Law of Native American Indian Offense. Essay Sample

Published: 2022-12-30
Law of Native American Indian Offense. Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Race Population Ethnography American history
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1840 words
16 min read

The Native American refers to the indigenous peoples who originally inhabited the United States and Canada, especially in periods of 15th to the 19th century. Alternative names are American Indian, First Nations people, Amerindian, or Aborigines. Indigenous American fall under two groupings - American Indians and Arctic persons. For the former, are further classified according to their dwelling places.

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Noteworthy, the name is awash in controversy. First, it is perceived to be pejorative, with connotations of racial slur and a name coined by foreign people and not the tribe. Also, given the diversity of the name, it would not hold water to represent the whole Indians community. Equally important, is the fact that the name was coined by their colonizers who annexed their land and put them under subjugation, hence the term could connote oppression. Even so, going by periods in history, they could be accurately described as Pre-Columbian Americans.

This paper delves into the misgivings, resentment, hard feelings of the aborigines in America deep-seated in the history of colonial injustice, repression, and servitude. Throughout this, is the quest for Indian state nationalism, sovereignty, and self-determination. The course of their nationalism and desire for recognition and their place in the community of nations is recounted and dated as much antiquated as history would let this. In this case, it is from the 15th century to modern day status and their place in the contemporary American society and by extent, the world recognition - much of interest in the Law of Native American Indian Offense.

Their reputation and place in society remains distorted, misrepresented, or untold. Their image remains a denigrated and objectified especially when viewed through the media - the mirror of the society. The members of society have had all sort of stereotypes towards this group. Up to date, there is no consensual thought on the best term for these people, although the term "Native American" remains politically correct. To some, the name Indian, coined by Columbus remains a medieval misnomer, and not to be confused with the Indians of Asia. History first puts them into oblivion. Little documented materials exist if any. As such, information about these people remains scanty. Drawing from, material remains then we are left to pour into arts, folktales, and archeology.

Equally important, is the diversity in culture and geographical locations of these people. They straddle across the West to the Arctic. In America, they inhibit Central America, North America, and South America then, sprawl beyond the Americas to the North East (present-day Canada). The colonial legacy. From the preceding, each group engaged with their colonial masters different. In the same vein, they were colonized by different powers ranging from Spain, France to England. Later, the transatlantic slave trade comes to fodder the colonial enterprise.

French. Their abroad mission was oriented towards doing business, to fund her expenditure that was ravaged by the wars of 15th and 16th centuries. She also had a burning desire to have colonial possessions of other territories and spread her civilization, notably religion. French lay claim to the Northeast, Southeast, and the American Sub-Artic. A case of French colonial heritage is the Canadian province of Quebec, Montreal. Their spread of Christianity, their faith and religion were accompanied by force and hostility as a backlash by the native who sought to cling onto their entrenched cultures.

England. England colonial domination is identified with the Atlantic coastline, all the way from New England to Virginia. At first following the impetus of her economic endeavor; wool trade. Also given the effect of pressure on her resources, and demand for land to produce raw materials for her trade, she displaced her own, who subsequently came to find settlement in the Americas. In the frontier of religion, England was at the cutting edge of religious extremism. Her imperialism worked since she granted her citizens land incentives to settle and inhabit her newly found colony. The aristocrats, bourgeoisie, and ruling elite were also alleviated to venture into overseas business such as real estate. This resulted in direct investments in the colonies and trickled down to other areas of the economy and nation's welfare such as housing, transport, and communication infrastructure.

Religion Christianity was embodied in the Church of England and some sectoral protestants, was the universal choice of faith. Today, her colonial throwback is felt thanks to her presence in the states of Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York to Philadelphia colonies.

Other colonial masters, the Netherlands and Sweden. These latter-day colonizers were emancipated from their masters; the Netherlands gained independence from Spain. The Dutch joined in the colonial conquest for the area. They occupied modern states of Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware in 1632 under their colonial flagship The Dutch West India Company. Sweden, bequeathed her colonial endeavors to the New Sweden Company, credited with their presence in Delaware.

Marginalized minority. This puts these people as a relatively small group, that was outnumbered and assimilated by the influx of the Europeans into the American. At the advent of Christopher Columbus' exploration, an estimated 1115000 persons were residing in Northern America (historical account informed of archeology.) Cultural alienation. Missionaries worked in the company of the foot soldiers. They held the notoriety for torture and meting out violence on Indians who reaffirmed their traditional norms and belief system.

