies of water coming off Cook Inlet (Begich 3).

The population has been growing over the past ten years. Before 1995, population showed a steady decline from a high of almost 10,000 in 1991 to a negative 684 in 1995. Since then it has increased to about 4,000, through a series of fluctuations. It is expected to keep on growing, as overall population has been growing rather than decreasing for 40 years. Growth projections for the city of Anchorage call for 37,000 new homes and more than 35,000 new jobs between 2002… [read more]

Anchorage AK Term Paper

… Anchorage, Alaska

The city of Anchorage, Alaska, has a population of over 260,000, and of those, 50.59% are male, and 49.41% are female ( than half of one percent of Anchorage residents are over 85 years of age, so one can see the harsh weather does not appeal to the elderly. Only 1.65% are between 75 and 84 years of age, and just 10% are between the ages of 55 and 74.

As far as ethnicity, AreaConnect, which uses U.S. Census data, reports that about 72.23% of residents in Anchorage are Caucasian; 5.84% are African-American (or "Black"); 7.27% are "American Indian and Alaska Native"; 5.55% are Asian (Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and other Asian ethnicities); 0.93% are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; and about 7% are a combination of two or more races. Over 60% of residents live in "owner-occupied units" and nearly 40% are renters. About 5.53% of all housing units are unoccupied. The Anchorage School District shows that 45% of the students are "ethnically diverse" (compared with 13% in 1976). The white student population is slowly decreasing, and the ethnic minority population is increasing, according to the school district "memorandum #147."

Alaska, like other states that depend on fishing for jobs, has suffered recently because… [read more]

Heartland Chronicles Term Paper

… ¶ … Heartland Chronicles by Douglas E. Foley [...] irony of the Native American gaming Foley discusses in the book. Native American gaming is booming in popularity, and the irony of the situation is not lost on this author. Finally,… [read more]

Davy Crockett Term Paper

… Davy Crockett was one of the most important people of the American frontier. During his lifetime, Crockett played many roles. Crockett's first role was that of frontiersman, and he played an important role in the westward expansion of the American… [read more]

Mean Spirit Term Paper

… ¶ … Spirit

Using specific textual examples from Mean Spirit, discuss the character of Michael Horse. What does he represent? What role does he play in this community? What is his relationship to the natural world?

Much of Linda Hogan's novel Mean Spirit is devoted to chronicling a world where Native Americans have lost their natural connection to the land. The central figure of the text is Grace Blanket, a wealthy Native woman who has styled herself as a European matriarch because of the oil wealth she has gained through proprietary land ownership. Grace is murdered at the beginning of the book. This represents the killing effects of Native Americans having a 'White' relationship with the land. The investigator called in by the government to examine the reasons for Grace's death, Stace Red Hawk, is also a Native American figure. Now he serves the federal authorities that deprived Indians of their traditional livelihoods. Thus Michael Horse is one of the few Native Americans in the novel who is not seduced by money, land ownership, or controlled by the government or powerful corporate oil interests.

Instead, by profession, Michael Horse fulfills the traditional, unpaid tribal role of a water-diviner. He represents an older, better way of life to much of the community, and plays an important role as a bridge figure between the real, mundane world of murder, money, and mayhem, and a higher spiritual life. Horse can communicate with the natural world, and the tribal ancestors. Fittingly, his image opens up the novel, an image of a purer time. When he forecasts the two-week dry spell that will bring Grace's death, the other Native Americans believe him, for "Horse's predictions were known to be reliable."(2) Alone, of all the natives, he is a reliable voice, a truth-teller who is not seduced by White values or ways.

Using specific textual examples from Mean Spirit, discuss the roles of women in the novel. How are they "business investments"?… [read more]

Fox Wars Term Paper

… ¶ … History of the Fox Wars

The Fox Wars were fought between the Fox (Mesquakie) American Indians and the French in the early 18th Century. The first Fox War occurred from roughly 1712 to 1714, although there were problems… [read more]

Sam Houston Term Paper

… ¶ … Houston

In an era of "leagues of friendship" that "bound" together the fiercely independent and jealous states with the Articles of Confederation, there existed very few figures as contentious, impressing, and impressive as that of Sam Houston. So James L. Haley would lead us to understand in the course of his enlightening biography of Houston, the Virginia-born Tennessee politician who changed the face of Texas politics forever. With a plethora of first sources, enriching details, and stories for a man's soul than a man's biography, Foley presents Houston the man, not just the politician, as an all around American Hero who, with flaws and skills, stood for that in which he believed in a manner that warrants modern applause, even when his believes stand at diametric opposition to the accepted mores of today.

