Posted: November 1st, 2022
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Your film review for this week is, “The Spirit of Crazy Horse” (Blue Link upper left hand corner, click your mouse on link, this takes you to the film. I’ve mentioned to look at the site that has an Indian chief and 54+ minute film with PBS. This is the film you want to watch. This film is a short history of the Oglala Lakota, or as they are known, The Sioux Nation of South Dakota. They live on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which is the home of the Black Hills. The U.S. Government had made a treaty to protect the sacred Hills that are important to the Sioux spirituality. However, rogue miners found gold and pressured the U.S. Government to take back the Black Hills. As you watch this film, you will learn about the issues, conditions, U.S. Government conflict, and become aware of the plight of Native Americans. Keep in mind, the U.S. Government made over 180 treaties across the continent between the government and the Native American Indian “nations.” Each tribe was considered a nation. For our class, study how the relationships between the U.S. Government, American settlers, and Native American Indian came to be. Assimilation was a great priority for the U.S. Government and the people of the United States. While you can study the Jamestown settlement and the Native American Indians, we can see familiar patterns throughout the continent to the west. Manifest Destiny ideology would impact the relationships and land between White settlers and Indians. In time, it would be a good Idea to watch commercial films like “Fort Apache” with John Wayne (old school) and “Dances With Wolves,” you’ll get two different perspectives about Native American Indians. I will send out a list of films that you can use for extra credit, many will be films that you will see in other classes or your upper division classes(university). Take note, “baby boomers” grew up watch the John Wayne type of westerns, and these films affected their view about Indians. When we played cowboys and Indians in our neighborhood canyon, no one wanted to the Indians, why? I will remind you constantly, the 50’s was a religious conservative period and SOME baby boomers today still have those attitude, “a good Indian, is a dead Indian.” Keep an eye “spirituality” being discussed by different Native Americans, “500 Nations” had numerous examples of spirituality, like taking care of the land. Something interesting. European had built many large cities using European timber, this depleting the forest. Once they landed in America, they started to use timber and send it back to Europe. Now, when you read about the Removal Act, we focus on moving Native American Indians from the east to west. So, all we see is the movement of Indians from one region to another. However, as the gentlemen said, when you move a person(Indian) from the soil he/she was born, you take away their life cycle that is based in that soil. When we moved the Indians, they were set up for failure. Using you notes from the film, answer all the following questions. Like your reports, double spaced and typed, 1 1/2 pages in length, and don’t forget your OPINIONS. You can add notes from your chapter and “500 Nations” if you like, so you can write more. If I was in an upper division class, these films and other materials would be my introduction to the history of Native American Indians, along with a series of questions that I would be looking at. I say these things because in your upper division classes, you will have to write term papers that could be 25-30 pages. I will remind you from time to time how to organize your work for term papers (I taught upper division courses at SDSU for 20 years). 1. Like most of our class materials, our class covers history before we get into sociology. At the beginning of the film, the Native American Indians in the film discuss past Indian experiences with the U.S., that lead to their current conditions. What are they saying about that history and experience? The “Acts?” Loss of Land? Reservation life. 2. What can you say about the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)? Why would Native American Indians want to get rid of this federal department? What was good or bad about the BIA? Why would the BIA work with the Mixed bloods than with the full bloods? How did the BIA and Mixed bloods control the reservation? 3. The American Indian Movement (AIM) was a civil rights organization, how did they feel about the BIA? What changes did they want and why? What were the issues that AIM wanted the public to be aware of? Don’t forget the “Acts”, culture, spirituality, land, and sovereignty. 4. What are your opinions about the overall Native American Indian experience? What about their future? What do you see happening to Native American Indians today? Good or bad? Based it on what you’ve read and seen
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