February 7

Blog #165 – What does America owe the Indigenous peoples?

As we study America’s legacy with regards to the Indigenous nations, one thing to keep in mind is the long-term legacy that white Americans and European settlers have to own with regards to Native Americans.  In the most widely known policy enacted against the Indigenous nations, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren expelled the Indians, the Five “Civilized Tribes” of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Seminole, Choctaw, and Creek tribes – under the Indian Removal Act.  They were relocated to lands west of the Mississippi River where they would be allowed to roam free, the thinking went.  But that was only one act in this long drama between white Americans (and previously before them, white Europeans) and Indigenous nations.

The Indian Removal Act was passed by Congress in 1830, in order to remove the five tribes from areas of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Historian and noted Jackson scholar Robert Remini said that the Indians were removed from the eastern United States because they presented a direct threat to the country, having been used as sabotuers by foreign invaders in the past three wars that America had fought (French and Indian War, the Revolution, and the War of 1812).  Remini saw this act as improving the homeland security of the nation.  Other historians see the act within the context of the grab for new farm land in the cotton-growing frenzy that gripped the nation – the Indians were moved because the land they lived on was coveted by white farmers so that they could add to the cotton kingdom.  This act was unconstitutional because the Indians were seen as “domestic dependent nations” and NOT sovereign independent nations as affirmed by the Supreme Court in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia.  Historian H.W. Brands states that President Jackson felt that this removal policy was “humane” and saved the Indians from annihiation from the crushing forces of white encroachment.

From there, however, Manifest Destiny charged ahead, damn the torpedoes, so to speak, and the Indians were in the way again.  Whether it be farm land, gold and silver mines, railroads, or the destruction of the buffalo, Native Americans became an easy target for white Americans moving westward.  The tribes were pushed aside and put onto reservations, or as the speaker in the TED talk below, Aaron Huey, calls them, “prisoner of war camps”.  Some Indians like Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse, just to name a few, fought back and succeeded at slowing down the demographic flood of white settlers.  A 1911 ad offering "allotted Indian land" for sale

For most American history books, we see that they talk about the Indians almost always when they are being pushed off of their land by Europeans (King Philip’s War, Powhatan War, Seminole War, Indian Removal Act) or when they fight back (Dakota War, Battle of Little Bighorn, Red Cloud’s War) or after being indiscriminately massacred (Sand Creek and Wounded Knee Massacres).  Few cover the decimation of disaeases that faced the Native Americans when the Europeans first arrived.  Even fewer touch on 20th Century issues and laws regarding education, reservation (and sale of Indian land), tribal recognition, citizenship or lack thereof, The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, Termination policy in the 1950s or other Indian policies like the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.  Our textbooks might talk about AIM or the standoff at Wounded Knee in 1973, but just as an inclusion of many minority groups in the chapter on the late 1960s / early 1970s. There might even be something about the seizure of Alcatraz Island by Native Americans. But rarely anything is heard after that.  Just within the past ten years does it seem that historians are acknowledging the tragedies of the Indian boarding schools.


In the following disturbing and moving video, photographer Aaron Huey lists the many things done (in the name of America) to the Lakota Sioux tribe.  He juxtaposes the litany of broken treaties and promises and horrific things with his own photos of the Lakota tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Aaron Huey’s wish is that the American government honor the treaties and give back the Black Hills.  To atone for America’s sins, to use such a phrase, can anything truly be done?  Where, if anywhere, should Americans start to make up for what has been done to the Indigenous nations?   Is it right that we should speak in such manner as atoning for sins or asking for forgiveness?  Or do you feel that you have nothing to ask forgiveness for since these things had been done before you were born?  What responsibility does America have to the Indigenous nations?

One major thing to consider is that though we may not have been personally responsible for oppressing the Native Americans, we benefit from the results of past policies of our government towards Native Americans (and even from past colonial practices).

Should we replace Columbus Day with Indigineous Peoples’ Day?

Should we push Congress to rescind the Medals of Honor distributed to the 7th Cavalry handed out after the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890?

Should reservations be abolished? Or should those that exist still remain yet receive generous help?

Should the remaining pro sports teams like the Kansas City Chiefs or Atlanta Braves be forced to take new mascot names (remember that after refusing to do so for decades and claiming that their names and mascots honored Indigenous peoples, the Washington football team and the Cleveland baseball team changed their names and mascots)?

What can we learn from Canada and the way they have treated and honored their Indigenous peoples?

Should Native Americans be given back their religious ceremonial artifacts, tens of thousands of which sit in museums, some on display, others locked in vaults?

In finishing up the research for this blog (including reading chapters of the book, “All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz) I found that Congress passed, as part of an appropriations bill, a resolution called the Native American Apology Resolution in 2009.  Introduced by Republican senator from Kansas, Sam Brownback, he said the reason he did this was “to officially apologize for the past ill-conceived policies by the US Government toward the Native Peoples of this land and re-affirm our commitment toward healing our nation’s wounds and working toward establishing better relationships rooted in reconciliation.”


The Apology Resolution states that the United States, “apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States.”

The Apology Resolution also “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land.”

The Apology Resolution comes with a disclaimer that nothing in the Resolution authorizes or supports any legal claims against the United States and that the Resolution does not settle any claims against the United States.

The Apology Resolution does not include the lengthy Preamble that was part of S.J Res. 14 introduced earlier this year by Senator Brownback.  The Preamble recites the history of U.S. – tribal relations including the assistance provided to the settlers by Native Americans, the killing of Indian women and children, the Trail of Tears, the Long Walk, the Sand Creek Massacre, and Wounded Knee, the theft of tribal lands and resources, the breaking of treaties, and the removal of Indian children to boarding schools.

  1. Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;
  2. After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy?  (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).
  3. Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

Total 400 words minimum for all 3 answers.  Due Monday, February 12 by class.  

Extended quotes come from the blog: https://nativevotewa.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/president-obama-signs-native-american-apology-resolution/

Posted February 7, 2024 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

63 thoughts on “Blog #165 – What does America owe the Indigenous peoples?

  1. Landon Lamb

    1. The Ted Talk video gives me a negative outlook on what the white settlers have done to Native Americans, especially with the living conditions and education they have. I also see how badly they were treated and how white settlers who wanted to move west slowly destroyed their lands. The Native Americans only attacked the US if they were threatening their territory. The white settlers continued to destroy the Native American lifestyle by overhunting their primary source of food, bison. Most of all the wars the US has been at with the Native Americans were because we wanted to take what they had which is crazy to think of because the Native Americans never committed the act of violence first. Another bad thing was that we forced the Native Americans to sign treaties or else we wouldn’t help feed the family, forcing the Native American family and tribes to make tough decisions. The person doing the Ted Talk views the grave site for the massacre of Wounded Knee as a burial site for all indigenous people and not just the Lakota or Sioux. The Native Americans rejected so many offers of riches and resources to keep the lands their ancestors lived on which is brave because the US would end up trying to take it. Life is tough on the reservations with little money and resources to fix the houses they live in with a 3 times higher mortality rate for children on reservations. The person doing the Ted Talk views the reservations as camps for prisoners of war, in a way I can see it this way too. All in all, this video opened my eyes more and I saw the struggles the Native Americans went through without it being filtered by American history. This Ted Talk was opposed to what the US did and what the white settlers moving west did was wrong.
    2. The knowledge of Lincoln’s legacy is complicated because he ordered the execution of Native Americans whether he had a choice or not. This makes his image as a good person who wants to free the enslaved people from slavery and give them equal civil rights a little bit blurry because of the order to execute Native Americans. It’s also a little confusing as to why his face is on Mount Rushmore when he ordered the execution of 38 Dakota men and is in the holy land of Lakota Sioux people. Lincoln probably looked like a hero to some white settlers because the Dakota were trying to force the white people out of the Minnesota territory with force so Lincoln made an example of the 38 men to not mess with the white settlers. It also looked bad because the whites who didn’t mind the Native American president saw it as a massacre or genocide. After all, Lincoln was trying to remove the Native Americans from that region.
    3. I think Americans should repay the Native Americans by giving them their full rights to move back to their ancestral lands or at least improve the reservations that they live on because of the poor condition the reservations are in. We should also pay them a bit of money as compensation for what happened to them and their ancestors over time, from the beginning of Columbus’s arrival to the present day. The only thing that is worrying about this is what people will do when they realize they might have to leave where they are currently living to a new place because where they live once belonged to a Native American tribe. All in all, people will have to accept that we owe Native Americans a lot because of what settlers have done to them and we will have to readjust to these changes.

  2. Felipe Serrano

    My reaction was that the TED talk was extremely impactful and its message was significant. It es extremely powerful when he talks about all the terrible things he has seen and that has happened to the Native peoples in North America. Battle of Wounded Knee is demonstrated as the turning point where the U.S. army had enough of Native culture and did their best to wipe them all out. It is clear that After Wounded Knee, nothing was ever the same. The video did a great job of adding images that added to the somber tone of the TED talk. This with his words gives us a very powerful message. It then sets up his plead that the American people and government give back the Black Hills. He sets it up where the plead for this piece of land seems so much less than what they are owed. So many terrible things happened and this plea must be seen as somewhat reasonable.
    Lincoln’s legacy is complicated because the view of the great emancipator. This view conflicts with the view of him fighting the Lakota and taking them off of their land. Its terrible for Lincolns face to be on Holy land for a people that he destroyed and conquered.
    An apology is not good enough. An apology just becomes a way for the Federal Government to justify racist actions. An apology a former settler colony makes comes from the backlash that has recently appeared from their actions done in the past. Reconciliation initiatives are in place to prevent alternative meanings and divert these apologies as a strategy of containment. The federal government just uses “apologies” as a way to not have to implement any radical change the Natives call for. Indigenous people purposely do not get as much media attention to their problems. The government just says that they are doing something in order to suppress Indigenous anti-colonialist activities. Apologies are just a way to suppress Native resistance to colonists as it allows the federal government to bypass the 400+ years of oppression and racism that they commited and to not have them implement real change. Also, any reparations or reconciliations such as programs to help the natives prevent natives taking back control of their lives. The only way to solve this is to return the land. Trying to solve natives problems with colonial solutions such as money or welfare actually does nothing but reinforce colonialism and domination of native peoples. The only thing we can do to bring some sort of economic and social equity to the native peoples is to give all of the land back to them and leave them in peace.

