WEEK FOUR--Federal Policy
Connections between texts:
"History of Federal Indian Policy" and our readings so far. Comments developed by students.
Group Members: McKayla, Natalie, Robin, Keith
Connection between texts:
Apess' text indentifies many of the early issues Native people had
with the White settlers. Some of these issues were prejudice and
racism towards the Native tribes on the part of the government and
lawmakers. Apess describes how the government has been robbing the
tribe of land and division of allotments. Apess also complains of the
injustices committed by the whites towards the Native children. He
believed education to be a way to benefit Native people, but many were
wronged and mistreated by those in power. Apess foreshadowed future
treatment of education by religious means directed by the government
which was mixing religion with state and going gainst its own laws.
1. Who educated Apess and what was his/her affiliation with the
government and politics of the time?
2. How did the mixture of religion and state affect Apess?
3. Why did the government believe religious education to be so important?
4. Was Apess affected by any of the later removal acts? How?
5. How did Apess being sold affect his life and political/religious views?
Group: Nancy Ward
Group Members: Evangelina, Morgan, John, George
Connection between texts:
The connections of the two texts deal mainly with the policies of the
government before and after the removal of Native Americans from their
homelands. For instance, Nancy Ward has a real idea of the reservation
and removal policies that will soon be in place even though her speeches
were made during the period when Native American tribes were supposed to
be viewed as sovereign nations. The tone of her speeches and the use of
the word “brother” points out that she believes that the two groups are on
equal footing. Nancy Ward foreshadowed the coming of the removal act and
reservations yet these policies were for the most part enacted after her
death. She mentions the land frequently and she understood the
difference between these two nations. She realized that though one
wanted the land for their livelihood the other wanted it only for profit.
1) How did these two cultures view and define "civilized" during this
2) Did Nancy Ward have any contact with United States government
officials to help in her foreshadowing of land removal or was it all her?
3) What would Nancy Ward's opinion be on the situation of the tribes today?
4) How much influence did the Native Americans have on the setup of
5) What were Nancy Ward’s feelings towards the establishment of
churches/missionaries on tribal land?
Group: Traditional Legends
Group Members: Elisa, Taylor, Rodger, Brendan
Connection Between Texts:
There appears to be no direct connection between the traditional legends we read and
A History of Federal Indian Policy. A significant connection is lacking due to the fact that
the legends were created and developed in a time period prior to interference of the
government. There is also a distinct difference in purpose for the legends and the Indian
Policy. The legends were meant to educate children about morals and life, while the
policy dealt more with the Indian population in relation to its foreign invader. An attempt
at a connection between the two could possibly be made by relating the moralistic, non-
greedy ideals in the legends to a sort of greedy American government, but there doesn't
appear to be any concrete evidence to support such a statement. It may be possible to
find more of a connection between the Federal Indian Policy and traditional legends if we
were provided with more legends. An attempt is being made at relating a very narrow
sample, two legends, to an entire history of Indian Policy. It maybe helpful if we knew
some historical events surrounding the creation of the legends or who translated them.
1) How did the U.S. government decide which tribes to terminate?
2) Who translated the stories? Who were they affiliated with?
3) Did any Indian ideals/morals change after the Federal Indian Policy was imposed on
4) Why did the U.S. feel the need to compensate/justify for invading Native American
5) Who is the author of A History of Federal Indian Policy? What are their political views?
Calita Quesada’s group
Subject: Samson Occom
Samson Occom successfully integrated himself into American culture by
embracing Christianity and learning the English language, but this meant
leaving his Native American "Heathenish Ways" behind. Occom is what the
government wanted Native Americans to become. During the formative
years the policies were "the promotion of civilization and education of
Indians, the regulation of trade and commerce with tribes " (pg 4 Indian
Policy) and Occom fit into that perfectly. Occom also demonstrates how
missionaries influenced Native American culture and how religion was
forced on them, it was one of Native American's few options for
survival. In Occom's autobiography he wrote how missionaries would go
to his village preaching and giving out blankets and force children to
read. Forcing religion on Native Americans only got worse, by 1860 "a
clear indication that the separation of church and state...was
irrelevant insofar as tribal nations were concerned" (pg 8 Indian
Policy). Even though Occom was very successful in integrating himself
into American culture he still never felt that he belonged as he writes,
"I am a poor Indian," because he could not force American Culture to
integrate him. Occom was different and throughout his life he
struggled to be accepted and only found a world that had no respect for
who he was. So even if all Native Americans at the time were as
successful as Occom, they would still not have been accepted and would
have been forced to leave their "Heathenish Ways" behind and all their
rich culture would have been lost long ago.
1. What was the governments role in the mid 1700's and did the
government send the
2. Did Occom ever write about land issues?
3. What would Occom think about relocation?
4. What is the Northwest Ordnance and did it affect Occom?
5. Were there any limitations placed on Occom when he was teaching or
6. Was Occom accepted by his peers? Did the Native Americans that he
taught accept him? Did the white community accept him as a preacher?
Group: Introduction to Native American Literature
Group Members: Jeremy, Lorraine, Renee, Richard
Connection between texts:
The introduction to Native American Literature and the article on the History of Federal
Indian Policies both serve the same general purpose, to provide the history of Native
American legislation. While the article details the policies and legislation enacted by the
government, the textbook introduction utilizes direct citations from various forms of
Native American Literature to define the policies as well as their affect on Native
Americans. The two articles mention the government's past attempts to either squash
or "manage" the Native Americans, most of which have resulted in failure. The
introduction's use of citations from Native American literary media helps to educate the
unsuspecting public about the unfair treatment and abuse of power the government
managed to maintain over Native Americans. The Native American authors'
incorporation of the policies into their literature provides insight of the Natives'
interpretation and reaction to the legislation. The two texts seem to compliment one
another by clarifying not only the policies, but their ineffectiveness, or inability, to gain
control of the Native American population. However, the article ends by mentioning the
recent strides Native Americans have made toward achieving their goal of "self-
government", most specifically with the enactment of the Indian Gaming Act.
1. Were the Native Americans involved in gold, the railroad, agriculture or livestock?
2. Were there very many non-Natives who did not see the Indians as savage?
3. Where were the senators from?
4. Is there any way we can change/update the laws to help improve the quality of life for
Native Americans without changing their culture?
5. Are these same policies reoccurring today?
Group Members: Chelsea, Ian, Duston, Tyler
Subject: Pontiac and Cornplanter speeches
During Pontiac's time (1760) no policy that we know of was enforced. Therefore, the
settlers could easily encroach into the native lands. Not having a national government
established in the United States allowed for this behavior. Pontiac’s first speech was in
1760 and his second in 1765; both brought up points about the establishment of
boundaries and education. Once some form of government was formed treaties began
to form. By this time (1790) Corn Planter began to voice his feeling towards the settlers.
He felt that the natives hadn’t received enough love, per say. Two policies that occurred
at the time are the 1787 Northwest Ordinance and the 1790 Trade and Intercourse Act.
1) What was the Colonial Policy for inhabiting Indian land during Pontiac’s time?
2) Did Natives distinguish “race” between each other?
3) Where boundaries defined throughout the tribes before the settlers slowly
4) What treaty was Corn Planter talking about and did it apply to just his tribe or to all
natives in general?
5) What was the relationship between the Indians and the Settlers after the Trade and
6) Did the Indians actually help the formation of the treaties or did solely the settlers
establish the terms and conditions?