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"The native American has been generally despised by his white conquerors for his poverty and simplicity. They forget, perhaps, that his religion forbade the accumulation of wealth and the enjoyment of luxury.

The NA's and the white man were a relationship that was doomed to fail. The cultures were too polarized. NA's did not understand the white man and thought they were crazy and vice versa. Natives did not own land and had no concept of ownership since land belonged to no one, it was sacred and should be honored and shared, not corraled, sliced up and built upon.

An Indian's word was sacred and not to be crossed. White men gave their word and it meant nothing to them, even treaties and contracts were rescinded. NAs did not understand this. To them, it was sacrilege.

NAs were not Christian and knew nothing of western religion. They were religious, but not anything remotely like Christian beliefs.

NAs killed only what they needed at the time..killing for sport was appalling to them. The slaughter of the buffalo was (and still is) a mindless crazy thing that the NAs would never understand.

NAs used everything, wasted nothing. Enough said.

Is it any wonder that they did not get along? The official US policy in the early 1900's concerning the red man was genocide..they sent virus infested blankets, poisoned foods, tainted water and withheld medicines to the reservations in order to kill them off. The good Christain people of the time(well meaning) discovered this was happening and pressured the government to 'civilize' the savages, convert them to Christainity, hence the removal of the children from their families to boarding schools where they cut their hair (humiliating and shaming to an NA), changed their names and beat them if they ever reverted to their native ways. These children, once educated, went home to the 'res' and had no culture of their own.

They still were not welcome in American society, nor did they any longer fit at the 'res' because their culture had been stripped. The government was pleased, thinking they had finally 'eliminated' the NAs because this generation would have children and be taught white ways and the red culture would die out. What they didn't count on were the elders on the reservation...the grandparents.

When this lost generation married and had children, these children received their native teachings from their elders and the culture was not lost. It was and is these children that brought lawsuits against the government in the 70's and 80's, getting compensation for all the years of wrongdoing and trying to put their nations back together again.

Zen
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