Ethnicity is likely to always play a role in how people interact in this country, how they build their unique sense of identity, how they perceive themselves and the world around them. Ethnic groups will always act differently especially in this country with such a diverse history, and plethora of people of different backgrounds. American Indians are a group that will has an interesting set of challenges because they are a minority in the United States that did not emigrate from another country, but were essentially victims of American Manifest Destiny. American Indians have gone through a lot of hardship in this country and continue to struggle with modern day America as they try to uphold their proud traditions. On the other hand Latinos deal with assimilation and mass in group segregation as the group continues to grow at a steady level, and changing the way people think about Hispanics as a whole.
It would be hard to discuss how much American Indians are expected to shed their cultural heritage to truly be a part of contemporary society without first reviewing how much they have already been stripped of since the arrival of White Americans into this land. America before Columbus’ “discovery” was home a many tribes each with unique culture and way of life that included hunter-gatherers, pastoral and even nomadic societies. The group so often thought of as “American Indian” or “Native Americans” has been one filled with diversity for a long time longer than the Americas have been the Americas.
Upon the arrival of the Caucasians the people already residing in this land were expected to drop their way of life, and trade it in for the Eurocentric way. The American Natives have lost such a great part of their cultural identity since the colonization, from their land being taken from them to being forcefully relocated under Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal act, which lead to the now infamous Trail of Tears. The relocation forced some nomadic tribes to learn to live in a new environment that they were not used to, very much like many other tribes as they were being introduced into a new way of life that they had not been used to. Forced relocation was not the worst of the issues this group of people have, often times “war” broke out between the Natives and the invading Caucasians (American Indians), and the term “war” is used loosely as it can generally be considered a genocide the way this group of people was treated.
This is a broad and very vague history of what American Indians have had to deal with over the course of American history, and it cannot in any way be a fair explanation to the amount of grief and suffering this group has been exposed to over the years. It is sad to admit that their suffering is not quite over, and in modern American, what is left of the proud culture is threatened as many of the traditions and customs become antiquated. Icons and traditional symbols become nothing more that exotic, trendy images to be printed on...