  3. Daphne Breen

    1. Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why.

    My reaction to the Ted Talk is somewhere in between. My positive reaction is because I appreciated the way he approved the topic and his speech. He gave specific dates of many of the massacres and battles between the Native Americans and the US Army. He also mentioned in his speech that the 7th Calvery was awarded the most number of service-related medals when massacring innocent families, compared to any war in the Units States, including both world wars. The reasoning and background he gave surprised me because there was no sugarcoating anything at all. My reaction was negative because he stated everything that has been done by the United States and the number of treaties signed between them that were completely ignored by the government. The map shown also surprised me, as I had not considered what America would look like had the treaties been followed. Overall, my reaction was mostly positive, because I admire how the speaker discussed the topic, as well as utilized a slideshow in the background to further expand on his point through the presentation.

    2. After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    This knowledge does complicate Lincoln’s Legacy, as he is well known as the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all the slaves in the states in active rebellion. His legacy was already complicated when diving deeper into the details of the Civil War and the 13th Amendment, because of the many loopholes created. Granted, to ensure the border slave states would remain with the Union, Lincoln most likely would not have been successful if he had immediately freed all the slaves in the Union. However, this further complicates his legacy, as the Dakota War and the many other massacres, and the execution of 38 Native men happening at the time of the Civil War and even before were devastating and contradict his other popular beliefs.

    3. Discuss your thoughts/concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    I believe it is very late to fix everything the United States has done to the Native Americans across the continent. America owes Much more land to the Natives than what they have received so far, as seen in the map on the Ted Talk, showing what the reservation would have looked like had the government followed their promises on the treaties with many of the tribes in that area. Even so, it is nearly impossible to pay back the Native tribes as it has been hundreds of years, and mass destruction that people in those reservations still face the consequences of today.

  4. Molly Heller

    This Ted Talk made me very sad. It brought a different view to what the United States has done to the American Indians on their own land. When all of the bad things that the United States did to them were lined up, I was able to see how horrible our country was to them in the past and continues to be. Our country never truly mended its relationship with the American Indians. I thought that the quote about the white settlers taking the “best meat” was a good representation of the United States action towards the American Indians. I think that this shows how the American Indians were left with almost nothing despite the fact that the white settlers had moved into their own land. I find this unfair and cruel to the American Indians, and they did not deserve to be treated this way.
    Lincoln’s legacy becomes more complicated because it shows how he acted in many different ways towards the American Indians. In one case, he did not approve most of their death sentences(he still approved some), but on the other hand, he continued to do things that were harmful to the American Indians. Despite whether or not he was trying to help the American Indians with this, it does not overturn his other actions towards them. For example, his enforcement of the Homestead Act of 1862 where he took away the Indians land and offered it up to white settlers was brutal. He took away their own land and gave it back to the white settlers who stole their land in the first place.
    I think that we should replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The land that we live on belongs to the Indigenous nations and tribes before it belonged to us. This land was stolen from them. When Christopher Columbus arrived, they were already here, yet he claimed the land to be his own, and white settlers throughout time shut them out leaving them with nothing. I think that America owes the Indigenous peoples’ more than they could ever give them. The amount of wrong done to the Indigenous peoples’ over time is unimaginable. I think that the United States needs to recognize more about how this land was theirs before it was ours. I think that America should have more respect for the American Indians. I also think that they should not be forced to live on reservations. Some Indigenous people continue to live on reservations because they cannot afford to live on the land that was once theirs. I find this extremely unfair for them considering this land belongs to them. I think that America should provide them with the resources to be able to live where they want, and not have to be stuck on a reservation if they don’t want to be there.

  5. Myles Rontal

    1. I think the speaker did a good job planning his speech in chronological order because it represented how over time the United States continually chose to mistreat and manipulate the Natives into signing treaties that ultimately led to the demise of their culture and identity. I thought because of this the TED talk was very interesting, and I have a positive reaction to it. I think the speaker proved a very good point when he stated that the last stage of genocide is when a group of people are hurting others in their group or themselves. I think Americans have degraded Native American identity and culture to the point where they have resulted in alcoholism, suicide, and drugs. The Native Americans are to the point where they have nothing left to negotiate or give to the Americans so in turn, the Americans ignore their community’s needs, continue to oppress their people, and ironically, ask themselves why Natives are failing. This is why I think that the least we can do is give them back the Black Hills and try to renegotiate treaties to help get the Native communities back on their feet.
    2. Lincoln’s face on Mt. Rushmore is quite ironic. While Lincoln is celebrated for preserving the Union and advancing civil rights, the darker aspects of his legacy, particularly regarding Native-American relations during the Dakota War, may be overlooked. This adds complexity to the perception of Lincoln, especially for the Lakota Sioux people, whose sacred lands were altered to create the monument. Lincoln faced pressure from settlers, who wanted to punish the Dakota people for their role in the conflict. The influence of settler interests on his decision-making raises questions about the prioritization of Native American rights and the complexities of balancing competing interests. Lincoln’s legacy includes being a leader during the Civil War and advocating for freedom and equality. However, his handling of the Dakota War brings attention to contradictions in his policies regarding different groups of people, which complicates the narrative of a consistent commitment to justice. The events of the Dakota War had long-lasting consequences on Native-American relations, contributing to a history of mistrust and hostility. This legacy complicates Lincoln’s image, especially when considering the repercussions felt by Native American communities because of this war.
    3. I think the indigenous are obviously owed an apology. The United States took advantage of them and destroyed their culture and way of life. To acknowledge them, we should acknowledge and teach accurate Native American history by recognizing and addressing the historical injustices, including forced displacement, cultural assimilation, and violations of treaties. The general public should support initiatives that preserve and promote Native American languages, traditions, and arts. The government should help conserve and manage the Native American communities as well as consult with them on policies and projects that may affect them directly. Native American voices should be included in decision-making processes at local, state, and federal levels. They should be supported by their community and should be able to practice their religion. People who were adopted by white families should be able to find their real families and trace back their roots to their ancestors and tribes. We should address disparities in healthcare and education by investing in resources and infrastructure in Native American communities. Finally, we should ensure equal access to quality education and healthcare services.

  6. Logan A.

    My initial reactions were sad, especially because of the number of natives in the country decreasing so much from 1492 to 1900. I was saddened because of how badly off the natives are now and how it is exclusively the United States’ fault. I got angry at the government and the people because of how they just disregarded the natives for a stupid reason. The natives were just trying to live life the way they had been and because of the United States’ greed and the “superiority”, the natives were hurt and killed and pushed into dark corners of the U.S. I was just sad and angry, also sort of questioning. How does someone think of a life as less than theirs? How does any other country trust the U.S, after it continually broke the rules of treaty after treaty with the natives?
    Lincoln’s main concern at the time was the Civil War. He needed as many troops as he could get, and losing a state to the Confederacy or having them do something terrible to the natives and make bad press, could have been catastrophic for the Union. It seems similar to the emancipation proclamation, where he couldn’t outright free border state slaves or they’d leave, but he could change the purpose of the war so they could be free later. He didn’t want any of the natives hanged, but he wasn’t able to hang none of them, so he did what he could to save as many as he could. If he had chosen to hang none and then the citizens of Minnesota massacred the natives, he would have had to fight another war with the natives, which means he’d be fighting a war on two fronts. War is hard, and hard decisions have to be made sometimes. That’s why he’s considered to be the best, if not one of the best presidents of the United States. He was able to do what he had to do and take all the criticism and hate from the people, and keep the union together and free the African Americans.
    In an ideal world, the government would do whatever the natives wanted them to do. If that’s to give all the land back, it’s to give all the land back. The best thing to realistically do though is to A; change the places where reservations are so that they aren’t in the worst places possible and so that they could actually survive the way they did or want to. B; fund reservations better and have 100x better education so they can get jobs that they can actually live off of. C; expand reservations so that they are way bigger than they are right now. If the reservations are moved away from the casinos and drug stores, they will be better off and maybe not in an endless depressing cycle. That is asking for a lot, but that’s barely even a fraction of what the natives really deserve.

  7. Nauman

    1. My reaction to the Ted Talk was one of sympathy and sadness. Seeing the killings of indigenous people and their lands being stolen is heartbreaking. The US constantly stole land regardless of whatever agreements they had with specific Indigenous groups, and in some cases, the US government even massacred Indigenous people, such as in Wounded Knee in 1890. These people were innocent people. Innocent men, women, and children dead for no reason other than the expansion of the US state. Seeing the pictures presented in the Ted Talk and going through these historical events one by one truly showed me the nature of the US’s relationship with indigenous people. A relationship of theft, murder, massacres, and much more.

    2. I think Lincoln allowing the executions of 38 Dakota Native Americans greatly complicates his legacy. On the one hand, he did order the emancipation of slaves and won the Civil War, but on the other hand, he ordered the biggest mass execution of indigenous people in American history. These indigenous people did not deserve this type of treatment but were executed regardless. This lack of care for the Native American population, in my view, greatly tarnishes Lincoln’s legacy because Lincoln winning the Civil War and freeing black people were such monumental and amazing things he did, but then those great things he did are heavily counterbalanced by the downright cruel treatment of the indigenous population. Having his face on Mount Rushmore is also very illogical and unnecessary, considering it is considered holy land for the Lakota people whom he massacred. It makes sense for an American to celebrate Lincoln for winning the Civil War and emancipating African Americans, but having his face on Lakota holy land should have never happened.

