Ethnic Groups and Discrimination- Native Americans

The Native Americans didn’t participate in discrimination; they were affected by people discriminating against them. The immigration of Indian American has taken place in several waves since the first Indian American came to the United States in the 1700’s. Indians are among the largest ethnic groups legally immigrating to the United States. When white people first landed on the east coast, they pushed the Native Americans back with peace treaties, trade agreements and if that failed, violence.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was a mass relocation of Indians to west of the Mississippi. This movement was The Trail of Tears, which left half of the Cherokee Indians dead. The Native Americans often captured and tortured white settlers in unprovoked attacks as a form of entertainment. After several generations of patience and forgiveness by the settlers, this hostility, brutality, and betrayal on the part of the Native Americans was seen by the Europeans as a sign that Native Americans were savages.

These beliefs by the Europeans would set the trend for prejudice, racism, and segregation towards all Native Americans for years to come. The earliest prejudice towards the Native Americans took the form of rejection of the native people as a whole by the Spanish who regarded the Indians as an unenlightened, brutal people.

The Spanish who explored parts of Central and South America robbed the Native Americans of their gold and slaughtered them by the thousands in the name of racial and religious superiority. This is the first evidence of racism towards the native people. Native Americans have faced prejudice, segregation, and racism for many years.

More ways that the Government laws disturbed the Native Americans way of living; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), Massacre at Sand Creek (1864), The Major Crimes Act (1885), The General Allotment Act (1887), Massacre at Wounded Knee (1890), The Indian Citizenship Act (1924), The Relocation Act (1956). Native Americans were subjected to dual labor market conditions during the 19th century. Although Native Americans sometimes willingly participated in the labor market, it is also clear that they were not always willing participants.

Environmental justice issues are not solely about disparate health or economic effects; it also applies when the cultural and historical resources of protected groups are potentially affected by a federally funded transportation project. Native American Tribes are different than other minority groups affected by the environmental impacts of transportation projects. Interactions among tribes, the FHWA, and State DOTs should be structured as a government-to-government relationship.

Consultation with tribes is therefore different from traditional public involvement outreach. Reaching out to tribes is still crucial if Federal and State agencies want to be sure that environmental justice concerns are understood and addressed. A determined effort to end the effective redlining of Native homelands began in the second half of the 1990s, with many promises made and some actual progress. However, much of that progress seems to have evaporated in the implosion of the mortgage market.

Most redlining was targeted towards African Americans. While Indians enjoy all the privileges of citizenship, including the franchise, their constitutional rights are vague and undefined within the tribal organization and before the tribal courts. This whole area requires attention. While the quasi-sovereignty of Indian tribes undoubtedly should continue, if that is what the Indians want, the rights of Indians within these tribes should be protected.

They are protected under the constitution of double jeopardy. Glass ceiling means Invisible but real barrier through which the next stage or level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached by a section of qualified and deserving employees. Such barriers exist due to implicit prejudice on the basis of age, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, and/or sex. Although generally illegal, such practices prevalent in most countries.

I believe because of all the racism and prejudice towards Native Americans, they would face this in any work environment with today’s society. I believe now after researching the Native Americans that I identify more with The United States mainstream culture. I am looking forward to learning more about my heritage and cultural background. It is sad to read the horrible issues that the Native Americans faced and still some that they face with today’s society. Racism, prejudice, and segregation are something that we deal with in everyday life, rather we realize it or not.

http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/udall/indian_htm.html http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/glass-ceiling.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Americans_in_the_United_States http://www.allabouthistory.org/native-american-history.htm