Native American Culture

Native American Culture

Native American culture has undergone a sea of change in the last hundred years. The Native American people have gone on from being a proud and independent people to a marginalized section of society, forced to live on reservations and mired in issues like unemployment, alcoholism and illiteracy. To understand how these radical changes came about, it is important to understand the history of the Native American people and how it all changed.

It is safe to say that the bulk of the downfall of the Native American people was caused by the Europeans. Keen on snatching as much land and resources as possible, the Europeans were indifferent to Native American culture and its people. As a result, much of their traditions and cultural practices were lost. Today, a number of Native American tribes are taking extra efforts to preserve what is left of their culture and empower their people.

Adjustments In Attitudes
One of the biggest hurdles that the Native American people face even today is stereotypical representations and ideas of Native American culture. This is the result of misconceptions that have survived over the years. Native Americans were either represented as one-dimensional villains or as romanticized heroes who helped the white man.

These attitudes began to change when people became more aware of the plight of the Native American people, particularly on the reservations. With this awareness came a greater understanding of Native American culture as well as the stereotypes that needed to be dealt with. The use of names like ‘Redskins’ and the sale of Native American ‘savages’ Halloween costumes are some of the things that still need to change though, even today.

Native American culture is not what it used to be but it certainly has not died out. Instead it has adapted itself to suit the changes of society and has worked toward strengthening itself from the inside to make the community stronger. By learning more about Native American culture, you can help put an end to stereotypical attitudes and understand more about their wonderful heritage.