Texas' greatest hero, as written by Foley in stead and stature with definite supremacy, did not begin his life in Texas, but he was instead born in Virginia. His young life brought him to Tennessee and the Cherokee Nation, into which he was both adopted and married, and having engaged in military service in the War of 1812, he quickly became a part of Tennessee politics. In 1818, he was a 250-year-old Indian agent working in the Tennessee backwoods, where his passion for the Native American cause was further perpetuated beyond purely emotional bond and into causal ammunition. His conviction to his beliefs, pertaining to Native Americans and other talks of the day - from races, slavery, abolition, and the state of the Union - made him a breath of passionate, fresh air that carried him through the ranks of local politics. Soon, he was made Governor, but after a salacious, high-profile trial, he emigrated once more, this time to the Mexican state of Texas. There, his role was as integral and monumental as his time had been in Tennessee; no sooner had he come… [read more]

Social Studies Curriculum in Middle School Term Paper

… Curriculum

Middle School Social Studies Curriculum: American History

Discovery of America: Debate of Vikings vs. Columbus. Students choose one side or the other and give specific reasons for decision.

Explorers: Dutch, French, Spanish and English explorations. Students work in groups and design maps that include the different areas explored and by whom.

Early Colonial Days: Students use a starting point for different activities. They can compare life then with life today -- similarities and differences.

French and Indian War: Students write a newspaper article or letter to someone in Europe explaining the war.

American Revolution: Students answer either in writing or as a speech one of the following questions:

What were the causes of the American Revolution?

What is the definition of a revolution? Is it different/same as that of a war?

Did everyone in the U.S. agree that the revolution should occur? If not, what were the different opinions?

How did the United States Constitution show democracy in action? What compromises were made?

Would the student have written any part of the Constitution differently?

Has the U.S. been faithful to the Constitution as it was written?

Was George Washington the right person for the first president of the U.S. Why/why not?

If you went back in time, which person would you like to have been during this time? Why?

Native Americans: Study three tribes from different parts of the U.S. How are they different and alike? What aspects of the Native American life became stereotypes for all tribes?

Lewis & Clark: Study the expedition from a science perspective. What new plant and animal forms were found?

War of 1812: Have students research one of the main battles of this war and show how it impacted other aspects of the war and the end.

Westward movement. What was the impact of the settlers going West on the Native… [read more]

National Park Service Term Paper

… National Park Service

Since 1916, more than 370 parks of great natural beauty and grandeur from Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to the Hawaiian Islands have been managed and preserved by the National Park Service (NPS) which is… [read more]

Family Life With a Focus Term Paper

… ¶ … family life with a focus on the Native American community. The writer explores child rearing, parenting, moral training, infant care and other aspects of the Native American culture and presents it here in a cohesive fashion. There were… [read more]

Leonard Peltier Term Paper

… Leonard Peltier AND EDDIE HATCHER


The objective of this work is to provide two cultural or historic examples of injustice in the treatment of Native American individuals and will identify the… [read more]

Jean Francoise De La Perouse Term Paper

… This insight from the explorer reflected the fact that he believed that exploration must be conducted solely for naval scholarship and science only. Implied in the passage was his disagreement on the practice of colonization and inevitably, forced conversion of the Natives to Christianity. Laperouse portrayed the missionaries as harmoniously living with the Natives and provided them with an alternative life in which they can still have the lifestyle and activities they used to do. However, as was earlier stated, missions were known ways that serve as 'pretexts to violence and rapine,' a front in which Europeans can exercise their perceived feeling of superiority to the Natives.

"Life" highlighted Laperouse's focus on expeditions as scientific explorations and academic endeavors, not as political opportunities to colonize a territory or society still unknown to humanity in the 18th century. In Laperouse, readers have witnessed how he remained true to the principle behind the period of Discovery and Enlightenment, a period wherein intellectual development is enriched and increased for the improvement of society. However, in the midst of Laperouse's good intentions was the politico-economic interest of Europeans to reign all over the world, driven by their need to expand their control beyond the European continent. Thus, Laperouse's joy in discovering new territories was spoiled by his fellow people's narrow-minded objective: intellectual development was sacrificed in their pursuit to become politically powerful and economically prosperous. [read more]

War Chapter 17 Entitled Term Paper

… Ferguson. The Klu Klux Klan became a de facto kind of renegade police of the Black race, and even popular African-American social advocates such as Booker T. Washington advocated a conservative or reasonable campaign as a champion of Black rights, or 'put down your bucket' where you find it now doctrine -- in the false hope that racial tensions and limitations of Black circumstances in America would somehow improve of their own accord.

