Dear Future President,
My name is Brittany. I am a sophomore at high school. I am of Native American (Cherokee) decent. My great-great grandfather signed the dos rolls in 1906.Two of my uncles where mentioned in the book “trail of tears: the rise and fall of the Cherokee nation” written by John Ehle. They were train robbers. I feel more needs to be done to honor Native American people. There also needs to be an understanding of the atrocities that happened to my ancestors.
Paramount among those atrocities was the Indian Removal Act of 1830.In 1827 the Lower Creek and Cherokee tribes lived on the land currently known as Georgia, south and North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. Thanks to this act which was signed by Andrew Jackson, who was president at this time, The Cherokee tribe was forced to leave their land and move to the western United States known presently as Oklahoma. Due to the age of many tribe members, incidental weather, lack of food, lack of water, and lack of shelter the movement caused over 4000 Cherokee deaths this is known as Nu-Na-Da–Ul-Tsun-yi (place where they cried). This movement also affected Chickasaw, Choclaw, Higher Creek, Lower Creek, and Muskogee tribes.
Along with the trail of tears Native Americans have gone through a lot. Some before the Indian removal act of 1830 others after. There has been slavery. The belief of Christianity was forced on them. If they did not convert they would discipline them. But the discipline was not only if you didn’t convert discipline could be for anything they did that the white people did not find right or believe in. The white man would rape the Native American women. This, though it was not the women fault, would bring them shame along with their family. This would even lead some of the women to suicide. Their land was stolen not only in the Indian removal act but multiple other occasions. These occasions can vary from stealing the place where they sleep to taking whole sections of land. These people would also bring blankets with small pox’s. They then would give these blankets as an act of peace. The dieses could then take out whole tribes. They robbed Native Americans of supplies, hope, and culture. If all else failed the would straight up murder native Americans calling them savages cause they were not like them.
Now, the wrongs done to my people can never be righted but there can be a change. The first change could be to make it known that the proper name for Native Americans is Native American we are not Indians that was where Christopher Columbus’ ignorance that has given us the name Indian. Second, a new bill should be passed to give some land back to the Native Americans. There should also be a bill to increase education on the history of the Native Americans. I took an anonymous survey asking students about their knowledge on the history of Native Americans. The data varies from people who knew a little about what happened to people who were so ignorant that they thought that Native Americans attacked the white people and left no choice but to kill. Then almost no one knew what the trail of tears was. I think this shows that the education system needs to be changed and text books need to be altered to tell the truth. Andrew Jackson should not be idolized as a hero but shown as a monster. There should be a day honoring the Native Americans. We do not want a history month because our culture should not be shoved into a month. And the last change that should be made is to celebrate the holidays that Native Americans had. I know not all will celebrate the holidays but there should at least be an acknowledgement maybe even school off like you would for a Jewish or Christian celebration.
Dear future president it is not only up to you we as a community can help. I have taken the first step I have made it known there is something that needs to be done. Mr. or Mrs. President whoever you are, whatever your views may be, at least make a difference help my community, help our future generations, help America.