Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

The minority of the minorities: the neglect of Native American’s

Commonly, society can agree that the history of the US is one filled with racism and discrimination with many issues still prevalent in modern America. However, Native-American’s still are at the forefront of a good chunk of this country’s discrimination. Specifically, as a Latina woman and minority myself, it’s safe to say that Native-American’s deserve a bigger voice, especially for the Native-American population in the Quad Cities.
In the Quad Cities there’s many activist groups for indigenous people. One group in particular, The Native American Coalition of The Quad Cities (NAC), works to bring awareness to a multitude of issues.
“We work towards human rights, environmental rights, and women’s rights,” the groups president Regina Tsosie said. “We also support the MMIW (missing and murdered indigenous women) movement.”
Honestly, it’s important for others to take part in activism and help bring awareness to issues that the NAC in the Quad Cities face and advocate for. According to NPR, Native Americans have faced recent voter suppression, on top of Trump’s recent approval for construction of the North Dakota pipeline, which could affect the drinking water of those residing in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. In other words, issues like these haven’t had enough awareness; as a result, little progress has occurred in fixing these issues.
Frankly, it’s crucial for as many people to take part in activism and awareness for issues like Native American’s face. When Tsosie discussed why she personally decided to take part in activism she stated, “When she [her daughter] was watching a school sports game, the students from the Washington Jr. High side were doing the war hoot and saying things like scalp them or kill them.”
Essentially, since Washington Jr. High in Rock Island has their mascot as the warriors, whether intentional or not, the students were unjustly mocking Native Americans through hoots and making light of the history indigenous people faced in the past regarding scalping.
And according to History, during war time in the colonial period, colonists would scalp Native Americans. Scalping is when people cut the skin around a person’s head and confiscate their scalp, usually as a sign of power of the enemy during war.
In all honesty, this is unwarranted since in America’s past, Native Americans were treated incredibly cruel and disrespected. Not only that, but Washington Jr. High isn’t the only school with mascots that mock Native Americans. According to multiple news outlets, there are many schools countrywide that still do so, which isn’t right.
Not to mention, the constant issues Native Americans face with obstruction of their sacred lands and artifacts. In particular the NAC has taken part in activism to help preserve sacred land and artifacts in the Quad cities area.
For instance, WVIK reported that the NAC fought against the Coal Valley Project that would have disturbed a burial site in the Quad Cities. Any disruption or plans of disruption of Native Americans sacred land, culture, artifacts, etc. needs to be put to an end.
Ultimately, there are many issues Native American’s still face in modern day society with very little progress done to combat the daily discrimination they face from people and the government. Consequently, it’s pivotal to support groups like the NAC in the Quad Cities, and recognize the long way this country still has to go. It’s time to put an end to the neglect of indigenous rights especially since they truly are – the minority of the minorities.

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The minority of the minorities: the neglect of Native American’s