How the Indians were Discriminated, Exploited and Abused by the Government and how they actively fought for their Rights

Published: 2021-07-06 06:42:48
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Mary Crow dog gave birth with bullets from the marshals flying all around her. This shows that the red Indians were under oppression from the invaders. They were at a bloody civil war and her child was taken away as she was put in prison in 1975. It was at this time that Annie Mae Aquash was shot dead and her hand mutilated but the authorities claimed she had died of exposure. Delphine was beaten and left to die out in the snow. Mary Brave bird’s sister was sterilized against her will when giving birth. Mary was raped at age twelve by a white male. The purpose of this paper is to show how The Indians were discriminated, exploited and abused by the government and how they actively fought for their rights.High unemployment rate after a change of traditional lifestyle of hunting, raiding, and fishing exited and confused the Indians. The government forcefully occupied their native land and explored for gold, uranium and other minerals without any compensation to the Indians. Mass killings of unarmed men, women, and children by white soldiers took place without a consideration of human rights. In 1876 Indian chief Spotted Tail collaborated with the government and dissuaded young people from fighting for their rights. No medical facilities, electricity or decent transport system. When Mary was being born, they took her mother ninety miles away from her village and a hysterectomy was done to her mother without informed consent as was common practice meant to keep the Indian population low. The Indians could barely access decent medical care and were simply ignored by the federal government. The crow dog tribe like all other Indian tribes resisted modernization and Christianity and retained their culture and traditions. Christianity and modernization were seen as methods of brainwashing them so that their land and resources could be stolen by the white man.The white man destroyed the clans of the Indians as they supported each other so that the missionaries and government agents could penetrate by subdividing their land. This was done by restructuring the native Indian administration by federal constitutional changes. A few traitors were used to replace traditional leaders to represent the federal government in the Indian villages. Men were desperate and became alcoholics as they could not get jobs. Children were taken from there homes and put in orphanages and boarding school by force so that they could be educated and erode the Indian culture and traditions. The outbreak of tuberculosis claimed lives during this time as there were no hospitals to treat the disease. Indians preferred traditional healing methods and the federal government did not bother to set up hospitals for them. Poverty was a major problem as the author they were worse than poor white people or even black ghetto people. The whole family lived in a single room. Racism and discrimination were prevalent as the author was instructed by her grandmother not to visit white people in their homes. Racism was exercised in all aspects of life from education, health, social life and politically. An Indian had no rights as far as the Federal government was concerned.The education system was designed to be racist where the white children did not go to the same schools with Indian children. The education system was intended to train the Indians to provide cheap labor for the white people. The teachers were brutal and mean to the children and punishment was violent and severe while schools for the white had a conducive learning environment. Sexual harassment in school was also prevalent especially in Indian boarding school in the 1970s. There were no set timelines for graduation as the author gets her diploma after quarreling with a teacher. From age twelve the author just drunk, smoke marijuana and fought other drunks a lifestyle that was common for young teenage Indians due to frustrations in the system. Indian women were brutalized and sexually assaulted all the time. In 1975 racial discrimination was practiced with disregard for human rights. The very custodians of the law did not apply the same standards for the American citizens.There was a huge generation gap between the Indian parents and teenagers of the 1970s due to the influence of education among their families. Mary explains how she became a hippie in the late 1970s due to lack of something better to do with her life and as a way of protesting against the society that mistreated and ignored them. The problem of drug addiction was real and affecting young people as they interacted with those living in the cities. Between 1969 and 1970 some young Indians were sniffing glue in Rosebud while others in Urban areas were taking hard drugs and drinking hard liquor which they stole from stores. Corruption by government officials who stole rations meant for poor Indians was common between 1860 and 1890 leading to the Great Sioux Uprising of the 1860s.This served to remind the author that nobody cared about the fate of the Indians since their great-grandfathers and that fact was not about to change. Instead of working, the young people were used to stealing from the shops and then spend the rest of the day roaming aimlessly. In South Dakota like any other Indian inhabited region, women were sexually harassed and raped by police officers, government officers and immoral white males without justice.The American Indian Movement was established in 1968 in Minnesota by ghetto Indians. The movement borrowed from the African American movements of the time. The movement against racism did talks around university campuses and other suitable forums that could get an audience. The Trail of the Broken Treaties during the presidency of Richard Nixon was a protest against the injustices suffered by Indians over time and their losses to the White Man who had occupied their land. This protest gave inspiration to other Indian civil right activists who were ready to fight for the rights of Indians.The Native American Church united Indians as they met together to Enjoy the peyote cactus. The church was formed for the purpose of furthering the Indian rights agenda by bringing the activists together. They were harassed by government officials and missionaries as all Indian rituals were outlawed as early as the 1930s. By 1960s they had to have certification to for being members of the Native American church to be able to harvest Peyote. These restrictions were imposed on them to frustrate any efforts of gathering together and erode their resolve to fight for their rights.The reorganization act destabilized the traditional native Indian mode of governance and administration based on clans. American Indian Movement was protesting against police brutality, prevailing housing conditions, and discrimination. These protests were broken by the police with brutal force and unwarranted jail terms. The Wounded Knee demonstration of 1973 lasted seventy-one days and played an important role in creating awareness to the world and the American people the injustices the Indians had been exposed to. The Media camped at the Wounded Knee and highlighted what how the FBI and police treated the protestors.The protest attracted politicians, celebrities, and civil rights leaders who came to sympathize with the protestors.The Ghost Dance was reintroduced by Crow Dog as an Indian movement that gave them hope from all the suffering they were undergoing after the Wounded Knee protest. Soldiers would still be sent to stop these dances and some lost their lives when resisting arrest. The Canadian government treated the Indians just like the American government as explained by the author as she narrates how Annie Mae became involved deeply in civil rights movement among Indians. Between 1973 and 1975 most Indians involved in civil right movements were jailed or brutally murdered by the Wilson administration.The murders were never investigated although recorded in police files. Their homes were bombed and destroyed by soldiers. Annie Mae was killed in 1976 after being a strong civil activist. The FBI cut her hands off for fingerprinting and identification an act of brutality as it was not necessary. Although the FBI had a cover-up on her murder, a second autopsy revealed that she had been raped and shot in the head. Her Husband was jailed for two lifetimes. The government started using flimsy excuses to jail civil rights leaders in 1975.Leonard was arrested on fabricated charges and sentenced to twenty-three years. This led to the author and other Indian activists seeking support from various church groups across America working together with human rights activists. These groups had initially been quiet but now wanted to have a role to play in the addressing racism in America. Before two years were over Leonard was released on a bail of two hundred thousand dollars.Civil rights lawyers helped in this case by representing him in court. During this time prisoners like Leonard had little rights and had to fight for these rights through civil rights lawyers to get them. Psychological torture was used to break the prisoners and make them abandon their political cause. They were secluded in dark cells in prison and beaten to break them. The Indian civil rights became a national issue getting support from religious leader, civil rights lawyers, feminists, and other groups. Like the African Americans, the Red Indians had a long bitter fight for recognition as bona fide American citizens with equal rights to the white American citizen.

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