In terms of American minority rights, things were little better for Native Americans in the American West After the Civil War. The Plains Indians way of tribal life was virtually destroyed by the settler vs. Indian wars for dominance of the Western territories, wars propelled by the settler's desire for more land, and the White lure of gold and silver in the West. Even after the gold rush began to die in its fever, big business and the desire for land, railroad building, and cattle kingdom brought more white settlements and open-range ranching to the Western territories and new Western states… [read more]

Sherman Alexi "Class" Is a Story Term Paper

… Sherman Alexi "Class" is a story about a man who tries to return to his roots but then finds he has outgrown them. In the beginning, I thought he was rather a shallow person. He uses his Indian heritage to impress women. Then he marries Susan whom he seems to like very much. He tolerates her infidelity because he wants to keep her. But when tragedy comes, and he sees his wife suffering, and realizes she's been pretending all along to love him, he runs from her and attempts to experience "his people," native Americans at a seedy bar. What he learns is that they no longer will accept him because he has moved up in class.

The story makes it seem like a person can easily change their class just by working hard and "fighting" their way up. I'm not so sure it is that easy to cross class lines. A person can get an education and make a lot of money, but class is more than that. In a way, class is an unreal thing in the sense… [read more]

Multicultural America Has Been Term Paper

… Multicultural America

America has been multicultural from the beginning, and yet Americans have always been defined as white people. This was done by excluding minorities from participation in various facets of American life. Back in 1790 a law was passed… [read more]

Christianity in the Modern World Term Paper

… The MBC had become disillusioned because of the lack of individual rights, especially in terms of individual experiences of grace.

In fact, some of the settlers had begun to move against Winthrop's leadership. The war provided Winthrop with the opportunity… [read more]

Lewis and Clark Expedition the Reasons Term Paper

… Lewis and Clark Expedition

The reasons that the Lewis and Clark expedition were very important in history include the reasons why Jefferson arranged the journey, the expectations of the expedition, the members of the Corps of Discovery, and the overall… [read more]

Aboriginal Education in Canada Term Paper

… Chief Dan George argued against integration (Kirkness, 1999): "You talk big words of integration in the schools. Does it really exist? Can we talk of integration until there is social integration ....unless there is integration of hearts and minds you… [read more]

Cherokees Sir Alexander Cuming 1730 Term Paper

… Cherokees Sir Alexander Cuming 1730

The character of Sir Alexander Cuming is draped in mystery and legend. Respected and even loved by the Cherokees, marginalized by his own aristocratic English society to which he belonged, Alexander Cuming was deemed simultaneously… [read more]

Pueblo Pottery -- "Black Storage Term Paper

… She also heard of older, then lost techniques to create the shiny blackened surface.

Through her own artistic and scientific experimentation, Maria was able to reintroduced these techniques as well as improved upon them, and increased the economic welfare of her reservation in the process, as tourist demand increased exponentially for these innovative works. The first black and white Pueblo decorated pots appeared in 700A.D., with a glossy black on creamy white backgrounds. They were constructed in a similar way that the San Ildefonso Pueblo Indians still build their pots through series of manufactured clay coils. However, only by impregnating the pots with carbon was Maria, with the aid of her husband, able to recapture the appearance of the ancient Pueblo pots after much trial and error. Warm earth colors are also present in the scheme of these Pueblo pots, and the diversity of this woman's artist palate is reflective of her tribe's past vision as well as commensurate with her own unique craft's many faceted color schemes and techniques. She has created and continued a rich and practical craft and artistic tradition that is an inspiration to all peoples.

Work Cited

"Five Generations of Potters." Ceramic Review. No. 68. 1980. [read more]

Forensic Anthropology Is a Relatively Term Paper

… About 4% were classified as "other," (Byers, 2001) a significant fact for forensic anthropologists, as it illustrates how difficult the task might be when 4% of the population claims no specific ancestry. This suggests their skulls might not follow any… [read more]

Pacific Northwest Role Natural Resources Term Paper

… As historian Schwantes continues, "Here was a natural resource only to be exploited, with little thought given to conservation or sustained yields" (Schwantes 215). Today, most forestry experts understand the forests must be managed and renewed if there is to be a steady supply of timber for the nation's and the world's needs. However, when the area was first settled, this was not the case, and huge expanses of timber disappeared. Some renewed, and some did not. Timber helped bring more people to the area, and it was an extremely viable and necessary commodity. Timber is still one of the biggest industries in the Pacific Northwest, and still one of the most hotly contested.

