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Native American (in)Justice. Renée Ametané’e Roman Nose Tsistsas (Cheyenne) Graduate Student-M.A.I.S. Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Art. Historically and Anthropologically Speaking…. 28,000 B.C. : Santa Rosa Island, California: Hearth charcoal dated

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Native american in justice

Native American (in)Justice

Renée Ametané’e Roman Nose

Tsistsas (Cheyenne)

Graduate Student-M.A.I.S.

Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Art

Historically and anthropologically speaking
Historically and Anthropologically Speaking…

28,000 B.C. : Santa Rosa Island, California: Hearth charcoal dated

8,000 B.C. : World population est. 5 million

4,000 B.C. : Kodiak Island, Alaskan sites dated

3,500 B.C.: Sumerians settle in Babylon

3,372 B.C.: Date which Mayan calendar is based upon. (This calendar was more accurate than the one later adopted by Pope Gregory and was based upon celestial observation (Nies, 15).

1,200 B.C.: Olmec civilization in Mexico

753 B.C.: Founding of Rome

C.A. 1: Hohokam build sites near the Salt River, created a system of irrigation that exists today and is now home to present day Phoenix.

313: Edict of Milan: declared freedom of all religions

500: Hohokam create oval ball courts “for the playing of a game with a rubber ball (Nies, 36).”

1300: Native populations reach estimated peak of 65 million in the continent later known as the Americas.

In his own words
In his own words:

“All these lands are densely populated with the best people under the sun: they have neither ill-will nor treachery.”

Christopher Columbus, 1493

And in return
And in return:

“(The Spaniards) made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babies from their mothers’ breast by their feet, and dashed their heads against the rocks…They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords…(They hanged Indians) by thirteen’s, in honor and reverence for our Redeemer and the twelve Apostles, the put wood underneath and, with fire, they burned the Indians alive…I saw all the above things…All these did my own eyes witness.”

Father Bartolomé de Las Casas (Spanish priest)

The american holocaust
The American Holocaust

"As for the vast mainland, which is ten times larger than all Spain, even including Aragon and Portugal, containing more land than the distance between Seville and Jerusalem, or more than two thousand leagues, we are sure that our Spaniards, with their cruel and abominable acts, have devastated the land and exterminated the rational people who fully inhabited it. We can estimate very surely and truthfully that in the forty years that have passed, with the infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than twelve million men, women, and children. In truth, I believe without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like fifteen million" (Devastation of the Indies, pp 30-31).

Father Bartolomé de Las Casas

Doctrine of discovery
Doctrine of Discovery

AKA: Might makes right or We don’t care if your people have lived here for millennia, we want it all and we want it now!!

Federal policy and its effects
Federal Policy and its Effects

  • 1495-1496- Diseases spread by Spanish explorers wipes out tens of thousands of Arawak/Taino as measles, smallpox, and other virulent diseases came into contact with local populations. Tribes virtually exterminated.

  • 1500s: Massive invasion by Europeans begins in earnest

    • Spanish decree from King and Queen gives indigenous people to conquistadors as slaves

    • Columbus tried in Spain for excessive cruelty to Native people of the Americas

  • 1506 Columbus dies

  • World population estimated at 400 million

  • Indian Removal Act of 1835

  • General Allotment Act of 1837 resulted in the loss of 90 million acres

  • 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie guaranteeing the Black Hills to the Sioux Nation

  • 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty with the Western Shoshone

Indian givers
Indian Givers

Gold Potatoes

Silver Chilies

Medicines Beaver pelts

Chocolate Democracy

Tobacco Slavery


60% of foods now used worldwide

  • 1613 Pocahontas captured and “encouraged” to marry John Rolfe even though she was already married to another Powhatan.

  • 1633-1635: 10,000 Huron die from smallpox, many infected from blankets given from missionaries to the unbaptized Natives.

  • 1638: First reservation established in Connecticut

  • 1659: 10,000 Florida Natives die from measles

  • 1763: Sir Jeffrey Amherst (Amherst College), “Could it not be contrived , to send the smallpox among these disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every stratagem in our power to reduce them.”

  • Trails of Tears: The Longest Walk (Navajo), The Trail of Death (Potowatomi), Oregon Tribes relocated

  • 1835: Indian Removal Act

  • 1837-1838: Smallpox epidemic among Mandan people reduces their numbers from thousands to 130.

  • 1842: Seneca Indians moved to a reservation

  • 1849: Indian Service moved from War Department to Interior

  • 1849-1850: Pomo Massacre, 130 lives lost in fishing village

  • Treatment of California Indians due to gold rush called, “as close to genocide as any tribal people had faced, or would face, on the North American continent (Nies, 258).”

  • 1864: Sand Creek Massacre, over 120 children, elders, women and a few men are murdered. Not one was left undesecrated or unscalped.

  • 1878: Hampton Institute in Virginia becomes first Indian boarding school in the nation

  • 1879: Carlisle Indian School opens for Native children only.

  • 1890: Wounded Knee Massacre

  • 1900: 237,196 Native people in America

  • 1900-1910: More than 18 million acres taken from Tribal people

  • 1903: Policy of “Plenary Powers” utilized to justify taking of Tribal lands

  • 1904: Sun Dance outlawed for the Sioux

  • 1917: Indians “encouraged” to volunteer to fight in World War l, but not allowed to vote, nor were we considered US citizens at that time.

  • 1920: Life expectancy was 43 years.

    • Alaskan and Arizona Natives had life expectancy of 33 years.

    • “A student graduating from high school had the equivalent of an eighth grade education (Nies, 325).”

  • 1924: Indians granted citizenship in MOST states, allotment ended

  • 1945-1960: Federal Policy of Relocation and Termination

We won t back down
We Won’t Back Down boarding school in the nation

  • 2007: 143 countries vote “Yes,” for the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

  • Four countries vote, “No.”:

    The United States


    New Zealand


Where do we go from here
Where do we go from here? boarding school in the nation

Who are we
Who are we? boarding school in the nation

Cultural continuity
Cultural Continuity boarding school in the nation

  • Oral history

  • Strong community ties

  • Historical connection

We re still fighting for our rights
We’re still fighting for our rights boarding school in the nation

What does it take
What does it take? 2008

To create respect

To share our land

To live in peace with one another

Take a stand
Take a Stand 2008

  • One voice can

    make a difference!

  • Your voice can

    make a difference!

References 2008







  • Jack Weatherford, Indian Givers

  • Judith Nies, Native American History: A Chronology of a Culture’s Vast Achievements and Their Links to World Events

  • Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West.