    3. America owes a great debt to the indigenous population. The American government has stolen their land and, massacred many of them, and engaged in an outright genocide/ethnic cleansing against them. I feel that the way to address this debt is complex, but there are many ways to do it. First of all, giving stolen land back to Native American groups. This is one logical solution because the land is not the American government’s and rightly belongs to many Native American groups. Second of all, funding for Native American communities is needed. Many Native Americans still live in poverty and terrible conditions. The American government should do things such as fund schools, roads, general infrastructure, and more. This can help alleviate the terrible conditions many Native Americans go through. Third of all, compensation is needed. Many Native Americans need to be monetarily compensated for the terrible treatment of their ancestors, which affects them to this day. This can help alleviate poverty and grant opportunities to many Native Americans. To conclude, the American government must find solutions such as the ones I listed to help alleviate the suffering of many Native Americans, which in many instances was directly the consequence of the actions of the US government.

  8. Matéo Milanini

    I think Aaron Huey’s Ted Talk is a very interesting piece of evidence showing the negative effects of colonization and westward expansion of Americans in the 1800s and even in the later years. His personal experience, having had interactions with modern day Sioux descendents make him feel very real and make it sound like he knows what he’s talking about. What he said about the treaties America made hundreds of years ago is also very true, because they have never really respected those, always passing acts denying or counteracting them. I also think that his idea of giving the Natives’ descendants the territories of the Black Hills to “atone for America’s sins” would be a great idea, except it would not be an easy initiative to take. This is because these lands now inhabit thousands of people, from which it would be hard to take or buy lands. I think, myself, that it would be a more affordable resolution to give the Indigenous more lands around the reservations and deleting all of the boarding schools, by funding schools that they would control. It would also be nice to provide aids for the people of the reservations who struggle with alcohol and betting addictions, leaving the future of their children in bad conditions. I think that the 1862 Dakota War was also a ridiculous piece of history because of what happened in the wars. The wars were started by the Sioux, but the only reason for this being the continuous violations of their rights and lands that they were subjected to by the white American settlers. The war was terrible, killing hundreds of settlers and thousands of Natives, with Lincoln also making some pretty bad decisions, such as the mass execution at Mankato on December 26th 1862, in which 38 of the initial 303 Indigenous were sentenced to hanging. Although Licnoln was able to take the numbers down considerably, it doesn’t make it a good act to condemn these prisoners to execution. For this, I find it extremely disrespectful to the Indigenous for Lincoln’s face to be carved in the mountains of Mount Rushmore, especially considering it is on the holy lands of the Lakota Sioux people. To conclude, I think there is an obvious debt that America owes the Indigenous, and I think one of the only affordable ways to pay this debt is by supporting the Native culture and their descendants. This would mean proposing support systems for the people of the reservations, expanding those lands as much as possible, and funding an education system that they would control, being able to teach their children their own beliefs.

  9. Safiya Mahmood

    #1) My reaction to the Ted Talk is that it was very insightful and also very open/real because they showed pictures of current Indigenous people and their home/school conditions on their reservations. The Ted Talk does a good job of addressing the struggles faced by Indigenous peoples in the United States, not only in history but in current time and the repercussions of the past. For example the severe poverty and very unequal opportunities. Such as that unemployment on reservations can vary from 85 and 90 percent. It also discussed how many homes are infested with black mold or have no electricity. It also educated me on how the US still violates treaties to this day that were made in the 1800s.

    #2) Lincoln’s response to the uprisings was to bring in military action to suppress these uprisings. One of his most shocking decisions was his approval of the mass execution of 38 Dakota men. This decision was quickly brought upon these men which questions how thoroughly Lincoln reviewed their cases. This complicates his legacy because Lincoln is often praised for his leadership during the Civil war and his eventual push to abolish slavery. It’s strange since he eventually helped with the freedom of African Americans but didn’t do the same for indigenous nations. Including Lincoln on Mt. Rushmore, a land that’s holy for the Sioux people is insulting due to his wrongdoings against them and his lack of protection for them in the past. And it’s also very disrespectful to these sacred lands as it was Lincoln who authorized the killing of their ancestors.

    #3) Acknowledging the debt America owes the Indigenous nations is not only morally needed but also a big part of reconciliation and justice. The first step is to recognize and respect indigenous land rights. Indigenous communities in the United States continue to face disproportionate levels of poverty, unemployment, bad healthcare, and educational inequalities. To address these issues there needs to be meaningful investments in Indigenous communities, including improved access to healthcare, education, and economical opportunities. Indigenous cultures, languages, and traditions deserve to be preserved and celebrated. An effort to acknowledge the debt owed to Indigenous nations can include supporting their culture, preserving their language, and the protection of their sacred sites. Another important step is to stop breaking treaties such as the Fort Laramie Treaties with the Lakota and any other tribes and to start honoring them. And as the Ted Talk stated to give the Black Hills back.

  10. Libby Knoper

    My reaction to the Ted Talk is negative/ somewhere in between. This is my reaction because the places they live in are written all over it. Because of all of these broken treaties, Indigenous people aren’t living in the best conditions, not getting resources they need, and not having great schools. This is why my reaction to the Ted Talk is negative/ somewhere in between. I found a connection between the growing US and the diminishing land for the Indigenous people. When the first US settlers first came and then people immigrating to US from Europe, there was no other space but then they expanded but for the Indigenous people, it’s the opposite. The Indigenous started with so much land then got it taken away by the expansion of the US that they are now living in bad conditions, like the US when they first started out.
    The knowledge of Lincoln’s part in the Dakota War does complicate his legacy. Even if he stopped the executions of 303 Native Americans, he still led 38 Native Americans to their deaths. Lincoln allowed General John Pope to go to restore peace saying “Attend to the Indians…Necessity knows no law.”, saying that General Pope doesn’t have to worry about breaking any laws when it comes to “restoring peace” in the “…midst of a most terrible and exciting Indian war,”. Lincoln’s face on Mt. Rushmore on the Lakota Sioux people’s land isn’t good. He has drove the Indigenious off of their Holy Land when they were there first and Lincoln not keeping their side of the treaties that the Indigenious would move and the Government would put in a place just for them. Lincoln then kept moving them and had no regard for the Indigenous people and how they felt about leaving their home land.
    I like the idea of giving the Indigenous people back the Black Hills that were once theirs and were forced off of by treaties that weren’t honored and fighting for their land and not being succesful. Even though it was not us that did these horrible things to the Indigenous, the government should honor any treaty that was agreed upon and help reservations with more money to help grow their civilization, better living conditions, better schools, better resources, as well as give them more hope that they can be what they want to be in the future. We can learn from Canada in the aspect of having a representative(s) that could be part of government conversations and how it would impact their people. The Government should recognize the Indigenous people in our country and help grow their economy and their rights in the United States. We also should give the Indigenous people back their possessions that sit in Museums or in vaults.

  11. Robert Morgan

    1. I think that the part where he mentioned all of the treaties/acts including the government and Native Americans was very important to mention, because many people overlook this fact. He mentioned many bills and treaties, some of which started out good for the Indigenous, giving them land or resources, peace overall. But then, sometimes just a few years later, a new bill was passed, the government turning their back on the Indigenous and reducing their land, most noticeable the Homestead Act and Transcontinental Railroad. These opened the West where many Indigenous nations resided, and because of this their land was reduced significantly, in many cases lives were lost, and when hunters rode into the West, the buffalo population was completely wiped out, taking a very valuable source of food for the Indigenous nations. Overall, I think the Ted talk was a good thing, so this information can be spread to everyone, so we know how much the Indigenous people have been oppressed and taken advantage of.

    2. With the new information that we have found out about Lincoln, it definitely makes him a more complex president, almost similar to Thomas Jefferson. One thing that was controversial and something that complicated his legacy is that just a few days before the emancipation proclamation, he ordered the execution of 38 Dakota people. The article 1862: The Dakota War gave us information about this fact, and in it the author David A. Nichols, who wrote Lincoln and the Indians, gave us a great view on this topic, saying that “If he had not intervened, they would have executed all 303,” (referring to the original 303 Dakota ordered to be executed), “On one hand, he did something very humane. On the other, he ordered 38 men to their deaths.” We know Lincoln as a person who supported the anti-slavery cause, but his controversial thinking with African Americans and Native Americans during the time is very concerning. Just a few days before the emancipation proclamation was passed, emancipating all slaves from slavery in the Confederacy, he ordered the execution of 38 Dakota men to their deaths.

    3. I think that to acknowledge the debt that America owes the indigenous nations we should send out acknowledgement forms like we did at the beginning of the year. But I also think that America owes the Indigenous nations a lot of things, but I don’t know how I would go about it. For starters, I think that the government should fund the reservations that Indigenous people have to live on a lot more, so that they can support themselves much easier. That is the very least I think that the government should do, but I think that the reservation system itself is stupid, and the government should get rid of it but I also don’t know what kind of effects that would have mostly on the people, but also the government.

  12. Will R

    1. The Ted Talk came to me as a great surprise. Not only had the government treated the Native American people poorly, but they blatantly broke numerous treaties and agreements between two sovereign nations. When he talked about the events all by year in chronological order, it was revealed to me that the United States government had likely planned to eliminate all of the Native American lands for a long time and just needed to justify doing so. Through the timeline of events, you see that all of the acts signed into law by the government may not have seemed like they directly hurt the Native Americans but they did. They ratified the acts under different justifications like in the Dawes Act where it seemed evident they were giving Native Americans opportunities to become United States citizens. In reality, it was a clever guise attempting to integrate Native Americans and take large portions of their land. After he talks about how the Native Americans were discriminated against, he talks about the modern-day repercussions we see. Seeing the extent of these issues like the 85-90 percent unemployment rate on certain reservations was appalling. The pictures shown during this time also tell an even larger story of the poverty that they experience because of how the government treated them and their property.

