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  • Question about Natives

    At school we are doing debates on Native American customs and different aspects of their life. My group's topic is "Native Americans do not turn to drug, alcohol and violence to resolve most of their issues". Unfortunately this is extremely hard to research, because everything is against it. I already talked to my teacher about how it is a cold hard fact that Native Americans turn to drugs, alcohol and violence more than any other group according to our research, but he wants us to talk about some of the other types of ways they peacefully resolved conflicts without drugs/alcohol/violence. Any ideas? Even the slightest bit of information would be helpful.

  • #2
    Looks like your mind is already made up, so that is going to be the hard part.

    Historically: Chief Washakie of the Wind River Shoshone didn't resort to violence to deal with the problem of the emigrants going through their land via the Oregon Trail. Look it up..and not just Google it. You might have to visit an actual library and look in these things called BOOKS.

    Recently: look at the contributions of many natives, leaders and regular folks alike. Every one has some conflict in their lives and not all turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with them.

    Heck, when I was turning to drugs and alcohol, it wasn't to deal with problems, it was to have a pretty darn good time!!
    ...it is what it is...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by wyo_rose View Post
      Looks like your mind is already made up, so that is going to be the hard part.

      Historically: Chief Washakie of the Wind River Shoshone didn't resort to violence to deal with the problem of the emigrants going through their land via the Oregon Trail. Look it up..and not just Google it. You might have to visit an actual library and look in these things called BOOKS.

      Recently: look at the contributions of many natives, leaders and regular folks alike. Every one has some conflict in their lives and not all turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with them.

      Heck, when I was turning to drugs and alcohol, it wasn't to deal with problems, it was to have a pretty darn good time!!
      Thanks! I will include the information about Cheif Washakie in my project.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mynameisjulia View Post
        At school we are doing debates on Native American customs and different aspects of their life. My group's topic is "Native Americans do not turn to drug, alcohol and violence to resolve most of their issues". Unfortunately this is extremely hard to research, because everything is against it. I already talked to my teacher about how it is a cold hard fact that Native Americans turn to drugs, alcohol and violence more than any other group according to our research, but he wants us to talk about some of the other types of ways they peacefully resolved conflicts without drugs/alcohol/violence. Any ideas? Even the slightest bit of information would be helpful.

        I think you should define the time frame. We didn't always go to alcohol and drugs ! Now violence is a separate subject. Even before drugs and alcohol , a person's actions had consequences , and if one did a wrong , they were corrected.
        I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


        They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

        There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

        Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
        It's not me....I think you're an idiot !


        sigpic


        There's a chance you might not like me ,

        but there's a bigger

        chance I won't care

        Comment


        • #5
          As others have noted context is key. I guess I would ask my instructor whether you're discussing pre-reservation societies, or those who have survived apocalyptic epidemic disease, violent removal and forced cultural assimilation? Or are you instead debating historic responses to Euro-American incursion and colonization?

          Let me illustrate:

          When my people lived within their non-disrupted society, supporting themselves by their traditional economic base, there were many structures to diffuse intra-group tension. We had a society where every man, woman and child was proficient with various types of weapons. We lived three generations side by side in a twenty ft diameter tipi. (Try that in a Dakota winter, it brings new meaning to cabin fever.) Pre-contact life was unforgiving; only by acting as a cohesive group could people survive.

          To insure domestic tranquillity we had a system of rigid kinship roles, which prescribed behaviors and responsibilities for each and every individual with whom you would have contact. You were conditioned from childhood to conform to this system, which sublimated the individual passions to the good of the extended family and band. Boys were raised to become brave men, who overlooked slights for the good of the people. Girls and boys became adults who guarded the integrity of the family, by keeping their passions under control that others might live.

          When bounds were transgressed, punishments were handed out by family members, warrior societies, leaders or elders. These might include a firm scolding, public shaming, lashing, restitution, spiritual counseling, or exile.

          After colonization, however, family structure was disrupted, traditional childhood educational system destroyed, the warrior societies replaced with an occupying police force, and so on. This meant children were only partially trained to the system. The enforcement structure was missing. And the colonizer's institutions of social control only incompletely assimilated. Thus the appalling statistics on substance abuse and violence. (Survive the zombie apocalypse and see how your society fares )

          For more information on one culture's means of conflict resolution:

          Ella C. Deloria, The Dakota Way of Life; Mariah Press: Sioux Falls, SD, 2007.

          Manuscript archive for the Dakota Way of Life

          Severt Young Bear, R D. Theisz, Standing in the Light: A Lakota Way of Seeing; University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, NE, 1996.

          Helen H. Blish, Ethical Conceptions of the Oglala Dakota; University of Nebraska Studies 26, nos. 3-4, 1927.
          Last edited by OLChemist; 06-18-2015, 12:13 AM. Reason: Proofreading not just good idea.

          Comment


          • #6
            To continue...

            As for conflict with the colonizer, not all was resolved with violence. Although, consider what your response would be if your family faced loss of your job, home, language and culture. When peaceful recourse failed, violence might seem the only way.

            Look up the Compact of 1802, the Cherokee Nation v Georgia, and Worcester v Georgia.

