The First Americans: American Indians.
In Article 5, The First Americans: American Indians, C. Matthew Snipp discusses the fact that the American Indians were once a self-governing, self-sufficient group until they were forced to give up their homes and their land. They were forced to try to conform to a strange culture and into a life dependent on the government. Today, the American Indians have established themselves as a self-reliant group, which has visible economic and political power in communities.
The relations with the Indians went through five major historical periods: removal, assimilation, the Indian New Deal, termination/relocation, and self-determination. Throughout this time period, the Indians struggled as they were taken out of their element and were subjected to an unknown way of life. The United States government finally recognized the fact that the Indian people needed to be free of control. They were able to function on their own, on reservations. The tribes received help from the government to get back on their feet after their economic hardships. Now, they have learned to adapt agriculture as a way of helping the American economy. Most Indians tribes take advantage of the natural resources and for the most part, use their land productively. A large part of Indian culture is the human relations. They are behind in education because of the lack of job opportunities requiring educated workers and the funding for teachers. The need is being addressed though, as tribal colleges are being established. Conventional development strategies are being implemented to bring businesses into tribal communities, such as industries. Unconventional development strategies are also being brought to the reservations, such as casinos. As the American Indians urbanize themselves, moving to cities, problems arise with their lifestyle and culture. There are also benefits that are being discovered by the integration of tribes, such as pan-indianism.