Varieties of minerals, including gold, are found in the area, and these minerals account for much of the early mountain settlement in the region. When gold was first discovered in California in the 1850s, exploration exploded all over the west and Pacific Northwest. However, it was not until the railroad made an appearance in the 1860s and 70s that mining in the area really became profitable. By the 1880s, mining on a large scale began in some areas. Mineral mined include coal, copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver, but there are numerous other minerals in the area that are mined and processed. As miners settled the mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest, they left behind tailings, minerals used in processing such as mercury and cyanide, and abandoned open pits and mine shafts. Minerals were exploited from the region until they disappeared, and then the miners moved on to greener pastures. Commercially, minerals helped many areas of the Pacific Northwest gain in population when they might have remained empty for decades without the lure of mining. Mining is probably one of the most destructive commercial endeavors when it is not managed effectively, and the mining in the Pacific Northwest was no exception. Mining continues in the area today, but under the careful scrutiny of environmental and government regulators.

Water is another key resource in the area that has been exploited since the first settlers arrived in the area. Initially it was used for irrigating crops and survival. Today, it is a major source of electricity in the region; in fact, most of the area survives on hydroelectricity produced by dams in the area. As the area continues to grow, additional water resources are necessary, and the area faces several problems with water quality and supply due to increased demand and deterioration of local watersheds. Freeman and Martin state, "watershed deterioration is effecting quality and stability of water supplies; pollution is critical in some areas; on many streams water rights have been granted in excess of low-season flows" (Freeman and Martin 215). Water is plentiful in the area, and has been commercially viable since it was first harnessed for irrigation and hydraulic mining. However, even the most plentiful resources can suffer from overuse, and the waters of the Pacific Northwest are no exception. With the current drought facing… [read more]

California Tribes the Mohave Term Paper

… Almost three-quarters, however, chose to remain behind in Mojave valley, where they enjoyed traditional rule until the death of their last chief in 1947. Today, the Mojave have their own constitution, and elect seven council members and a tribal chair. Further, the tribe is developing its economy through leasing agricultural land and through enterprises such as casinos. Much in a similar vein, the Chemehuevi, too, are developing their economy through tourism in spite of their reservation being located on 30,000 acres of dry mountains and forbidding desert land (Griffin-Pierce 2000: 246-247).

Sadly, the Mohave and the Chemehuevi lost much of their old knowledge, culture, and customs over time in the reservations. The recent resurgence of interest and awareness of their former cultural products is, therefore, encouraging. In fact, in 1970, upon learning of a collection of Mohave beadwork and pottery and Chemehuevi baskets that was being auctioned off, members of two Indian groups mortgaged their best land to raise fifty thousand dollars with which they could buy back their heritage (Dutton 1983: 172). Such interest is indeed heartening considering that the culture and heritage of the American Indian tribes is an invaluable part of the history of humankind as well as the formation of America, as it stands today.


Driver, Harold E. And William C. Massey. 1957. Comparative Studies of North American Indians. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society.

Dutton, Bertha P. 1983. American Indians of the Southwest. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Griffin-Pierce, Trudy. 2000. Native Peoples of the Southwest. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Hallowell, Irving A. And Frederica De Laguna. 1960. Selected Papers from the American Anthropologist. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson.

Hedrick, Basil C., Charles J. Kelley and Carroll C. Riley. 1973. The Classic Southwest: Readings in Archeology, Ethnohistory, and Ethnology. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Kroeber, A.L. 1991. Earth-tongue, a Mohave. Pp. 189-202 in American Indian Life, edited by C. Grant Lafarge and… [read more]

Race, Discrimination and Education Racism Term Paper

… As the American Indian Education Foundation notes, "If the past is any indicator of the future, those committed to helping improve the lives of Indian people must continue to pressure the U.S. government to meet its responsibility in the area of education."

While racism continues to be a problem within America's educational system, groups like the NAACP are working diligently to reduce the impact of racism on America's students. Specifically, the NAACP has suggested initiatives like racial equality within teaching state, so that the teaching population to mirrors the student population. Despite these attempts, the overall tone of the NAACP Call for Action in Education is discouraging, noting "the persistent failure of schools to provide equality of opportunity for all students is having a devastating impact on communities of color and the future of our nation." The NAACP notes that federal, state and local educational agencies and community agents must work together to ease the impact of race on the equality of American education (McLean Donaldson, 1987).


In conclusion, America's long tradition of racism and discrimination in education continues to this day. Today, poverty and inequality of opportunity are largely the agents of racial disparity in education. While groups like the NAACP work to reduce the impact of racism in our schools, it is important not to become complacent about the threat that racism plays in American society. Notes Francisco (2001), "We as a country have yet to realize that racism is a threat to us that is stronger than any terrorist. It cannot be defeated until we come together in understanding how it tears our nation apart."


