Do Native Americans Have The Right To Claim Areas As Their Sacred Land
Debate Rounds (3)
Let's say the Apache tribe wants to reclaim some of their land they lost, but they have no written records or maps depicting the boundaries. And the only documents found are maps of colonial settlements. Do you refuse since they have no proof? Do you take them based on word?
Let's say the Cherokee want to take back some land. They have a verified historical map of their boundaries. Oh,oh, it is now the capital of a state. Do we simply hand over the capital city of a state to them?
I say no. Any tribes reclaiming land would displace modern Americans with no connection to the past grievances that were levied against the natives. Modern natives also did not directly experience warfare or disease. They experience the long term results, but not the actual hardship. Drug abuse and alcoholism on reservations is nothing compared to the epidemic of disease and violent warfare experienced by natives during colonialism and on-wards. While modern natives may experience racism, racism has decreased and is less present than in the past. The situation is improving, quite a few Americans are not racist. Some may be insensitive, but not directly a hateful racist. So, modern Natives have experienced alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, and poor quality reservations, but they did not experience the much worse conditions faced by their ancestors. There is no reason why modern Natives cannot improve reservation life with help from Uncle Sam, or choose to leave the reservation and assimilate to mainstream American culture. You can still keep your traditions alive while being college educated and working a job.
Native Americans should not be able to reclaim lost ancestral lands due to the following reasons:
1. It is sometimes not clear if it was truly a Native area, or if it was confused due to the process of oral traditions and history.
2. It could possibly displace many modern Americans who were not responsible for any tragedies suffered by Natives during colonialism.
3. Native Americans do experience hardships as a result of the outcome of Colonist interaction and warfare with natives, including racism, alcoholism, drug abuse, and poverty on reservations. However, in comparison to what their ancestors actually suffered (war, racism, disease, forced migration), their problems are nowhere near as damaging.
4. Native Americans have the ability to assimilate into mainstream culture and still maintain native traditions. Natives can work, go to school, and raise families just as the rest of us do, while still keeping alive their traditions.
But this debate isn't about Black Americans. This is about Native Americans.
Native Americans also get reparations in the form of Affirmative Action and such. Same as Black Americans and other minorities. Natives do not need their land back, they have reservations given to them because we claimed their land. They have affirmative action as reparations. The current generation of Americans does not owe anything to Native Americans. Instead, we simply feel sympathy with Natives due to the things they experience as a result of the actions of the colonists in the past. That is why we support Affirmative Action and such for these groups that faced past grievances and oppression. Not because we are morally obligated to because we personally drove them off, but because we feel sympathy.
In summary, Native Americans attempting to reclaim lost land would result in logistical nightmares from them claiming a suburban area that was built on top of their tribe site. And enforcing a payment on Americans living there is unjust. These Americans did not drive their ancestors off, if they were at the time they would have opposed it, and they are now unknowingly occupying this land. It would be an injustice to suddenly come up and say "Hey this is our land buddy, gotta pay up".
I close my argument by saying that Natives do not need to reclaim their ancestors land for the following reasons:
1.) Reservations were given to the tribes because their land was taken. 2)Affirmative Action greatly helps minorities to achieve in a White majority America. 3.)Native Americans can easily assimilate (if they want) into mainstream American culture whilst still keeping their heritage and traditions. 4.) Logistical nightmare of dealing with the displacement of Modern Americans who greatly respect Natives but do not wish to have to pay them a tax to live there or be displaced due to the actions of their bigoted ancestors.
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