Some do, some don’t. Stereotypes, while sometimes rooted in fact, also contain many, many variations. My maternal grandmother’s father was Cherokee, and their family was Methodist. I’ve personally known Native Americans whose politics ranged from far-left anarchist to conservative Republican, to admiration for George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party.
By Dennis Zotigh
How do Native Americans observe the 4th of July? This year, many people’s plans reflect their concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. But the answer has always been as complicated as America’s history.
Perhaps the most quoted language in the Declaration of Independence is the statement that all men are created equal. Many Native Americans, however, also remember the signers’ final grievance against the king:
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
With the emergence of a nation interested in expanding its territory came the issue of what to do with American Indians, who were already living all across the land. As the American non-Indian population increased, the Indigenous population greatly decreased, along with tribal homelands and cultural freedoms. From the beginning, U.S. government policy contributed to the loss of culture and land.