Indian persecutions Essay
The text we have studied relates to the integration problem between teh white and Indian population of United States : Indians are called Native-Americans because they have lived there for centuries.
White Europeans arrived in the 17th century on their land during the conquest of the new territories.
The confrontation of two cultures led to many problems we will discuss later but, basically, we had the Indian culture related to nature, natural living in direct confrontation with the white industrial and urban culture.
By 1950, unemployment was high among native-Americans and the Bureau of Indian Affairs believed the solution was to relocate these populations in urban areas. Indians could see brochures pushing them to leave the country for better conditions in the cities. Many left but half of them came back to their reservation !
Hydroelectric power needs (les besoins en …) led ( ont conduit) to many conflicts, especially for the building of dams (barrages) as it would flood reservations. Using legal protest and open protest, the Indians succeeded in some cases but other projects flooded most of Dakota ‘ s arable land for example.
Another sensitive issue is about Fishing rights. Indians have always fished for a living (pour vivre) and thus they have been granted special tribal fishing rights. These rights are now challenged by environmental groups.
A movie to illustrate the story of Indians : « Little Big Man », starring Dustin Hoffman is a 1971 Hollywood movie which broke all stereotypes people had about Indians : westerns : cow boys, indians….
Indians have often been treated unequally and many protests were held during the 1960s and 1970s. The most surprising protest was certainly the Indian occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1972.
All Indian tribes were marching on Wasington with written demands. When they found that the accomodation they had reserved were taken, they took over the building for 7 days. This was a great moral victory for them, as most of their demands were passed.