    2. The events we’ve read about and the Ted Talk have greatly impacted the view I have of Abraham Lincoln. Before it seemed normal to idolize a man who had done only good and was “honest Abe” but now knowing he had corruption as well makes me think that he’s not even an above-average president. Though many things he did were admirable, how can you weigh those with the atrocities he committed as well? When you really take a deep dive and look back on all of his actions, it seems like he was not that great. He did sign the emancipation proclamation, but that also could have been to just weaken the South’s economy and society during the Civil War. He also wasn’t a complete abolitionist before the Civil War and was only against slavery extending into the territories. He was also killed before reconstruction so we don’t know how racist he was if at all. Learning these things about him makes me question his motives for all of his good actions and think more about it myself rather than just trusting other people.

    3. It is difficult at this point to talk about repaying the Native American people because many people will just say that it was not them who did it so they don’t have to deal with it. Though this argument seems sound, just because you personally didn’t wrong someone doesn’t mean that you can’t help them. I think we should honor the past treaties that the government broke with the Native people and give them the land they were promised. Obviously, there would be great resistance to this idea but it is only right that we right the wrongdoings of our ancestors and honor the treaties they made.

  13. Ari Blank

    1. The TED talk was depressing. It sugarcoated no information about the brutality toward the Lakota people. Huey is powerful and moving in his description of how the Lakota people have been treated. He does this through personal experiences and historical facts. I like how Huey strikes a personal connection to the audience. What I didn’t like about his talk was the images of blood and suffering. I understand that the Lakota people have been through a lot of suffering, but there are other ways to convey this suffering than showing the vile images that he did. To end, what I liked was his powerful ask from the audience. He left no disputes over how to try to gain forgiveness from the Lakota people. The only way to do this is to honor the treaties and give back black hills. He also asked the audience to help him in his campaign to bring awareness to this issue. Huey got his point across effectively, but I didn’t like all of his strategies to do so.

    2. Lincoln’s actions during this time expose a less admirable side of Lincoln. Most people view Lincoln as the guy who freed all the slaves and then was shot. This isn’t really all true. Lincoln was not a perfect president although many think he is. Lincoln was not really interested in helping other races than the white race. This is exemplified in his treatment of slavery, and his treatment of Native Americans. A big example of this is when he upheld 39 executions of Dakota men. They were mostly charged with murder or rape charges, although the conditions in which Lincoln ordered the execution are still controversial. Further complicating Lincoln’s legacy is his face on Mt. Rushmore. This monument is in South Dakota, which is where the Dakota people live. Their ancestral lands are overshadowed by the monument honoring Lincoln. The Dakota people will always remember that there is a monument of a guy who approved the execution of 39 of their men. To make matters worse, this monument is in their ancestral lands.

    3. First, it has to be noted that the treatment of the Native Americans can never fully be repaid. Many treaties were broken, land was taken, Natives were forced to assimilate, and more. This put the remaining natives in extreme poverty, unemployment, and depression. The United States has to recognize the remaining tribes and help them reach a higher quality of life than they have now. This process of trying to gain forgiveness from the natives has to be led by the wants and needs of natives. The United States government will have to listen to what the natives want in order to try to fix some of their many mistakes. The U.S. government has been the decision-maker for the treatment of Native Americans. The only way to try and fix their mistakes is to give the native population the power to ask for things they want, and for the government to actually give it to them.

  14. Eli

    The Ted talk rephrased the events and broken treaties that we have learned about as well as the current state of the Lakota and then communicated in a way that made me feel upset.No humans should live they do in the pictures, the fact that the united states is just pretending like it is not our fault that the Natives are living like this is preposterous. Also, at the end when the speaker said that a sign of a successful genocide is that the murderous party can step away at the end and say “look what they are doing to eachother”, it was then that I realized that this was a genocide just like any other, the reservations look similar to concentration camps, both places were where a people are sent to die, and just like a concentration camp or the old ghettos of eastern europe, there is no escape and that is just really upsetting.

    Lincoln was seen as a really progressive guy and all for human rights, however the fact that he called for the biggest mass execution in American history is quite conflicting. On one hand, Lincoln helped to liberate the enslaved and increase their overall quality of life, he also had an innumerable amount of native americans killed for land. It seems like by putting Lincoln’s face on mount rushmore, which was holy to the Native Americans, further insult was added to the eventual killing off of millions of native americans. And on another note, Roosevelt supported taking almost one hundred million acres of native american land and turning it into government owned, national park. Finally, it goes without saying that Jefferson was a huge racist and the commemoration of all of these people who did nothing but harm to native Americans on a mountainside sacred to native Americans is just like squeezing a lemon on a bullet hole.

    I think that in order to acknowledge the debt to Native Americans we definitely have to supply the struggling with the necessary resources and give them opportunities to advance whether it is funding schools or providing an agency to help them get jobs and ghetto and from the work locations. Also there needs to be commemoration through monuments which are made in collaboration with native american leaders and through proper portrayal of the horrible events in film in order to educate the public. Arguably the most important would be to return the black hills and mount rushmore to the Native Americans with no stipulations whatsoever.

  15. Sofia B

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    I felt that the images shown while the speaker was going through the timeline of events were very powerful. During the first trimester of English, we learned about the native peoples and specifically looked at Pine Ridge for part of it so I already knew a bit about the condition on this reservation in particular. I think the speaker made many good points throughout the speech specifically by showing all that white Americans have taken from the native peoples. The analogy with the Lakota name for white people being the takers of the best meat was specifically very helpful and interesting.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    I think that Lincoln’s actions during the Dakota War complicate his legacy because he is seen as someone who supported racial equality by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation (which didn’t do as much as people think) and yet he signed laws that gave away millions of acres of tribal lands and issued the largest mass execution in U.S. history of the hanging of 38 Dakota men. The fact that Lincoln’s face is on Mt. Rushmore which is in the Black Hills in South Dakota is very ironic and untasteful. This is because the Black Hills are the most sacred grounds for the Sioux people and to have the man’s face who sold away that land on it now was a very poor idea in terms of the symbolism it represents. Overall, Lincoln has left a complicated legacy of helping African Americans yet hurting the native population.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    Figuring out a solution to paying back the native peoples for the hundreds of years of destruction the U.S. government has carried out is very complicated. There is a very delicate balance between what should be done and what can be done. For example, what should be done is all native lands should be given back but this is not possible as what would happen to the people living on those lands now. A balance that treats the natives equal to the other citizens of America must be achieved. Firstly, if reservations are to exist, they need more funding and more opportunities for the people living on them. Funding alone won’t fix the many problems seen on reservations. There needs to be more job opportunities and a higher importance on education. When it comes to other problems like alcohol and drug use, these items can always be banned; however, this usually doesn’t stop people from getting them anyway unless it is built into their culture and tradition not to drink or do drugs. This makes the high levels of alcoholism and drug use difficult to tackle as well. When it comes to giving native peoples their lands back, certain lands may be able to be given back. Parts of states like Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota are sparsely populated and it might not be too hard if the government gave the few people in these areas an incentive to move somewhere else then gave the lands back to the natives. In summary, this whole issue of what the Natives deserve in return for the hundreds of years of oppression is a delicate balance of what should and can be accomplished in a way that treats all Americans citizens equally.

  16. Baity Wagner

    I believe that this TedTalk was very insightful and I view it in a positive light. The beginning of the TedTalk when he acknowledged the privilege we have and how we took “the best part of the meat” put things into perspective. Yes, we gave land to indigenous people but we gave them the short end of the stick. We continued to do that and even metaphorically take away the stick again (if that makes sense). I never even knew that the Lakota beat the United States Army before this. This TedTalk lets you hear the history of Native Americans from a new perspective and not just a white one. I view Lincoln’s decision of the emancipation proclamation purley political and not a moral descion. He was under pressure of the civil war and had to do what needed to be done. If it was a moral desicion, he wouldn’t have treated the Natives with such disrespect by signing the homestead act and forced so many Native Americans to assimalte into white culture. The fact that he is honored on the land of the Lakota Sioux people is ironic and awful because of his clear betrayal to that trive and all Native Americans. I believe we can honor our debt to Native Americans in many ways. I think we should give generous donations to the reservations that currently exist. I think our government could do a better job on protecting these lands. In Honors English A we read a book called “The Absoloutly True Diary of a Part Time Indian” this story goes into the poverty stricken reservations in modern day America. It is a huge contrast to white society. I think if we funded schools on reservations it could make a huge difference and help pay back our debts to Native Americans. I think we should replace Native American artifacts and create replicas to keep in our museums. Honoring Native American religions is important but do we need the original artifact? No, those belong to Native Americans, the ones who founded those religions. I think that pro sports team should follow in the footsteps of Washington NFL team and the Clevland baseball team. Native Americans today have expressed how these mascots do not make them feel honored. Their opinions are the only one that matter in this issue. Protests have been made and I think the answer is clear.

