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Native American Literature

            The dominance of western settlers over native Americans has had a huge impact on North America in the past hundred and fifty years. Before Europeans arrived in America, the natives only took what they needed from the land, and lived simple lives. As the foreigners arrived, they saw the new frontier as an unlimited resource on which to leach upon. Within decades of their rendezvous, the white man wiped out almost the whole Indian race, and relocated the remaining to reservations. Many factors could have caused this rapid genocide. There were social, biological, spiritual, and moral differences between the two converging cultures that caused one to overcome another. Studying Native American literature can help us see how these dissimilarities, and what lead to the downfall of the red-man.
             There is one theory of "social Darwinism" that may account for the conquest of the Native Americans. According to this theory if two separately evolved cultures meet, one will prevail over another forcing cultural evolution. Social Darwinism is not always effective because different cultures mix and mingle everyday without one becoming dominant. When white-man met red-man however, it was the survival of the fittest. .
             The ancestors of the Native Americans have had a much longer and barbaric journey to North America than European settlers did. Their forefathers from Europe were nomads, and were constantly moving on foot to follow herds and gather foods. Hundreds of small tribes formed scattering in all directions. Some of these brave nomads traveled far up into Siberia, across the bearing strait into Alaska. From there they migrated south through Canada into what is not the United States. Here they lived in peace for a few hundred years. In I am alone, Cochise writes, "This for a very long time has been the home of my people; they came from darkness few in numbers and feeble." In this quote, the symbol of darkness is used to represent the nomadic ancestors.

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