Trail Of Tears Essay Research Paper On — страница 2
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of that land was in Indian hands. Already Arkansas had begun to be settled by whites, who ignored the treaties. Even those who fled to California were being displaced by miners, farmers and ranchers. The discovery of gold galvanized the vise forming around the Indian people, so that expansion from the East was equaled by expansion from the West. The altruistic government, in love and charity removed many of the young to “boarding schools” where they were “civilized,” which meant being given white names, speaking only English, and being forbidden to worship their “pagan” gods. To this day most Indians, even full-bloods, are not fluent in their own mother-tongues. The final blow came when the white decided he needed the black ooze and again the process accelerated. By that time, Custer, making illegal sorties into the Black Hills, had discovered gold there too. The Lakota watched their lands, cut to almost a third and then again until nearly all was gone. In the 1880’s, came Wovoka, who offered a message of hope and peace. With him he brought the Ghost Dance and all tribes listened to that Siren song. At the peak of this frenzy came Wounded Knee. There, unarmed and innocent men, women, and children were murdered by scared Cavalry, who never took the time to find out what this was all about. Adding insult to injury, Medals of Honor were given to these men. Every white child knew, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” Even now, when the tribes speak of sovereignty, men like Senator Gorton wonder why. All we ever asked for was the dignity of free men, to live at peace, and worship God in our own ways.