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Stereotypes of Native American Indians

My Native American Indian stereotypes probably come mainly from watching westerns virtually every day as a child and seeing many western movies. We did study American Indians in school, but not in great detail. The one lesson on Indians that I remember involved the first Thanksgiving in colonial America, where the Indians came in loincloths and headdresses and the Pilgrims came in full Pilgrim dress, with black hats and buckled shoes.

Somewhere along the line, I have developed the assumption that Indians have been unfairly treated by whites in America. I remember a history lesson that taught how the Indians traded Long Island for a pouch full of beads or necklaces. In my mind, the Indians were noble people who bargained in good faith, while the colonists were greedy and perfectly willing to take advantage of the Indians' naiveté. Learning in school that Indians must live segregated from other Americans on Indian reservations and that they did not have the right to vote or own land struck me as profoundly unfair, given the fact that the entire continent belonged to the Indians before the white man cheated him out of it. The Indians that once roamed our continent freely, living off the land, were relegated to reservations that were little more than concentration camps. Since being deprived of their liberties, Indians have led an unhealthy life on the reservations. It is my impression that they are prone to alcoholism, and I believe I read this during research for a school paper once. It is not surprising that they have substance abuse issues given their sad life and the unfairness with which they have been treated.

I also believe that the stereotypes of Indians portrayed in westerns are highly inaccurate. In most of these shows, the Indians' only aim is to murder the white man. Although this might be entirely reasonable as a means of defense against the invasion and overtaking of their land by whi...

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Stereotypes of Native American Indians. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 21:23, June 26, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/2000536.html