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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

In all of American history there have been many chapters of which most people would feel the US government had acted in a less than appropriate manner. The treatment of the Native Americans populations of North America is a great example of this. This was proven to be systematic destructions of a culture that was chronicled in the book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, written in 1970 by Dee Brown. Then it was recounted again in the film of the same name in 2007. The interesting aspect of this enactment is that it did show how the government tried to eliminate the culture of these people from the landscape and assimilate the Native Americans into white culture. This episode was one of the saddest in our history.

Wounded Knee a Symbol

Wounded Knee is a battle that is largely viewed as the last stand of the Native Americans against the white culture. The book recounts the systematic attempt to eradicate the culture of the original inhabitants of this land of North America. There is a long list of murder, destruction and forced relocation of all people that were Native American. It covered the first contact and destruction which happened on the east coast of the US and then moved across the country. The economic interests of white Americans were placed above and beyond the basic rights of Native Americans that lived there. The actual battle of Wounded Knee was actually a government sponsored slaughter of a group of unarmed Native Americans. This group was mostly unarmed and consisted of many women and children. This became a symbol to many of Native American heritage, that there was no place in this land for their culture.

Native Americans became disinterested and disenfranchised in the United States and the discrimination hasn’t stopped. Each of the tribes was moved from the nomadic existences, where they were living free in the wild to being restricted to reservations. Most often this movement was ordered when there was an economic interest of white Americans at stake. The treatment of the Native Americans was so devastating that many of the tribes were awarded large sums of money by state and federal governments. This did nothing to restore the culture that has been lost however.

Conclusion

The culture of the Native American population involving many different tribes in all geographic locations in the United States was systematically destroyed by the government of the United States. This was exemplified by the book and movie called Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The culture of an entire group of people was destroyed and will never be able to be replaced.