Centuries following Europeans landing on our shores, Indigenous Americans were considered to be "savages" solely because their language, customs and religious rites/rights were so different from those known in the "modern world." Who can recall watching Western movies and a variety of television shoes where Indigenous Americans are virtually always portrayed as "bad" and/or violent? Without a common written language, Whites wrongfully assumed the Indigenous people were incapable of higher level thinking, let alone the ability to progress with modern "ideas." This alone was why it was so easy to adopt positions that the "savages" were incomplete because they either didn't appreciate Jesus Christ or have a culture "rich enough" to be embraced and shared. All the while various Tribes flourished for centuries in North America, long before European Whites showed up. Much could have been learned from the Indigenous people, but a truly ignorant and stubbornly hateful society simply preferred to "assimilate" the tribes, or felt it was an easier path to simply annihilate them. Hence, as North America was being "discovered", Indigenous Tribes were slowly being eliminated, all by design and all for their "own good." As a result, pre-colonial "Anti-Indian" attitudes eventually became official American national policy. From engaging in Biological warfare (from passing out Small-pox infected blankets to tribes under the guise of "protecting them") to actively flooding their Tribes with alcohol - knowing dependence would lead to control. *It was years later that scientists learned that Indigenous People lacked the ability to process alcohol like Europeans and alcohol addiction could be used as an effective control measure.
Once Americans began to institutionalize stealing their native lands, the Reservation System came into full bloom. Eventually, all policies to control Native Americans fell under the control of the U.S. Department of the Interior - whose main goal was to assimilate all Indigenous People or force them to face the harsh reality that the government was not going to provide for them - in any way. I could turn this blog into a semester long curriculum, but you might find it best to read up on the history of American mistreatment of our Indigenous People at the hands of our government yourself. A starting point might be to look up what was involved in the "Trail of Tears" that eventually led to the Dawes Act of 1887. Although the one film that caught the attention of many Americans (yet was fiction) was "Dances with Wolves." Another that illustrated the pure inhumanity of our own government towards our own Native Peoples is "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." Any study of the formation of the America West will reveal our criminal policy of constant mistreatment of our Indigenous. Even today, our government ignores the historical rights of our People through constant breach of treaties and understandings when it comes to Native holy lands in exchange for mineral rights and pathways for toxic pipelines - all the the detriment of our People.
Now you may want to ask yourself, why is a Jewish American claiming Indigenous People as our own? Because any real American knows, they are ours - that's why. I suggest you check out www.firstnations.org/knowledge-center/books/ to learn more. Once you have a basic understanding from this reading, you will really appreciate how far reaching and important appointing the first person of First America heritage is to our Nation's history and why Deb Haaland's appointment is so profound and necessary.
As many of us have been concerned about for decades, the failure of Americans to know and understand our history, dooms us to repeat it. It is no wonder 71 Million of us prefer an autocratic leader over one democratically elected. To Future Secretary Deb Haaland, I congratulate you. It's about damn time! Try to have a safe holiday. Be well!