We Need to Return the Land We Stole to the Native Americans

February 14, 2017
By avatucker BRONZE, Burlington, Kentucky
avatucker BRONZE, Burlington, Kentucky
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Native Americans should receive reparations in the form of land because the land that we took from them had sentimental value, the Native Americans would be able to grow crops, creating jobs and salaries for the many struggling families on the reservations, and if the Americans returned the Native American´s land, it would be a huge step in the right direction to end racial discrimination against Native Americans.

First, Native Americans highly value their land because to them, it is sacred; it is more than just a piece of grass and trees. Their ancestors were raised on their land, and they want it back. Document A says: ¨A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers here on its bank. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting: I feel sorry.¨ This evidence shows that the native americans are hurt that their land has been taken from them because the land has history; their ancestors were raised on this land and they worshiped the land that was taken from them. Also, ¨Why Native American´s don´t want Reparations¨ Says: ¨The greatest harm done to us was the theft of land – our homeland – often by forcing us off of our homeland to live far away on a “reservation”.  To American Indians, land is not simply a property or a piece of real estate. It is a source of traditions and identities, ones that have been built from centuries of relationships. The land and the sea are our aunts and uncles, our gods and goddesses, not our possessions.  That territory is irreplaceable.¨ The evidence is overwhelming that the Native Americans were greatly affected by their land being taken from them and that it has obviously taken an emotional toll on many of the citizens in reservations. Returning the sacred land to the Native Americans would greatly reestablish our relationship with them and it would be the right thing to do, since we ultimately are responsible for this treasure being taken from them.

Next, if the US returned the Black Hills to the Native Americans, the land could provide them with natural resources, so they could actually make money themselves, helping with the extreme poverty Native American´s face on reservations. The article ¨US Should Return Stolen Land to Indian Tribes, Says UN¨ says: ¨If the Black Hills were returned to the tribe, the Reservation would have natural resources, and a way to earn enough money to survive.¨ If the Native Americans could grow crops and sell them, this would create jobs on reservations, reducing poverty, and the suicide rates may go down because families will have more money to afford things. It would also give the Native Americans a sense of dignity to know that instead of just having money handed to them from the government, which they do not want anyway, they could actually earn their own money to be able to support a family and buy things for themselves.I believe that this would greatly reduce poverty levels, as well as depression because these people will no longer be poor, which would greatly affect them in a very positive way.

Lastly, The Native Americans do not want to take money because they feel that if they do, they have no dignity. In the article ¨Reparations for Native Americans: Another Trail of Tears¨ says: ¨The idea of using money for reparations is not a new concept. It comes from the idea that America is broken and is in need of healing. In an attempt to turn suffering into healing, money is thought to be the solution, which many think should make things fair. The belief that “money can buy anything” is absurd and disgusting. Money cannot buy or return dignity and self-respect. If Native Americans were to accept any form of monetary reparation from the Federal government, it would take away any self-respect they have kept all these years. Accepting money would lead to the incorrect belief that the United State’s historical debt has been paid off, when, in fact, there is no possible way to ever repay Native Americans for what was taken from them. ¨ This evidence is very, very strong in the fact that many Native Americans have strong views against accepting monetary reparations over land reparations from the government. They feel that if they do, they are taking away their dignity and self-respect that they have kept for so long. I could definitely see why Native Americans would not want monetary reparations after all the debt and poverty that we have caused them and after all the self-respect that so many have kept for so long.

In conclusion, Native Americans deserve land reparations because their land is sentimental to them, they could grow natural resources to make money and have jobs, and most feel that they are breaking the self-respect that they have kept for so many years if they were to accept monetary reparations from the government.

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