Natives fight for rights


MCT Photo

The term “Indians” came from Christopher Columbus, who thought he landed in India. Natives make up two percent of the American population. 80-100 million natives were killed by white men.

When looking at Native Americans, people think of the past or how they are a fraction Native American. The genocide of Native Americans has to be one of America’s most embarrassing reminders of the past along with slavery.

“It is kind of annoying right now with college apps having some people with native blood very very distant trying to apply for scholarships meant for Natives who are poor and suffering from racism every day,” said Lindsay Tacy, 12

However, it is not over. Native Americans are still a population in the United States and not just in 1/16s or 1/64s – natives living in poor communities, land still being taken from them, the men having one of the highest suicide rates, and one in three women being raped.

“People dress up as Native Americans but never want to embrace stats or how racist that actually is,” said Sarah Gilmore, 11.

Along with these very serious issues, a current debate and fight is occurring in North Dakota. Though new outlets have been only covering it over the past few weeks, natives have been fighting for this specific issue for months.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been protesting against the building of a costly ($3.8 billion) oil pipeline that plans to go through four state including native land. This week, protests have become violent but not from the native side.

There have been reports of policemen allowing dogs to violently attack protesters. People on social media have been comparing it to images of police dogs attacking black men and women in the 1900s.

“Well you know that whole learn-the-history or be-doomed-to-repeat-it thing? I feel like America has been doing that a lot lately with racial tensions as well as this,” said Gilmore.