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Do Native Americans Have The Right To Claim Areas As Their Sacred Land

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 576 times Debate No: 87874
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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First round is for acceptance, the topic is best explained as can native americans say that reservations are their land and keep certain people off of them


I accept this debate. I ask that my opponent clarify if he is arguing only for NAs (Native Americans) to claim their reservations or if he is also arguing for their ability to reclaim ancestral homelands that are now occupied by modern Americans. Is my opponent arguing that NAs should have the legal ability to drive off all intruders? (including government officials such as police or military?)
Debate Round No. 1


im arguing for both, that they can reclaim stolen land, and protect the existing land


My argument is simple. Might makes right. The colonists won many wars against the natives, as such, to the victor go the spoils. It was not stolen, it was rightfully claimed under threat of military force. While modern Americans may regret past actions towards Native Americans, they only have valid claims to their reservations. All other claims are void. We fought them and pushed them out, and they were decimated by warfare and disease to which they had no immune system. The American Government is content to let them have reservations as pieces of sovereign territory owned by the respective tribes. They have control over it. It is simply illogical and impractical to allow native tribes to reclaim what they originally had. Let us use an example,
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.

In Summary,
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.
Debate Round No. 2


Many African Americans have the legal right to claim reparations for slavery of their ancestors, so why can't Natives claim land that has been verified as their tribes during colonization, as for the displacement of existing americans, they can live there peacefully, so long as there is a small payment enacted.


Once again, Black people experience the outcomes of a period of slavery of their people, such as poverty, racism, discrimination, and police brutality, but Black Americans living today, did not experience being enslaved. A lot of people's ancestors have been enslaved at one point or another. Some of mine were most likely enslaved by Romans. It is true that the slavery of Africans in the new world has caused great social and economic inequality that lasts until this day, but the actual and direct experience of slavery is a much worse fate than what Black Americans go through now. Racism has gone from common and being morally acceptable to being a taboo and those who practice it are often ostracized (though it is still a problem). Plus, Black Americans do get reparations. They get them in the form of affirmative action and diversity quotas and the like. This is more helpful then simply giving them money. This helps them long term get a job or an education.

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.

Thank you for this debate
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by thetruthseeker21 2 years ago
I agree they were here, before us and we have to give them some of their land back. Knowing what I am I definently (sorry if spelled wrong...) want to give the land back i am many different things. Mexican, indian, african-american, swedish , chinease , mandering , british, latin, and more so i know how to be felt like you don't own anything so yes they should own some of their land again and we won't step foot over it unless they invited us.
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