Racism is a form of social inequality founded on erroneous yet firmly ingrained preconceptions about individuals and their social worth; it is frequently used to conceal resource discrepancies. Racism assumes different patterns, allowing some individuals to think they are better than others and to acquire and sustain different kinds of political, communal, and financial supremacy. Racism should be recognized as a lived experience; it affects people, families, societies, and countries via daily interactions and systems. The reality is that the beliefs, social biases, and words upon which race and racism are constructed create much damage. Discrimination and harassment are widely experienced by the indigenous communities in multiple domains and locations, such as education and the criminal justice system.
Indigenous identity in the United States is fraught with challenges beyond blood, spanning from odd census classifications to allegations of identity deception. These problems are harsh problems and abductions embedded into the institutions of settler colonialism in the United States, which aim to eradicate indigenous peoples from their homelands. The question of whether or not somebody is indigenous causes a lot of problems. When individuals talk about “level of Indian blood,” they are normally talking about the requirements for enrolling in a federal agency or an Indigenous political organization focused on somebody of the “Indian” or “Native American” heritage (Whyte 1). However, belonging to an Indigenous community is not always the same as being acknowledged by an Indigenous political organization, for instance a federally acknowledged Tribe (e.g., Navajo Nation or Citizen Potawatomi Nation) or a government program. Somebody could, for instance, be Potawatomi biologically, self-reportedly, or as designated by a society, yet not be eligible for membership in a Tribe or government initiative.
This is since most federally authorized Tribal administrations are the result of US actions during particular periods, for instance the 1930s, when the United States forced Tribes to embrace various governmental forms and eligibility standards. In the 1930s, US policies aimed to make it easier to lease Indigenous homelands to destructive companies like oil. As a result, they can’t be seen as an effort to respect the clan, social, or political structures of membership that developed outside of colonization. Furthermore, establishing somebody’s Indian ancestry, whether partial or whole, is frequently absurd, as in past examples where colonialists employed visual signals (Whyte 2).
The language loss shattered the Native society’s heart, as did recent attempts to revive it. Native languages provide hints as to what has been lost. Mona Recountre of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota claims that after her community implemented a Native language training program in its elementary school, cultural connections inside the school altered dramatically, and instructors noticed a decrease in disciplinary issues. According to Recountre, the Dakota language emphasizes family and connections, which fosters unity and tolerance. According to Recountre, the kids often refer to their educators as “uncle” or “auntie” and “do not conceive of them as authoritative people.” “It’s a sign of appreciation and acknowledgement,” she says.
Native researchers refer to the devastation of their heritage as a “soul wound” that Native Americans have yet to recovered from. A cycle of physical and sexual violence that started in the early years of the boarding school program is deeply ingrained inside that wound (Smith 2). Pre-1990 gaps in state and national legislation demanding the filing of grievances of sexual violence of children allowed widespread sexual assault at reserve schools to persist till the late 1980s. The consequences of systemic sexual assault in schools remain to reverberate throughout Native communities. The exploitation has repeatedly shattered Indian societies’ established social structures. Scholars claim that before colonization, Native women had a high social rank, and aggression against women, kids, and adults was nearly non-existent. In the current Native societies, sexual harassment and exploitation, as well as suicide and alcoholism, have hit pandemic levels. According to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the levels of sexual abuse among Native Americans was three-and-a-half times greater than any other racial community in the US by the late 1990s. Alcoholism is six times greater in Native populations than in the rest of the country.
Whereas some Canadian churches have started reconciliation projects, churches in the United States have mostly remained mute. This nation’s residents have also been less proactive in filing suit. The mixture of conditions of restrictions, an absence of documentation, and the existing conservative complexion of the United States Supreme Court, according to attorney Tonya Gonnella-Frichner (Onondaga), makes litigation a dangerous and tough tactic.
Native American opposition to white supremacy’s legal representation persists to this day. The American Indian Movement of the 1970s, which briefly reclaimed the Native territories of Mount Rushmore, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and Alcatraz, is a source of motivation for much present Native struggle. Over 15,000 people from the Standing Rock tribe and throughout the state held tribal territory that will be used for the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016. This organisation formed in response to treaty violations and the devastation of holy land and assets (Yancy & Naomi 34). Assaults, attack dogs, and litigations were utilized by the federal administration and business groups in response. White power triumphed once more over Native peoples’ grievances, however the #NoDAPL uprising reignited public attention on Native privileges. The world was made aware of the institutions of white oppression that harmed Native Americans.
Smith, Andrea. “Soul wound: The legacy of Native American schools.” Amnesty International Magazine 26 (2007).
Whyte, Kyle. “Indigeneity and U.S. settler colonialism.” (2016).
Yancy, George, and Naomi Zack. “The violent weight of whiteness: The existential and psychic price paid by black male bodies.” The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2017).