  17. Isabela V

    After watching the Ted Talk, I am not surprised about the events that the speaker described, but it is shocking to see how those events, specifically the ones in the 1800s, directly affect Indigenous people today. The speaker effectively combined historical events with statistics and reasoning that help viewers understand the outcome of many broken treaties and massacres that occurred over one hundred years ago.
    As stated in the Ted Talk, Abraham Lincoln approved the hanging of 38 Indigenous people, which remains the largest mass execution in United States history. While Lincoln is praised for his anti-slavery attitude due to the fact that he signed laws like the Emancipation Proclamation, he simultaneously supported the execution of Indigenous people. This part of Lincoln’s legacy is often ignored by historians, who choose to instead focus on Lincoln’s positive actions as he worked towards the end of slavery. It’s true that Lincoln did aid the end of slavery, but at the same time, it is important to acknowledge all of Lincoln’s actions, even the negative ones. In addition to agreeing to the hanging of 38 Sioux people, Lincoln also signed laws that allowed white settlers onto land that had previously been Indigenous reservations. One example of this is the Homestead Act, which is remembered for giving settlers 160 acres of land practically for free, as long as they stayed and farmed the land for at least five years. However, this act had significant consequences for Indigenous people, as white settlers encroached on their land more and more, inspired by manifest destiny. Additionally, many railroads were built through the middle of Indigenous reservations, specifically the Transcontinental Railroad, which was built through the Lakota Nation, as stated in the Ted Talk. When considering Lincoln’s history, it is crucial that his harmful policies towards Indigenous nations are not ignored.
    All in all, it’s obvious that America owes Indigenous nations for centuries of injustice. The question that now needs to be answered is specifically what does America owe? In the Ted Talk, the speaker states that the American government needs to honor treaties and give the Black Hills back to Indigenous nations. While I agree that this statement is true, I don’t think that those actions alone are enough to make up for everything that has been done. If the Ted Talk speaker’s wish is followed, Indigenous people will have back sacred land that was taken from them, but it’s likely that none of the horrifying statistics that the speaker read will change. Many Indigenous people will remain unemployed, poor, and homeless. The Ted Talk speaker presents the idea that it isn’t as easy to find ways to pay back the debts owed to Indigenous people as it is to help other causes. Despite that, it is still important that the American government acknowledges what has been taken from Indigenous nations and makes efforts to give back land and provide resources for Indigenous people.

  18. Josh Peltz

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    The Ted Talk doesn’t shy away from letting people know the truth. The speaker uses the phrase “taking the best part of the meet” to accurately describe the greediness of Anglo-Americans taking land and everything away from the native Americans. I also find it crazy and ironic how someone like Lincoln, who fought through struggles to end slavery, managed to hang 38 Native Americans fighting for their freedom two days later. This video shows that through boarding schools, broken treaties, the continental railroad, the Indian Appropriation Act, and more, Native Americans have had their culture and land stripped away from them. Throughout all the mistreatment and countless attempts to strip Native Americans’ identity and ancestral roots, the Indigenous have still managed to keep their culture alive. However, Native American reservations still have economic struggles due to unequal opportunities for centuries. Something horrible and crazy that I heard in this video is that in the Wounded Knee Massacre, the U.S. gave out the most medals of honor in a single battle in U.S. history. The slaughter of innocent native American women and children gave out more medals than any battle in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    The knowledge of Lincoln’s actions complicates his legacy immensely. On one hand, Lincoln showed a little bit of empathy by getting rid of death sentences for lots of Dakota warriors who were originally sentenced to execution. However, he approved the largest mass execution in the history of the United States, in which 38 Dakotas were killed. Although going back to one side of things, Lincoln did face pressure from white settlers and politicians to punish the Dakotas for the deaths of hundreds of white settlers and troops. All being said, Lincoln shouldn’t have done what he did. Why should 38 Dakota men be hanged when no U.S. army men were hanged for killing innocent women and children in the Wounded Knee massacre? For someone who is known as the great emancipator, I find it ironic that that same person, in a way, enslaved Native Americans into “fitting in” the predominantly white-washed society. Mt. Rushmore is a symbol that the Lakotas have to look at in their everyday lives that reminds them of the deaths of many of their ancestors and the robbery of their lands and culture.

    Discuss your thoughts/concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    America will forever be in debt for what we did to the Indigenous people. There is simply no way of traveling back in time and undoing what we did in the past. All being said, there need to be steps taken to more fairly treat the Indigenous people and give them the respect they deserve. We should honor the treaties and make the land of the Black Hills honor the Indigenous. Don’t make some stupid museum and act like what we did to the Natives is in the past. Instead, acknowledge that there is still discrimination against countless Native Americans in the world. We don’t have to go back into the past because change can still be made. We can still provide compensation for the damages we have caused them, support their economic development, provide cultural centers and language programs, require non-biased education about their history in all public schools in all states, and talk with the indigenous people before taking action that will affect their lives.

  19. Alexander Chebl

    In my opinion, this video was a real eye-opener, shedding light on the part of history that often gets brushed aside in textbooks. It’s like uncovering a hidden chapter, and it can make you feel more connected to Indigenous communities’ struggles. On the flip side, it’s hard not to feel upset or frustrated when you learn about the injustices Native peoples have endured. You start questioning why we talk about these things less or if the solutions proposed are enough. It’s a mix of emotions, recognizing the importance of the topic while feeling uncertain about how to address it.

    Getting knowledge of Abraham Lincoln’s actions during the Dakota War of 1862 provided complications that caused questions about his legacy, particularly in light of his prominent image on Mount Rushmore, a site that holds great significance for the Lakota Sioux people. Lincoln is known for being a promoter of justice and equality, but his approval of the 38 Dakota men’s execution orders following the conflict raises serious concerns about his support of Indigenous rights and his part in the ongoing violence against Native Americans. This makes his representation of Mount Rushmore more complex because it represents the status of people connected to American colonization and expansion. Lincoln’s actions further highlight the legacy of injustice and oppression that still exists for the Lakota Sioux, whose lands were taken and cultures suppressed by the same government that is depicted on Mount Rushmore. Lincoln’s legacy has been complex from knowledge of his participation in the Dakota War, which draws attention to the mistakes between his beliefs and his treatment of Indigenous people.

    Looking at the debt that the United States of America owes to Indigenous nations bothers me. Acknowledging and taking action is made more important when one learns about the historical injustices that Indigenous peoples have endured for centuries, from cultural oppression to land theft. Understanding the continued effects of colonization and structural injustices on Indigenous communities today goes beyond just studying history. But I’m concerned about the possibility of efforts or false actions that don’t deal with the underlying causes of these injustices. Real recognition requires proactive measures, like preserving Indigenous sovereignty, upholding treaty rights, and giving funds for economic, medical, and educational advancement. Furthermore, it is essential to actively include Indigenous communities in the processes of decision-making that have an impact on their lives. As a student, I think it’s critical that people from my generation should participate in these discussions and support significant change. In order to actively work toward a more just and equitable future for everyone, we must go beyond simply studying history.

  20. Ella K

    When I was watching this Ted Talk I realized that most of the history of Aaron Huey was telling were stories I mostly hadn’t heard or learned about that much. Some of the key things I thought were most important were the Sioux’s words for non-Indian, which also means to “take the best meat for himself”. I think that this can show how consistently throughout history white people have greedily taken native land and rights, and how history still affects Indigenous people today. One piece of history, that Huey said was the most important, is the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. The part that Huey told that I did not already know though, was that this event continues to be the event that the most American veterans have received medals for, despite all the wars our country has since fought in, and that they were being rewarded for murdering innocent Indigenous people. One last part that was surprising for me were the statistics presented about life on reservations. The life expectancy of the average American is 77 years, but on the reservation the life expectancy is 46.
    Lincoln is usually seen as one of the best presidents in American history. He is most credited for freeing enslaved African Americans with the Emancipation Proclamation. But as Huey points out in his Ted Talk, just two days before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln was responsible for ordering the execution of 39 native prisoners following the Dakota War. I think that because of this Lincoln can no longer be viewed as the great hero many people believe him to be. I think that it is also possible that how people view Lincoln will change more, similar to how in recent years Columbus no longer is glorified the way he once was. Changes that followed that included changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, and also removing many statues of him across America. It makes me wonder if similar changes will take place with Lincoln, involving President’s Day, and also the memorial of him and other men in American history, specifically Washington and Jefferson who were slaves owners, will ever be taken down. Having such a large memorialization of white supremecists on sacred native land is unbelievable and I think an issue that will come into light more in the future.
    I think that America as a country can begin to repair the damage done to Indigenous people by acknowledging the past, making efforts to honor Native history and shining light on the truths in history that glorify those who hurt Native people. Efforts in removing offensive or inaccurate memorials, statues, signs, and even history books, not normalizing cultural appropriation, as well as returning native land, such as the Black Hills, would be great first steps to help our country and help Indigenous communities begin to heal.

  21. Saanvi

    I thought the Ted Talk did a really good job explaining chronologically all of the laws surrounding reservations and all of the contradictions. I think it’s important to talk about it because after high school (maybe college) classes people do not really talk about these laws and most people forget and move on because it does not directly relate to their life. He reminded people that even though it might not directly relate to the situation it is still extremely important. Also, I think that it was really good that at the end he included statistics from right now so people can not say that it is a problem from a long time ago, because it still exists today. One thing that really surprised me was the life expectancy. We typically think that America is so great and most people are happy and healthy, and living ito be in your mid-40s is only thought of happening in a serious, out of the ordinary condition, but it is average on the reservation he was talking about. think that Lincoln is incredibly hypocritical because at the time of him ordering the massacre of about 38 people who had done nothing other than be indigionus, he also gave the enacipation proclimation which spoke of freedom and equality and not enslving people based on race. He also was for the ten percent plan, which would make it easier for confederate states to get back into the union and he wanted to help them with reconstuction. So the same person who made the civil war about the end of slavery, spoke the emancipation proclimation, and wanted to fogive and help the South after they left the country, turned around and showed zero acknowledgement of the lives of the people massacared. I think his face being on Mount Rushmore, which is located on stolen land is just weird. Even though Lincoln did do some arguably good things during his presidency, he only did bad things to indigenous people. I think that it is hard to decide what can be done to “fix” what has happened in the past because there is no way of actually going back in time and changing it, but i think that the first thing that needs to be done now is truly acknowledging how bad these people have been treated and how bad they are being treated now. Then, working on the conditions in the reservations, that have an incredibly high cost of living (housing, food, etc) with only incredibly low paying jobs available, bad water, and more. It is also important to ask what can be done to help, rather than just jumping in and taking over, possibly making the problem worse. I think that columbus day should be renamed and that the medals should be taken away for wounded knee but the most important thing is letting the indigenous people say what they want done and actually doing it.