            Cherokee Nation v Georgia

            Worcester v Georgia

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mynameisjulia View Post
              At school we are doing debates on Native American customs and different aspects of their life. My group's topic is "Native Americans do not turn to drug, alcohol and violence to resolve most of their issues". Unfortunately this is extremely hard to research, because everything is against it. I already talked to my teacher about how it is a cold hard fact that Native Americans turn to drugs, alcohol and violence more than any other group according to our research, but he wants us to talk about some of the other types of ways they peacefully resolved conflicts without drugs/alcohol/violence. Any ideas? Even the slightest bit of information would be helpful.
              Go back to the start of conflict with Manifest Destiny pushing the indigenous people off their lands, their way of life, traditions, and culture.

              Look up the forced assimilation policies, Indian Boarding Schools. the massacres of Natives...

              The Reservations were much like Prisoner of War camps, then the "Indian Agents" started bringing bottled whiskey into the reservations.

              Read the words of Chief Joseph as all this was taking place
              https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Chief_Joseph
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Huge factors for Eastern tribes that were Forced out the East in a series Forced Marches starting in 1830 by winning our Court Case: Cherokee Nation v Georgia!!

                The breakdown of our Matriarchal societies by Missionaries in the 1820's and 1830's is another interesting aspect of the forced Assimilation of Native Population especially in the Southeastern Tribes.

                Land Allotment in the 1890's and 1900's I found direct evidence the devastation this did to native populations in Eastern Oklahoma in little less than 20 years comparing the Cherokee census in 1880 to number of acres cultivated to 1900 is an eye opening experience.
                Read the Wheeler Report in 1920's that looked at the devastation that allotment accomplished whole families died from starvation that just a short 30 years before had no need for Rations or any form of Help from the US Government!!!

                In the 1950's and 1960's we see the failed program of Urban relocation which further broke down the family unit and isolation from a community of those of your same tribe.

                Lest we talk about the Boarding School system?? My Father's stories from age 4 till a High School coach wanted him to play ball for him when he was 15 and brought him back to his Hometown.

                We focus on the bad stuff in these papers
                I would like to see one on the Good things that happen everyday
                Like:
                Language Immersion Classes

                Tribes that take over those old Boarding schools that now have a waiting list to enter because of the High Academic Standards.
                We build our own Hospitals

                Veteran Centers that are opened to take care of our old Elders, in that a native have fought in every WAR since 1812!!

                Homes built for our families

                And yes Casinos but its up to the tribe to determine what to do with that money some are better than others in that aspect.

                Buffalo herds raised by Northern tribes to be shared with Southern ones!
                But Hey that's not sexy enough news huh!

                You know what
                We are still here!!!
                ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                Till I Die!

                Comment


                • #9
                  This just makes me want to get drunk , smoke some dope , and go beat somebody up !
                  I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


                  They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

                  There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

                  Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
                  It's not me....I think you're an idiot !


                  sigpic


                  There's a chance you might not like me ,

                  but there's a bigger

                  chance I won't care

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You need to recall these modern statistics reflect cultures that were subjected to systematic suppression and destruction of their social structures. The official and unofficial goal of US Indian policy was the elimination of the Native peoples as distinct political and cultural entities. By this point in time, we were to be indistinguishable, save by our darker hue, from the dominant culture.

                    Further, our populations were decimated by epidemic disease. People died to the tune of 75-90%, depending on whose counts you believe. This seriously undermines the institutions of any society. (Look what happened in West Africa during the current Ebola outbreak.)

                    It is tempting to say, that was a long time ago. People came to this country from horrible wars, massacres, and all manner of hardship in the Old World and they have done well. But the key point is: they choose. Our ancestors did not get to choose.

                    And it is easy to, as Josiah said, focus only on the bad. Particularly with the recent spate of poverty-porn about Pine Ridge, Wind River and other rezs. However, there is remarkable resilience in Native communities.

                    Many of these social institutions still survive, albeit often badly damaged. Kinship and its obligations still governs life in many Native communities. Efforts to heal the damage that has led to those horrifying numbers, focus on rebuilding those methods of traditional social control which still applicable in a modern economy.

                    Unfortunately, these systems, as they exist today, are not always easy to see -- particularly, to those not enculturated to our various societies. This makes causal research a challenge; I could point to you to numerous biographies, dissertations, ethnographic accounts, etc which illustrate the persistence or resurgence of these institutions and values within our societies. But, you would need to know what you were looking for, because these details are rarely the focus of the narrative. For example, my (non-Indian) aunt who is a professor of nursing pursuing research in cultural issues in elder care, sent me an e-copy of dissertation about respect and risk taking among teens in a particular Native community. (No idea why she was reading this.) In the teens narratives, I could see the kinship obligation condition of these children acting to diffuse much of the intergenerational teen conflict common within the dominant culture.

                    I guess where I'm headed is, based on the information you gave us, I'd research the pre-reservation systems of social control and conflict resolution for one tribe. I'd learn what methods were used to facilitate intragroup harmony. Then to bring it into a contemporary context, I'd find a modern example of these methods being used.

                    If you PM me, I may be able to point you to some resources. I don't want to bore people with huge numbers of references. However, if you are in a hurry, I am rather busy with a project in the lab and may not be able to get to it before the weekend.
                    Last edited by OLChemist; 06-18-2015, 03:14 PM. Reason: I hate autocorrect -- my computer can't actually read my mind.

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