American Indian Education Foundation. History of Indian Education in the U.S. 02 May 2004.

Corley, Mary Ann. Poverty, Racism and Literacy. ERIC Digest, Publication Date: 2003-00-00. ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH. 02 May 2004.

Francisco, Richard P. 2001. Racism: the real enemy that will destroy the United States. Black Issues in Higher Education, Oct 11, 2001. 02 May 2004. Available at

McLean Donaldson, Karen B. 1987. Through Students' Eyes: Combating Racism in United States Schools. Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated.

NAACP. NAACP Call for Action in Education. 02 May 2004. [read more]

Historic Expedition, Lewis and Clark Term Paper

… Occasionally, the expedition came into direct conflict with the Native American tribes that they encountered. The expedition's plans to bring peace between the Indian tribes meant that the Americans would provide guns to the Nex Perces and the Shoshoes. The Blackfeet opposed this plan, fearing that it would hurt their power in the region. As a result, Blackfeet warriors tried to steal the expedition's guns, but the raid resulted in the death of two Blackfeet warriors. This was the "first act of bloodshed between the western Indians and representatives of the United States" (PBS). From this point on, the relationship with the Blackfeet and the Americans was strained (PBS).

In conclusion, the Lewis and Clark expedition often used the Native American tribes they encountered to their advantage, and learned a great deal from their interactions. Overall, Lewis and Clark managed to adhere to their objectives handed out by Jefferson, including proclaiming American sovereignty in the west, advancing American trade, and promoting peace between Indian tribes, all while attempting to establish a peaceful and profitable relationship with the Native American tribes.

Works Cited

PBS. The Native Americans.

Ronda, James P. 2002. Lewis and Clark Among the Indians. Univ of Nebraska Pr.

Center for Educational Technologies. An Epic Journal with Lewis and Clark. 29 April 2004. [read more]

Louise Erdrich's Poem, "Dear John Term Paper

… Theme is an important component of the effectiveness of Erdrich's poem. Here, the theme of the poem represents Erdrich's attempt to tackle and describe the Native American experience of immigration and assimilation into white culture. Tellingly, Erdrich writes, "Everything we see belongs to us," describing the white "disease" of expansionism. To the settlers, "the idea of taking everything" is their inherent right, and they are consumed with destroying opposition to their desire to take the land and destroy Native culture. Ultimately, the theme of the poem is the white man's desire for expansionism and land, and the accompanying destruction of Native culture and the assimilation of Natives by white culture and beliefs.

Erdrich's "Dear John Wayne" is a clear description of the assimilation of Natives into the white culture that took away their culture and land. Mere generations after whites took over the American west, Erdrich describes a group of Native youths lying on the trunk of a car, and watching an overwhelmingly white, expansionist description of the white's invasion of Indian territory in the west. The movie implicitly describes the white's desire to take everything, and consume Indian territory and culture. The Native American watching the movie have been effectively absorbed into this white culture and way of thinking, and the author notes "the history that brought us all here together." Here, Erdrich implicitly argues that the young Native American men are so assimilated into white culture that the white expansionist view of the history of the west has become their view of history as well.

While the young Native American men who view the movie are clearly swept up in the white version of the American west, the overall tone and message of Erdrich's poem is much more critical of white culture. "Dear John Wayne" describes white culture's extortion of land and culture from a Native American perspective. Through Erdrich's eyes, the white assertion that "Everything we see belongs to us" becomes ludicrous and ridiculous. Similarly, John Wayne's desire to see that his boys receive everything they want becomes symbolic of the white "disease" of expansionism. The destruction of this attitude is apparent, as the whites destroy "land that was once flesh."

Even more damming is the implicit acceptance of the expansionist point-of-view of the young Native American men who watch the movie. Erdrich's descriptions of the events and white attitudes make the reader want to tell the boys that they should be outraged, that they should fight against this distorted version of the white takeover of the American West. Instead, the boys complacently slip back into their everyday lives after the movie is over, apparently unaffected by the version of history that they have seen on the screen. The young Native American men have been so effectively assimilated into modern white culture that they have accepted its view of history as their own.

While critical of white expansionism, Erdrich's poem foreshadows the potential of the white's for self-destruction. She refers to SAC missiles, a symbol of self-destruction… [read more]

Leonard Pielter Global News Term Paper

… B.I. wasn't going to let Peltier live peacefully in Canada."