  22. Maggie W

    1.The Ted Talk was eye opening for me and empowering for Indigenous people. I thought it was powerful how Aaron Huey brought out the list of dates and history saying this is the history and how they told it to me. It gives the tribe a way to tell their story and history from their perspective rather than the dominant white perspective and history written by the white men. The timeline showed repetition of disregard for treaties and really how many times the United States was unfaithful and harmful. My reaction was in between positive and negative. Positive in the sense that I am glad there is increased recognition and bold statements such as Huey’s to give back the Black Hills to contest with the government and hold them accountable to what they owe the Native Nations. But my reaction was also negative because it hurts to hear about what our country has done to Native Americans such as the Lakota Sioux Tribe.

    2.Lincoln was amazing from one select point of view. His legacy is already amped up, he won a war and unified the country, he freed slaves. This legacy has stuck in the country and in the minds of Americans because the negative actions he took are so often forgotten and looked over. We learned that Lincoln was not an abolitionist, he was just anti-slavery and for most of the civil war he was just working to keep the union together. In the Dakota Wars he said to do whatever is necessary to stop the insurrection and control them. Lincoln’s actions complicate his legacy because he is known as the great emancipator, the man who freed the enslaved so it is hard to believe he would commence such discrimination and horror against a different group of people. In the Ted Talk Aaron Huey said in 1863 there was an uprising of the Santee Sioux that ended with the hanging of 38 Sioux men and this was the largest mass execution in U.S. history and it was ordered by Abraham Lincoln just two days after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. Cases like the idolized Abraham Lincoln make you wonder about the forgotten history of other monumental people. Perhaps even the other people on Mount Rushmore’s rock face have done horrific things. The fact that the Mount Rushmore sculpture of Lincoln and other presidents is in Lakota Sioux territory is horribly ironic and seems like they are flaunting their actions against Sioux people and laughing in their faces.

    3. I think the United States needs to acknowledge what they owe the Indigenous peoples but the issue is they cannot just acknowledge it, there would need to be actual change. In 2009 Sam Brownback helped pass the Native American Apology Resolution but it was just words saying sorry and did not actually do anything. Maybe it made him feel better and maybe it made Native Americans feel more seen but from the point of view of those Native peoples, imagine your home and land being taken and being stripped of culture, would a simple formal apology atone for that loss and harm that is continually occurring in a domino effect. My point of view and I think many others believe that greater measures need to be taken to repair what America did to Indigenous nations and chip away at the debt the country owes if it is even possible to ever make it disappear.

  23. Carly Roth

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    I have a positive reaction to the Ted Talk, and I generally agree with the message that Aaron Huey was trying to spread. While I can see how calling reservations “prison camps” can be harsh wording, it is absolutely true. The colonizers pushed Native Americans out of their homes and forced them through a difficult journey to the reservations. By 1871 with the Indian Appropriations Act, the military issued orders that forbid western Native Americans from leaving their reservations. Also with the Indian Appropriation Act, the U.S. ceased the treaties made with Native American tribes. The treaties allowed the tribes to exist as sovereign nations, and without them, these tribes and their land are now easier to colonize. In 1874, the news of gold in Lakota land caused a rush of white settlers into their land. Lieutenant George Armstrong Custer was killed in the battle of Little Bighorn when he and his army tried to further push the Lakota away. While this battle was a win for the Native Americans, the death of Custer only increased the incentive to push the Native Americans into reservation lands. In short, I absolutely agree with Huey because I believe that the reservations were only made to take advantage of, abuse, and steal from the Native Americans.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    The 1862 Dakota War greatly complicates Lincoln’s legacy. Despite his positive actions like the Emancipation Proclamation, he also approved of the executions of 38 Dakota men, which adds complexity to his image on Mount Rushmore. His face being on Mt. Rushmore is seen as a great sign of respect, however him being on there only shows a complete disregard for the people who were killed and hurt by Lincoln, especially considering it is a holy land. To me, this raises a lot of questions about the consistency of Lincoln’s commitment to justice. His involvement in the execution challenges his positive image, and shows that historical figures can have good and bad sides. His face on Mt. Rushmore reminds us that we can recognize and celebrate the good in people, but we also have to acknowledge the flaws in people, and understand that Lincoln was not an amazing person.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    Acknowledging the debt that America owes to the Indigenous people is extremely crucial. First, we have to recognize the injustices done to the Natives, including suppressing their cultures through abusive boarding schools, the broken treaties, the displacement, and the murder of many Native Americans. These have all affected Indigenous communities, and recognizing that there is a debt to pay is the first step towards reconciliation. Next, I believe that we should work towards land restoration for the Native American tribes. We could work towards returning and restoring land if possible.

  24. Lana O

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    My reactions were very much apart of the surprising negative side but also somewhere in between. What I mean by that is the shocking evidence provided showing the terrible deeds done by the United States when it comes to respecting Native Americans. Especially when it came back to the United States actions of over and over again breaking or ignoring the treaties THEY made with the Native people who lived there. Multiple treaties had been made between them but it always ended up with American citizens or other settlers taking their land without the Government getting in the way of it. Which created the unfair double standard between the Government and the tribes. A new thing that shocked me was President Lincoln’s decision of executing Sioux men just 2 days after signing the Emancipation Proclamation. It seemed very weird for President Lincoln to try and help one portion of the United States and then do a complete 180 and order the killing of almost 40 men. As these tribes were here long before Americans were. I also hadn’t realized the great amount of fighting back that tribes had done to try and protect their lands. This was a revelation to me as it was brought up that during the transcontinental railroad building time, a time where most of the Lakota Nation’s land had been appropriated. That the Lakota themselves had defeated the United States army on multiple occasions. The other side of my reactions of being in between was that the obvious torture and unfairness that Native Americans had been through. But I am glad that their stories are finally be brought to light. As it is about time for the proper recognition to all these events finally happened. In more detail, another positive reaction I had was learning about the resistance the Native Tribes had again the United States army and the settlers the came to try and take their land. How they repeatedly refused to give up their land without a fight because it was so important to them. The way they stood up against them and won against them even though they were out numbered. Overall my reactions were majorly were somewhere in between because of the shocking negative events against Native Americans but also the empowering resistance that because of them their stories were not buried in the past. They are now being told again to spread awareness.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    The knowledge of Lincoln’s actions complicate his legacy because he is mostly viewed as a good person and as the man who freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation, which isn’t wrong but most people tend to not look past that and ignore his other actions that were not the right thing to do. Now with our eyes more open we see that not all of Lincolns’s decisions were made fairly. A major action of his that complicates his legacy was his decisions in the Dakota War of 1862. This war was a major complicator in the rocky relationship between the United States Government and the Native American people. Before hand the Government had never been loyal to any past treaties or agreements to the Native Americans and their land. The tribe of the Dakota (Sioux) had started to face displacement and had started an uprising against the settlers then came upon their land. The United States army was sent to go and stop them before any more damage could happen. The Dakota (Sioux) were defeated and rightfully upset with the outcome. After the war United States military tribunals took place. Where 303 men were sentenced to death because of General Pope. Lincoln’s decision changed the course of this sentence to only be 39 Native Americans sent to be executed (Only 38 were killed). One of these men was wrongly killed because no proper identification took place before he was executed. President Lincoln’s decision saved numerous men. But on the other hand, his decision also took the lives of 38 Native American men. 38 men who were trying to protect their land that they had rightfully in their possession. 38 men who tried to stop settlers from coming to take that land. 38 men who were tired of not being protected by their treaties. Lincoln’s decision of the Dakota War of 1812 complicates his legacy because he saved many with the Emaciation Proclamation but then decided to sentence 39 men. It becomes more complicated especially when it comes to Mount Rushmore because of how he did not honor treaties and boundaries with the Native Americans and then how he killed men who were from the place of their tribes where he was honored. His poor actions that are not talked about as often as his good actions seem to twist the way he is seen and how his legacy is thought of.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    My thoughts when it comes to how to acknowledge the debt America owes to the Indigenous nations is that we need to respect them more, give them more attention to properly fund their needs, and give them land back. A big issue that was a huge reason is why the United States Government and settler had a such a bad relationship with the Native American tribes is because of the lack of respect that was given. Throughout history the lack of respect to treaties, boundaries and to the people of the tribes has caused an animosity that still follows us today. If America gave the rightful respect to Native American tribes then there would not be as much tension. A concern about this is Native American’s not accepting this respect or Americans not wanting to give this respect. At the very least it is important for Americans to respect Native American cultures and traditions as they try to keep it alive for generations to come. Then the Government needs to give proper attention to the tribes. As we saw in the pictures in the Ted Talk, Native American reservations are not properly looked after or acknowledged by many Americans. These reservations do not receive as much attention or funding as other cities or states. These reservations deserve to be treated the same as they are not given the same opportunity from the Government as other places in America. By giving proper attention to reservations they can be built up and they can benefit from this. A concern from this could be other Americans not supporting the funding of reservations. But it is a big step in helping properly support the population and acknowledge what they need. Some things could include schools with teachers not only for children but for adults who want to get there education. Last but a very big task would be giving parts of their land back. This land like the Black Hills was unrightfully snatched from the Native Americans that lived there. But at the very least America owes Indigenous nations parts of their land back. Land that had always been their’s but was taken from them. This debt is a big one as Native Americans had been relocated numerous times before their land was ripped from them. This is an important debt to realize because the land that most Americans live on was not always American soil. America had replaced their sacred lands with abandoned and forgotten ones. A huge concern surrounding this would obviously be the Americans who live on this land now, not willing to give it up. But the acknowledgment that, that land truly belongs to Native American tribes would be a good start.