18th and 19th Centuries

A period of warfare infighting between the European powers and growth of nationalism in the colonies' states. The U.S upon her independence, started the brainchild of a framework policy towards the indigenous as envisioned in the Northwest Ordinances (1787) - the gist of the legislation was "regard for the Indians, their property and land, rights, liberties; with the Congress being the only body that could authorize amendments to the law and approve new laws to protect them." Despite this, the government of the day did not live up to this bill. A raft of Supreme Court judgments came out in full contravention of this law and federal laws that disregarded the legal, ownership, and political civil liberties. A case in point is John Marshall's ruling, the chief justice who granted exclusive rights to colonizers - rights to purchase and seize land from the aborigines. The court further ruled that the federal law took precedence over the customary law of the indigenous sociopolitical organizations. Thus, failure to factor in the sovereignty of these tribes meant that the first people would not have the right to sue the United States in courts of law.

Then came the Indian Removal act (1830). The forceful evacuation of the native Americans from their land in today's Georgia state. This had been preceded by the discovery of gold, in a region inhabited by the Cherokee. The native American Indian were dislocated to West of Mississippi. This occasioned a trying moment of rebellions and resistances which claimed lives of indigenous both en route and abroad. Indian Appropriation Act (1871) further stripped off the Native Indian community any sovereignty so that they could not be a signatory to a treaty or fall into any contract involving the USA.

West Canada

Europeans and Euro-Americans signed treaties that seized land from the aboriginal peoples. The Crown Lands Protection Act (1839) bestowed rights of ownership of the Native American's land to the crown. Also, required full registration as a citizen alienating their rights as natives. The British Parliament handed on independence to Canada in the North America Act (1867), inclusive of the rights of the aborigines.

The Numbered Treaties

An assortment of 11 pieces of legislations deliberated between 1871 and 1921. Indigenous land would be ceased in exchange for government reserves and amenities. Negotiation was hard for the First peoples due to illiteracy. However, on the implementation of these acts, was unequal and unfair, often riddled by the crisis.

19th and 20th Century

This era pitches acculturation into American life versus the self-determination of the First Peoples. Assimilation was preferred by the American while the Indigenous demanded to cede be recognized as separate, independent polities. The proponents of assimilation believed that the inequality was tethered on race and ethnicity yet, integration into the American society was the way to guarantee the existence of the minority. This patronizing way of rule became exemplified in the economic and sociopolitical aspects of life. Cultures of kinship, inheritance, labor, capitalism, private enterprises, and politics were passed on to the natives.

Assimilation involved the process of:

Allotment. Both Canada and the US began to abdicate on the western reservations that held the sovereignty and rights of the Natives. Their lands were seized, and they got allocations in the government reserves. The economically viable land changed possession to the colonialists. Again, guided by the tenets of capitalism, that private ownership of land and resources encouraged investment and economic sufficiency. This disenfranchised the Indians from the factor of production and their livelihood. The process of compensations for the earmarked property was often riddled with bureaucratic ineptitude and dishonesty. The system was met by opposition. This set strategy of assimilation culminated in a bruising failure; it failed in the end goal of European socialization.

Boarding Schools. Education was compulsory in Canada and the United States, administered in government institutions. In this school, the Native Indian learners were much of brainwashed with the European system. They culturally watered down the psychology of these kids to the disdain of their cultures. This was worsened by the content of curriculums there and use of clergy as teachers. As if this was not stifling enough, life in the schools was always harsh with poor living conditions, violence, and brutality.

With the population explosion of the Aborigines in the 19th century, the US and Canada yet they remained poor and marginalized from the rest of the community. Like affirmative action, the government adopted the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 that devolved power from the federal government to the native polities: tribal land was recognized, land seized was expropriated, and tribes could draft their constitutions and creation of mutual funds and financial institutions to fund their development. These could be ramified or vetoed by a popular vote in the form of a referendum.

The end game of the assimilation machine was to disinvest the culture of the native and disown the relationship to government. The approach to this was individualistic in Canada and communal in the US. Canada encouraged this by abrogating the aboriginal citizenship for a Canadian identity. They all seemed to bring an end to the Aboriginal identity through privileges, rewards, and coercion. Other developments were noted from the 19th century to date as the Native Americans continued with their quest of independence and sovereignty.

From this point, the rest of the paper will focus on the specific law of the Native American Indian offense as was noted in the introductory section. Native American law is a collection of laws, administrative rules together with other authorities that have an impact on Aborigines population to the state government as well as the United States. These laws define the correlation between the tribe of the Native Americans and other governments.

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