Those who believe that Peltier is actually being imprisoned as a government political statement say that the extradition never should have been allowed. According to those fighting to free him… [read more]

Hohokam Culture and Traditions Term Paper

… Agriculture was still a staple of many village members' lifestyles, but raising meat such as cattle was basically unheard of for many centuries, and therefore the majority of villagers still relied on hunting for capturing game.

Clothing was crafted from animal skins, as is common among a majority of native American tribes (Erickson, 1994). Jewelry often adorned the clothing of men and women, including bracelets, rings, nose plugs and necklaces (Gregonis, 1997). Typically jewelry was crafted from a variety of materials including shells, stones and bones (Gregonis, 1997; Erickson, 1994). Shells were gathered from regions as far as the Gulf of California or Pacific Coast, though such goods could also be acquired through trade (Royo, 2004). The Hohokam are well-known for their abilities in etching of stones and shells to enhance the effects of the jewelry they wore.

Crafting pottery was a popular pastime among the Hohokam. The majority of pottery crafted depicted drawings of snakes, lizards and a variety of local animals, though shapes such as circles and triangles also adorned much of the pottery created by natives (Gregonis, 1997). The pottery created was baked on open fires, sometimes causing an unintentional blackening of the material (Gregonis, 1997). At other times the blackening of pottery was accomplished intentionally, to produce a smearing effect on pottery as a decoration (Gregonis, 1997).

Most notably the Hohokam tribe is well-known for their celebration and rich ceremonial life, which included games that were imported from Mesoamerican cultures (Gregonis, 1997). One example of this is a ball game adopted by the Hohokam that was played among oblong courts. Ball players were often honored and their likeness captured by figurines adorned with small plastic shields (Gregonis, 1997). It is likely that large groups of people gathered for special gaming events, much like modern day sporting events. One might associate the ballgame with something as modern as football, as the game was often played in large field spanning several yards (Gregonis, 1997).

One of the most memorable aspects of the Hohokam was their practice of cremating their dead, which was a ritualized activity (Gregonis, 1997; Erickson, 1994). After passing a body was traditionally dressed and purified with incense, then laid upon a platform atop a cremation pit (Gregonis, 1997). After cremation, the remains of the deceased were captured in a pottery vessel and taken to a cemetery where they were laid with personal possessions and ceremonial objects, which may include figurines (Gregonis, 1997). This tradition is very similar to modern day burials.

The Hohokam became well-known for their elaborate mourning and burial practices; they typically cremated their dead and made offerings to them instead of burying them, which was the more common practice during the time designated as the colonial period (Kroeber, 1962). Hohokam often returned to the final resting place of their ancestors to honor them with gifts and prayer. Their tradition might even be considered very modern practice, as crematory practices even today involve safeguarding remains and honoring those that have passed during certain… [read more]

Missionary Conquest: A Critical Analysis Term Paper

… One cannot fail to stagger under the flawed logic of that statement.

Further, although Tinker does make an excellent case illustrating the cultural imperialism of the missionary culture, and of the four missionaries he discusses, he does not address the theological value (or non-value) of culture in and of itself in Christian doctrine -- a context in which one would have to ask whether these missionary men would, even today, have seen the "cultural genocide" he speaks of to have been a loss at all.

Tinker does prevent the book from fizzling under the strain inherent in reconstructive criticism, if only barely, for in the end, he does not only point out the "lie" of missionary success with the sole intention of its exposure. Tinker's intention is to both "finish business" by setting the historical record straight concerning the genocidal (not beneficial, as white, Christian history would have one believe), nature of Missionary history, as well as to add a " ... contribution to our understanding of why Native American peoples have generally failed to enter the American mainstream and continue to live in poverty and oppression" (5). In this sense, Tinker clearly accomplishes his goal.

To be sure, under today's standards the actions of the Missionary culture in America was horribly damaging to the culture and lives of the Native American peoples. Indeed, George Tinker stridently makes this point clear. Moreover, one can clearly see the unfortunate position of contemporary Native American peoples as a result of this legacy. However, reconstructive criticism has its problems -- for it is often difficult to judge the actions of past peoples or societies based on the mores of the present -- a difficulty we see in Tinker's repeated references to "good intentions," "high moral character," and "sincere commitment to the gospel," in his characterization of the Missionaries he discusses. Perhaps if Tinker, himself, were not a modern-day representation (and product) of the missionary culture he exposes, his point might have been better made. Then again, perhaps this very difficulty of position is inherent in the disinheritance of Native Americans as a whole --… [read more]

Last of the Mohicans Duncan Term Paper

… Question 3: How are the issues of colonization and victimization depicted?

