What history can teach us about: Native American History

Introduction

History can be described as the study of past events, many of which are of significant measure, which often affect how and why a particular nation or country is the way it is in today’s world. Throughout the course of this essay, we will explore a few reasons why the studying of history is both useful, and relevant in today’s world.

One of the most popular arguments why study history is simply to learn. Not just to learn for the sake of learning, but to find out and understand why things are the way they are today, such as culturally and the reasons for many of our societal norms. One example very common to the Caribbean is languages. The most important question is what history can teach us about and how it can positively impact our lives and society. Why do we speak the way we do? Where did these dialects come from? These languages weren’t simply created a few years ago but were the product of many different factors that happen hundreds of years ago. One of the factors that lead to the various dialects that many still speak today is slavery. Some forms of the dialects carry features of West African languages mixed with British English which came about from Africans being enslaved by the British on sugar plantations. It is estimated that around 11 million were taken from Africa onto the transatlantic ships and out of these approximately 2.2 million were made their way to the British West Indies.These creole languages came around as a result of the 2 parties being unable to understand each other’s languages.

Reason to Study History

For a long period of time, speaking dialects in the Caribbean is often looked down upon as it is often associated with slavery as well of poverty and in many Caribbean families, the heads of the family have even gone as far as to ban the speaking dialect among the household. In order to start a detailed study of any part of the history, I always advise you to study your topic using the example of history essay. This is especially evident is Barbados, who had a very long period of slavery of over 200 years. I have witnessed this in Barbados first-hand countless times, whether it be in schools or at a friend’s house, it was very clear how much these people wanted to get away from the speaking of dialect. I have been the witness of my own secondary teachers i found cool history topics and even the principal, scolding students for speaking the way they do, claiming that it is not “proper” and it makes you come across as very uneducated and as they would say “ghetto”. For many of these students, however, that’s just the way they grew up speaking, and they don’t know any other way. In order to study the issue, you can refer to topics for u.s. history or other scientific research in this area. Some of these students never knew why they were being scolded for that and didn’t quite understand why it was deemed “uneducated”. The study of History and the understanding would surely help these persons to understand why that was happening. Though slavery has now been long abolished, the effects remain.

How America Has Failed Natives’ Education?

The American government has constantly put Native Americans on the back burner especially when it comes to education. When there are low graduation rates in a school it can heavily affect teenagers with their future economic and social opportunities (Clarren). Education plays an important role in everyone’s life especially the role it has in determining people’s futures. America has failed the Native American educational system by the institutionalized boarding schools along with the current need for representation of Native Americans educators, and the inadequate education that reservations provide.

The only time Native Americans were a priority is when the American government was forcing Native children into boarding schools. The whole purpose of the boarding schools was to force children into forgetting their “Indianness” or “Savageness” so they could become more white (Brenna). If Native American parents ever refused to send their child to the boarding schools, agents of the Department of the Interior were able to arrest and even go as far as refusing food to their families. Those boarding schools caused extreme damage to the children that were forced to attend, for instance the children rarely got to see their families, speak their native language, or even practice their culture (Clarren). Boarding schools did no good for the Native American communities.

Many students attending schools on reservations often underperform with their education. The students attending schools operated by the BIE are known for underachieving. For instance, on reservation students have an average score of 22 percentile points in reading and 14 points lower in math compared to Native American students attending public schools off the reservation (Clarren). Studies have shown that students that attend school on the reservation learn less overall compared to standard public schools (Clarren). It goes to show that going to school on reservations statistically only hurts them in the end by either not graduating or by being below the national average with test scores. It makes sense why many students chose to travel farther than they need to so they can attend a public school off the reservation.

The American government has let down Native Americans with their education. They are still American citizens so they should have the same opportunities in school as traditional public schools. Starting with the forced boarding schools, America failed. Then with not enough Native American educators, America failed. Lastly with providing poor education to Native students on their reservations, America failed. With just about every aspect of Native American education; America failed them. America should’ve done better for them especially since they confined Natives to such small pieces of land after America stole most of their land. Native Americans deserve to have the same type of education that everyone else in the nation is offered.

Conclusion

Although this still goes on today in 2019, the language of creole is becoming more accepting and has been for a while now. If you are a student I advise you to first look at the research paper about history they always have a lot of useful information. Needless to say, this has forged an identity for the Caribbean that simply cannot be overlooked. This is just one of the many examples we can draw from to understand why the study of History is relevant, useful and important to our society. With creole and dialect going strong today, and the huge impact it has on the way we speak in the Caribbean, we should be aware of how we came to this point. This is one of the reasons why studying History, is not only relevant but very useful and much needed.