Native Americans, forced to abandon their cultures and values, experience identity conflicts in contemporary America. Beginning since the "white man" of Europe crossed the Atlantic Ocean 200 years ago, until the mid-1900's, the murder and poor treatment of Native American Indians by the Unites States Government never subsided. Euro-Americans made Native American Indians inferior to them by denying justice, making the Native Americans second class citizens and forcing them to simulate the American culture.
Euro-Americans took property away from American Indians. The trouble for the American Indian began when, with all the new land acquired, many Euro Americans headed to the west and mid-west to settle. During these settlements, the Native American Indian competed for the same land and resources. In the minds of many early American settlers, the best way to solve the problem with Indians interfering was to eliminate them. The Indian population was strained and suffered losses not only from offensive attacks, but from exposure to foreign diseases and unhealthy conditions, introduced while traveling to new locations. Chief Joseph says:" Captain Johnson received an order to take us to Fort Leavenworth. At Leavenworth we were placed on a low river bottom, with no water except river-water to drink and to cook with. Many of my people sickened and died, and we buried them in this strange land" (pg87).Most of the removals made by the United States government were conducted without thinking about the comfort or health of the Indians. Most of the time, they were conducted with brutality. The Native Americans were forced to walk hundreds of miles because the government did not provide them with good transportation. Also, the United States government promised housing, food, farm supplies, and domestic animals to start them out at their new locations, but these turned out to be false promises and hopes for the Indians.