  25. Margaux Nollet

    1. Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why?
    This Ted Talk stunned me because it put into perspective what had happened throughout history to get to this point and how little the government and American settlers cared about the indigenous people. For example, when he said that indigenous people refer to him as a wasichu, which means “the one who takes the best meat for himself,” I was taken aback because it is absolutely true. As American colonists moved further west looking for a better life, the indigenous nations were forced to relocate into smaller, usually the worst plots of land, and they therefore had little to support themselves. Additionally, the Ted Talk made me cringe at how bad people’s living conditions are on the reservations. When he showed the pictures, there were numerous sick people who had big scars and were living in a heavily polluted area. But, the two parts that really got to me and infuriated me were first, when describing how some Sioux began an uprising that resulted in the execution of 38 people, and this execution had been ordered by Lincoln just two days after he had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The second instant was the part about the wounded knee massacre and how 300 “prisoners of war” were massacred and twenty constitutional medals of honor for valor were given to the murderers, which was the most medals of honor ever awarded for a single battle. This highlighted how little concern and empathy these Americans had, having been taught to see Indigenous individuals as bad and deserving of this disrespect just because they lived on the sought-after land. Finally, when he discussed that in 1980, the Supreme Court ruled in the case Sioux Nation v. United States that the Sioux were wrongfully resettled and that 7 million acres taken by prospectors and homesteaders violated the terms of the Second Fort Laramie Treaty. This part irritated me because the court chose to offer $160 million to the Sioux as compensation for the taking of the Black Hills rather than returning the sacred land to its rightful owners, which shows that they just wanted to sweep all of this under the rug. So overall, this Ted talk was very eye opening to me and just shows how overlooked the darker parts of history are and how recent these awful events are.

    2. After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).
    Abraham Lincoln is often celebrated as the great liberator who emancipated all slaves. He is also considered one of the greatest presidents due to his ability to win the Civil War to preserve the United States as a powerful country, to sign the 13th Amendment, to start the transcontinental railroad, to connect the East and West Coasts, and to be an amazing speaker. However, he learned that he was heavily honored by being put on Mount Rushmore, further promoting him as one of the best presidents. However, knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicates this legacy because, while he may have done all of these good deeds, the construction of the transcontinental railroad and the passage of the Homestead Act had severe negative consequences for indigenous nations, resulting in a lot of unnecessary bloodshed and environmental damage due to this greed. One of the major events that truly contradicts his legacy and actions is when, only two days after he signed the emancipation, he ordered the execution of 38 Sioux who had created an uprising due to the white settlements, which forced them to relocate to smaller plots of land. This demonstrates his lack of concern for other people living on “American Land” and how he only desired to increase the wealth and power of the US. Furthermore, in the reading about the 1862 Dakota wars, it said that when Minnesota leaders told him that the Dakaota were fighting the white settlers, Lincoln said, “Necessity knows no law,” demonstrating that he didn’t care what needed to be done as long as he could get his troops back to the east coast as soon as possible to fight in the Civil War, proving once again that he only cared about the good of the United States. Finally, his face being on Mount Rushmore, which is one of the most sacred places for many indigenous nations, is a huge slap in the face, proving that the term “wasichu” is true, as they won and managed to drive them out of the land without any care in the world.

    3. Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.
    I think that America owes a large debt to the Indigenous Nations because, for centuries, they occupied their lands and forced them to relocate westward. This pattern continued, and in the late 19th century, as America expanded with the building of railroads and there was an increase in westward settlements due to Americans seeking gold and a better way of life, Indigenous people were forced onto smaller and smaller pieces of land (reservations). However, when indigenous people rightfully began to fight back, they were massacred, forced to sign treaties or agree to laws, and lost even more land. Due to all of this, I believe that instead of paying the nations back with money, America should first return the Dakota Black Hills to the Indigenous people and remove the four faces from Mount Rushmore as a way of acknowledging the great injustice done to them. Although this will undoubtedly anger many and cause controversy, this place was and is sacred to indigenous people, and there are other/better ways to represent and honor these men. Additionally, it is important for people to start acknowledging the struggles that indigenous communities face to this day, especially on reservations, and to look for ways to help them in order to improve their living conditions. Their culture and history also needs to be talked about more in schools instead of glossing over it. Furthermore, another way to acknowledge this debt is to, just like we discussed at the beginning of the year, celebrate and recognize indigenous people and their heritage rather than Christopher Columbus. However, the problem is that some may disagree with these ideas because they’re not used to change or they’re attached to their traditional beliefs, which highlights the need for deeper conversations to discuss the historical wrongs done to Indigenous nations by America.

  26. Sylvia Duncan

    1, I have negative and uncomfortable feelings about information in the TedTalk video about Indigenous people and their treatment. The TedTalk showed all the injustices that people in government have done to Native Americans all at once. It really amazes me how this wasn’t seen as a problem or brought up until now. It really struck me hearing about the Wounded War Massacre and how Medals of Honor were given to people who killed Indigenous peoples. Also how this is still the most Medals of Honor given away for any battle, not any WW1 or WW2 2 battle, no Korean war, nothing. I am surprised the government hasn’t taken away the medals that were given on that day especially because it is such a haunting memory for many Indigenous people . The lines where the TedTalk speaker spoke about the government during that time raising up their hands and saying things like “Why are they doing that to themselves?” or “Why are they harming themselves by living like that?” was disturbing. When in reality people in government are the ones who constantly violated treaties and made many acts that contributed to the lives of Indigenous in the first place. I like how the speaker talks about that even though he was white, the reservation people opened him with wide open arms and he sees them as family now. This made me think about how kind and generous the Indigenous are. The TedTalk was really saddening to me and makes me want to take action to change the injustices they, the Indigenous, have faced.
    2, Many people view Lincoln as a good President because of the Emancipation Proclamation, but all the injustices that he has done to hurt natives really shows a different story. Lincoln ordered the killing of 303 natives to death, this includes women and children. This complicates his legacy because even though the Emancipation Proclamation was a good thing, he was involved in bad things against Indigenous peoples. His actions, especially the Dakota War, showed that he was not kind when it came to Indigenous people and their rights. Also to carve out four Presidents on sacred lands to Indigenous people really shows you how much the American government cares about Indigenous people.
    3, First, I think give Indigenous people back some of their sacred land that was stolen from them. Also, return rights to build houses on that land and be in full control of what goes on that land. I would also just give resources to get help with alcohol addiction and other things that people on reservations struggle with. I also think there could be some type of program that lets Indigenous people get checked for certain things by a doctor without having to pay. I know that sometimes the resources on the reservations can be low sometimes, so give them a bigger budget.

  27. Ashlyn

    After watching the Ted Talk with Aaron Huey, I am truly saddened to understand what awful things America has done to the Native American Indians. They were on this land way before the Europens found it and settled. They were kicked out of their land that they had lived on forever. They were forced away by new Europeans hoping to settle. Once they finally had new land that was theirs again in the west, they were kicked off the land again as settlers began settling and moving westward. It is awful to think of how the American Indians must have been feeling being pushed around by these new people and country that took over their land that had been theirs forever. They should have been able to keep their land or been given more reservation space that they needed to survive and to continue living their life as a tribe and nation.

    2. In the Ted Talk, Aaron Huey complicates President Abraham Lincoln’s legacy by speaking out about some terrible things that he did. He talks about how under Lincoln’s demand, 38 American Indian people were brutally executed. This is by far the biggest execution in American history. This complicates his legacy because Lincoln is seen as the president who did good and got America through the civil war and great depression. It is truly disgusting to know that the man who is seen as a leader and a hero did awful things to innocent people and is still recognized for his good deeds and actions. Knowing that his face in on the side of Mount Rushmore is so sad because that it is in the holy land of the Sioux people and he should not be recognized as a great for his actions against them.

    3. After I finished the Ted Talk, I realized how much America should owe the Native American Indian people. America has taken their land, their family members, and stripped them from their culture. It is impossible to put into words the harm that America has done to these innocent people and I am truly not sure if there is any one thing that could truly make up for or even forgive the actions that have already been done. America should at least try and give the reservations more and better land to live on and more job opportunities. Most American Indians are without work and are struggling to support themselves and their own families. THe government should offer more jobs on or close to the reservations.

