America’s Stolen Generation


I didn’t know this happened, and yet I am completely unsurprised. I’m not sure which of those statements is more depressing.

I knew that the US had done numerous things to the Native American population to put them down and steal their land. However, I did not know that there were thousands of children ripped from their homes and forced into boarding schools, in order to create a generation of Native Americans deprived of their culture and heritage, to be beaten and raped in the process.

 

The process of “getting them young” is not a uniquely American idea, of course. This was also done most famously in Australia, are is known as the “stolen generations“. I don’t really have too much to say or add, as the unfairness of it all, and the blatant disregard for humanity of it all, just makes me tonguetied and angry.

One thing I will say. Any show of solidarity or justice towards the Native Americans at this point is surely too little too late, but you can’t start any earlier than today. If you think that enough is goddamned enough, and it is about time to start treating Native Americans fairly and with dignity and respect, you have to stand with Standing Rock.

Comments

  1. oualawouzou says

    It was done in Canada as well, in pretty much exactly the same way. The last canadian “Indian boarding school” was closed 20 years ago. You may also have heard of the “Sixties Scoop”, that saw thousands of young Natives be taken from their families for dubious reasons (including for refusing to send them to those infamous boarding schools) then “sold” for adoption elsewhere in Canada, in the States and in Europe.

    Get them young. Nip the Natives in the bud. Can’t let weed grow on our beautiful white lawn.

    I’m almost 35, have had an interest in history and culture for over two decades, have taught in a cultural field for 10 years, yet I’d never heard about Native history till two or three years ago, when I ran into blogs like yours that prompted me to do some research on that topic. Canada likes to think of itself as the good, clean, conscious counterpart of the violent, dirty, imperialistic US, but our history is just as stained with Native blood as the US, and whitewashed in the same way in the classroom. Nothing is taught to our kids about the Natives conditions after 1760, as if they had just vanished or had wilfully assimilated without pain through the years. Fucking shame.

  2. says

    This is also one of Canada’s great shames. Our First Nations people are still paying the price for it, but I’m glad to say we’ve taken some small steps to correct it as best we can with legal settlements, a Truth and Reconciliation commission, and work being started on murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls.

    It helps that we finally turfed the Harper Conservatives who wanted nothing to do with any of this.

  3. Jenora Feuer says

    Harper did at least do the formal apology when the report came out.

    Granted, to quote Major Bloodnok from the Goon Show: “It was the least I could do; a quantity I specialize in.”

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    Finland, Sweden and I think, also Norway did similar things to Saami people. Colonialism and nationalism have a lot of dark sides.

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