Historically, Native Americans have been victimized in terms of losing their land. However, in the novel, much victimization is suffered by the colonists. Cora and Alice for example are being victimized by brutal Indian tribes who kidnap them, and Cora is forced into a union that she does not desire. The Native Americans never submit to an image of victimhood, although the implication at the end of the novel is obvious. It appears then that victimization is suffered by all the major groups represented in the novel.

Alice and Cora: Duncan's Choice do not believe Duncan's choice of Alice over Cora is for the reasons concluded by Munroe. The girls' looks as well as personalities differ vastly. Cora is contemplative, mature and independent, while the younger Alice is more frivolous and chatty. The significance of Duncan's choice lies in the fact that he, as a man of the period, prefers a woman whom he can feel protective of. Cora, whom he professes to prefer as a friend, may for him be too much on an equal footing to qualify as a woman worthy of his love. I was not at all upset about this choice, as I do believe Duncan is correct in his assumption that Alice would prove a wife more suited to his needs as a husband than Cora. Munroe's description of the two women who are the mothers of his daughters again relates to the theme of racism and colonization. Cora's mother is of mixed parentage, although Munroe does not see her as any less worthy than Alice's mother. It is interesting that he assumes the former's life and youth have been completely ruined by the desertion of a man. This indicates the male assumption that women need men to derive any meaning… [read more]

Leonard Peltier Term Paper

… Leonard Peltier - Serving Two Life Terms for a Crime Not Committed?

Did Leonard Peltier kill two FBI agents on June 25, 1975, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation? That is an issue that has not been thoroughly resolved, from… [read more]

Larger Than Life - Jenny Term Paper

… Walsh makes the point that throughout traditional history the most important players were so focused upon that the "other" present in the culture were easy to ignore.

Though other people were present in the movement west, they were not the most important actors and could thus be either marginalized or stereotyped.

Modifications to this lopsided West came when these other people, women, Native Americans and Americans of colour became both visible and significant. (Walsh 1)

Bader on the other hand describes the same trend with subtle contempt,

Instead I saw my colorful heroes demoted to black and white. Mostly white. By the time I finished high school, it was no longer hip to look up to the paternalistic dead white males who launched our country, kept slaves and mistreated and massacred native peoples. Suddenly they weren't visionaries but oppressors, or worse-objects. (Bader 6)

Though realistically Bader and Walsh really come to the same conclusions, that a balance must be struck for there to be any real power to the words of history.

Have the traditional stories of cowboys and Indians, the romantic yarns of lone Mountain Men or gold seekers or even of sturdy pioneer farmers disappeared? For some historians the adventurous and triumphal West rarely existed. For many others who moved steadily westwards with Turner's frontiering process, their analysis showed a realistic appreciation of its difficulties and successes. (Walsh 1)

Bader would say that yes, the disappearance is evident and in fact she has a name for the trend, "jealousy journalism" in which she contends people today do not feel that they encompass the things that heroics are made of so they viciously struggle to tear down all that is heroic. (Bader 9) The real explanation is probably that people are seeking to find within heroes, and their stories, things that help them to identify and therefore emulate those same people. The real push of history has become one of inclusion and though some feel that it has gone to far the intentions and in some way the reality embody the American ideals more readily than the past has.

Bader closes with ideas that encourage balance and fairness, the responsibility of modern man to find within both the old and the new versions of history those things that encourage us to be better people. "My generation grew up to see our world shift, so it's up to us to steer a course between na vete and nihilism, to reshape vintage stories, to create stories of spirit without apologies." (Bader 13)

In times past, historians were supposed to have heroes. Not only were they supposed to have heroes they were supposed to write from the perspective of those heroes and more specifically the perspective which showed them in those heroes within the best possible light. Just like the heretics of Christianity these historians were censured and even crucified for speaking the truth about anything that might be construed as negative. So, today in a much milder form those people who… [read more]

Tracks by Louise Erdrich Essay

… Johnson and Scott Michaelsen in Border Theory view it. "In discussing the border between Anglo and Amerindian cultures, they suggest thinking of the complexity - the profound interrelationship of the very ideas of European and indigenous cultures - as a product of colonialist thought from its inception." (Ferrari 1999 3) Allen Chavkin discusses the making of an ethnic novel as seen by Rainwater and how the role of the author is to unsettle the reader with the reality of discomfort in assimilation, "Rainwater investigates the potential reader's experience of American Indian texts. She sees ethnic signs embedded in certain texts by Indian writers, including Erdrich, that function as a continual source of disruption and undermine a comfortable interpretive position for the reader." (Chavkin 6)

Jeanne Armstrong discusses the interplay between the individual character's tragedies and the symbolism that they explain through the overlay between culture and character. "In Louise Erdrich Tracks the characters are shaped by the historical context that they inhabit...The novel's personal events are framed by the larger context, including the breakdown of community and loss of land when the Turcot Lumber Company pressures people to sell land to them, causing conflict between those who want to sell and those who resist." (Armstrong 17)

Trade and spirit were regulated to meet the needs of the white world but humor outlasts both, "I got a herd of this Indian beef corralled out in the woodpile and branded the government way," I told him. "I'm planning on holding a roundup." (Erdrich 1988) When Nanapush was so destitute that he was eating rotting gopher meat he jokes with his nephew Eli about the stark reality of how trapped they are for resources. This cultural generation of humor within Erdrich's novel Tracks does not go unnoticed by other scholars "In Louise Erdrich's novel Tracks, humor provides powerful medicine as the Chippewa tribe struggles for their physical, spiritual, and cultural survival at the beginning of the twentieth century." (Gregory 1998) When critics discuss the character of Nanapush and his role in assimilation they compare it to the ideas associated with black assimilation to the extreme what might be known as something Zora Neil Hurston refers to as "Uncle Tomming." "As with muddying the truth by story-telling, then, "Uncle Tomming" is a tool of the trickster, but this mimetic practice shows the lie behind the truth, rather than changing the truth by means of the lie. (Hughes 87) In this example assimilation becomes a tool for the colonized to see inside the world of the [read more]

Reconstruction Act of 1867 Description Term Paper

… Reservation Policy


Federal legislation enacted on June 18, 1934, that restored some Native American lands to tribal ownership and authorized federal funds to encourage Native American businesses. Sponsored by Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana and Representative Edgar Howard… [read more]

Television on Society Term Paper

… The movie showed several eroticized shots of the semi-naked Cree warrior sleeping or dancing around a campfire (Bird). This objectification presents the Indian man in a way that a White man could not be depicted on television.

The other stereotypical role of Indian men is that of the benevolent wise elder. Programs such as Walker, Texas Ranger and Touched by an Angel have regular wise Indian elder characters who wield tremendous power through communing with spirits. These characters are brought out to help or advice the lead characters. Unlike the young, scantily clad counterparts, elder Indian males wore robes and are usually desexualized. Their characters are often undeveloped, with no trace of family or identity (Bird).

Both the noble savage and the wise elder stereotype represent how a dominant white culture can co-opt another ethnicity's identity and foist an artificially created one in its place. The portrayal of Native Americans as either lustful or sexless men devoid of emotion presents them as caricatures and smoothes over the rifts and differences that exist between the various Indian nations.

What Can Be Done? The case of The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Mary Richards worked outside the home, but she was not a secretary. She was thirty, but was unmarried. Furthermore, she appeared to be unconcerned about being single. The heroine of The Mary Tyler Moore Show heralded the lifestyle of a growing number of single women in the 1970s, a lifestyle which television until then ignored.

The portrayal of Mary Richards has been criticized as a severely qualified feminism. While embodying the ideals of the new, liberated woman, for instance, Mary still fulfilled the familiar roles of caretaker and nurturer, albeit in the new setting of the workplace. In her critique of this show, Ella Taylor writes that the combination of new woman with old-fashioned values allowed the show to "endors (e) modernity at the same time it hallows tradition." (Dow, 25).

Despite its shortcomings, The Mary Tyler Moore Show was played an important role in raising feminist consciousness in the 1970. The qualified feminism it professed still brought the message about women in the workplace to people intimidated by feminist groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW). For better or worse, Mary Richards became an accepted symbol of the new feminist woman. Perhaps the greatest success of the television program is seen how these days, the image of an unmarried thirtyish woman in a non-traditional female job is no longer jarring.

In conclusion, television portrayals have the potential to create limiting stereotypes of gender and race. The same medium, however, also has the potential for creating images that challenge and re-work prevailing notions of race and, as in the case of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, gender.


Bird, S. Elizabeth. "Gendered construction of the American Indian in popular media." Journal of Communication. (49) 3: 61-83. Proquest. Proquest Direct. Los Angeles Public Library, California.

Comstock, George and Erica Scharrer. Television: What's On, Who's Watching, and What it Means.… [read more]

Lance and the Shield Book Review

… This spate of violence - which continued during the 1866-7 Red Cloud's War - ended in a treaty between the U.S. government and the Indian nation that granted the Black Hills in perpetuity to the Sioux.

However, the United States… [read more]

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