  28. Charles W

    1.I’m horrified by the multiple broken treaties such as the treaties of Fort Laramie, that were wrongfully broken by the U.S that caused such devastation to the Lakota Sioux people. I think it’s disgusting how much the U.S wrongfully exploited the Indigenous people. In addition I’m appalled by the current living conditions of the Indigenous people currently living on the reservations. 90% of the people on the reservation live below poverty, with homes that lack electricity and are plagued by black mold. It draws sorrow out of me, and it’s upsetting that these people were set up to live in such squalor as a result of past government actions that treated indigenous people such as the Lakota Sioux in such ill-manners. Aaron Huey’s describing the reservations provokes such a strong reaction, and makes me feel anguish, and empathy for the Indigenous people as they were confined to their reservations due to the Indian Appropriations Act that prohibited them from leaving, and even today due to poor economic conditions makes it difficult for Indigenous people to leave the reservation. Huey’s portrayal of the Dawes Act draws out immense outrage from me as it demonstrates to the extent that the Indigenous people were exploited as lands designated to them from treaties were taken wrongfully away under the guise of “surplus land”. Furthermore I feel confused why we don’t talk more about some of the victories the Indigenous people had against the United States of America like the battle of Little BigHorn more. Moreover I’m horrified by the nightmarish events of Wounded Knee. The massacre of Wounded Knee must’ve been terrifying for the Indigenous people who experienced it, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters killed indiscriminately, a slaughter. Making matters worse 20 soldiers who were slaughtered without care for life received Medals of Honor for their absolutely disgusting actions. Ultimately if there were two words I could describe to reflect my feelings towards the actions reflected in the Ted Talk it would be intense indignation. The intense unfair treatment towards Indigenous people like the Lakota Sioux people who were betrayed multiple times by broken treaties such as the first and second Fort Laramie treaties, and brutal assimilation promoted by acts like the 1887 Dawes Act that wanted to assimilate Indigenous people and take their culture away from them. The current situation of Indigenous people like the Lakota Sioux brings out sympathy and sorrow out of me. Huey’s alternative to fixing this solution – to give back the Black Hills arises mixed emotions such as agreeance and confusion out of me. I agree that we
    2.Lincoln’s actions during the 1862 Dakota War heavily complicated his legacy. Lincoln is generally remembered as the “Great Emancipator” who fought for the end of slavery, but with the introduction of his actions during the 1862 Dakota War, reducing the execution of 303 to the execution of 38 indigenous people—at least one wrongfully convicted—it complicates his legacy. This is a complicated topic, as he was obligated by pressure to send General John Pope to restore peace, but he wasn’t obligated to execute the Sioux. Even though he did lower the number of people executed from 303 to 38, he still ordered the execution of 38, which seemingly could’ve been lowered similarly to how he lowered the execution count from 39 to 38 after Christmas. This complicates his positive legacy as it illustrates a more negative aspect of his legacy. As the facts stand, he did still approve the execution of 38 indigenous people, the largest execution in U.S. history, who were provoked by postponed payments and wrongfully exploited by traders. This event highlights how complicated Abraham Lincoln’s legacy is considering how close the wrongful execution was to his famous Proclamation of Emancipation, which fought for more equality. Lincoln’s response to the Dakota War demonstrates a darker side to Lincoln’s presidency that isn’t often talked about by people and exhibits how parts of Lincoln’s presidency contradict each other. On one hand, Lincoln was greatly progressive in terms of equality for African Americans and made a big contribution to equality, giving African Americans a chance for a free life in America, further pushed by Abraham Lincoln passing the 13th Amendment, ending slavery for all in the United States. On the other hand, he committed the largest execution in United States history against the Lakota Sioux people, who were exploited by white settlers landed in debt, and received postponed payments, which was disastrous for them, resulting in the starvation of many of the Lakota Sioux people. Ultimately, Lincoln’s actions during the 1862 Dakota War complicated the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, whose legacy is regarded as only positive due to his achievements in the Civil War in preserving the Union and ending slavery, due to his executing the largest execution in the history of the United States of America that was caused by issues stemming from settlers that exploited them being allowed to settle due to the violation of treaties and late payments. In addition it’s ironic that Abraham Lincoln’s head is on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the people he executed.

    3.There’s a multitude of actions America can take to acknowledge the debt they owe Indigenous people, the most obvious action being replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People Today. Foremost Columbus shouldn’t have a day to begin with due to his horrendous actions towards natives, such as enslaving, stealing, and torturing indigenous people. In addition, there were already Europeans fishing off the coast of Newfoundland, making it more than likely that Europeans would discover it soon, regardless of whether Columbus made his first voyage. Secondly, we should replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day due to the malignant treatment of Indigenous people by white settlers and in America’s history. For instance, the 1830 Native American Removal Act forced the relocation of them, which resulted in the deaths of at least 3,000 indigenous people as a result of a combination of starvation and disease. Along with other instances, these proceeded to contribute to the debt that America owes to Indigenous nations. It’s below the minimum America could do to make up for all of the harm they’ve done to the Indigenous people. Furthermore, at the very least, we could provide generous support for reservations, as they suffer from overcrowding, poorly built homes, and a lack of real economic opportunities. We should provide more funding for reservations to make it more accessible for indigenous people who want to leave the reservation to give them that choice, and with more funding, improve public education. With better public education, it will lead to better economic opportunities for indigenous people and provide them with more independence. In addition, we should give back the ceremonial artifacts that lie in museums, as they’re a piece of their culture that was usually forcefully and wrongfully taken from them. Furthermore, sports teams should follow in Washington’s footsteps in respecting Indigenous people by changing their offensive names and logos. Especially after considering how much the U.S. owes to the Indigenous people after they broke multiple treaties and exploited the Indigenous people. The least teams like the Chiefs could do is change their name if Indigenous people want them to. Ultimately, the least America could do is replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Day, utilize more tax funding to support reservations by improving education, improve many Indigenous people’s home situations, of which a large majority have black mold or no electricity, and return ceremonial artifacts that are rightfully the Indigenous peoples.

  29. Camelia

    Question 1) I felt both ways about this TED talk. Positively on the speech maker spreading awareness on the topic of how the white man has treated indigenous people. I also felt negatively about the things that happened to innocent indigenous people. The man talks about his experience on reservations and speaks about how he has been welcomed by many, but will always be referred to by “wasichu”, which is a Lakotah word meaning “non-Indian” but also means “one who takes the best meat for himself”. Describing the greediness of white people who have wronged the indigenous. He talks about various events in history regarding indigenous people, one of them including the hanging of 38 Santee Sioux men in 1863. This was the largest mass execution in American history and was ordered by President Lincoln just 2 days after he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. He talks about the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890. In this “battle”, 20 medals of honor were given to the 7th cavalry. This is the most medals of honor given in history. More than the World Wars, Iraq, Vietnam, etc. Wounded Knee created a set-in-stone event where the U.S. stated clearly how they felt about indigenous people. In 1900 there were less than 250,000 indigenous people compared to 1492 —before Columbus’s arrival— where there were an estimated 8 million. He then began to deceive the statistics about the Lakotah reservation. Including a student dropout rate of 70%, life expectancy of men being 46-48, and so much more. He finishes his speech by saying “Honor the treaties. Give back the Black Hills. It’s not your business what they do with them.” This TED talk I feel was impactful for anyone and everyone to hear. Although it might be unpleasant to listen to, but this is the reality of many Indigenous people. This awareness needs to be spread if we can make a difference, and not just donate clothing, because although that is helpful, we need to make a greater difference. It isn’t the fault of indigenous people that they are living so unfairly on these reservations. It’s not even the fault of the average American today. But it is the consequence of most white Americans’ ancestors. A lot of positives can come from this, one of them being awareness as previously mentioned. So although I didn’t like seeing all the pictures of people suffering or hearing the way indigenous people were wrong in the past and the present, It was necessary.

    Question 2) The 1862 Dakota War, has also been referred to as the Sioux Uprising. This is a conflict between the U.S. government and the Dakota Sioux in Minnesota. This war changed the legacy of President Lincoln and will further make it much more complex. The complexity of Lincoln’s legacy creates tension between navigating the events at the time and the impact of his actions on marginalized communities. Some of these decisions include during the Dakota War which happened while the Civil War was still taking place. There were conflicts with Indigenous people and white settlers regarding the western frontier. This plus the events of the Civil War influenced Lincoln’s decisions regarding both wars. His response to the Dakota wars was a military execution that was the largest in U.S. history. Some might argue that Lincoln’s decisions were just reflecting the social attitudes and policies of the time. Some say the execution reveals the “darker” side of Lincoln’s presidency and raises questions about how much he cared about justice and fairness. The fact that Lincoln’s face is carved onto Mt. Rushmore the holy land of the Lakotah Sioux people is also a huge cause for conflict. The monument, represents national pride for many people, while for the Indigenous people represents a history of broken treaties, displacement from their land, and more. For multiple reasons, this war causes many complications when it comes to Lincoln’s legacy. Lincoln faced challenges when balancing the Civil War while also having to deal with issues of the western frontier. The mass execution and the aftermath of the Dakota War raise questions about Lincoln’s perspective on justice and fairness. This changes his image as a leader. His being on Mt. Rushmore just shows the conflict between national pride and the grievances of Indigenous people. These issues emphasize the need for a more in-depth view of Lincoln’s presidency and a broader perspective of U.S. history regarding Indigenous people and their history, which will forever be interlinked with the wrongs of America and her leaders.

    Question 3) America has tried to rectify the things that have happened in the past regarding indigenous people. America has a great debt that they owe to indigenous Nations that they most likely can never repay. Things like the Native American apology resolution in 2009 have been an attempt by America’s government to apologize to the indigenous people of the nation. The point of the apology was for the president and the government to acknowledge the wrongs that they have done to indigenous people and to apologize for it. the thing about this though is that although you might apologize you’ll never be able to undo the history and the death caused by America’s ignorance and greediness for new land and money. At one point the government thought that economic prosperity and more land was valued more than the lives of minorities and marginalized groups. Even if they try to rectify this in the present it will never be forgotten that at one point and currently America and its government are still very greedy. In the Native American apology resolution, it was stated that the point of it was to formally apologize for the grievances that happened in the past, but also work towards healing and rectifying the issues that America has caused for indigenous nations. The government has always said things like that, that they are trying to rectify their wrongs and apologize, but no real progress has been made and Indigenous people are still suffering on reservations with expectancy rates of life being in the late 40s. so although they “formerly apologize” Where has the real progress been made? So when I am asked how I think America should acknowledge and solve the issues they have caused, I do not know because I really do not think that we will ever be able to repay the damages that we have done to indigenous nations. The only thing I can see doing at this point is helping those on reservations and not just donating clothes that we no longer want, or trying to spread more awareness, which are all very important things we should be doing; But I think we really need to actually experience what is going on in these reservations and make some true change by investing some of the money that’s going into other unnecessary things and putting it towards real human life who need actual help right now.

  30. Rocco Firth

    1) The ted talk was very eye opening with the mix of photos and information. I think it was very well thought out and that Aaron Huey put it together very well and the execution of it was very well spoken. I liked how he talked about the statistics of not only back in the 1800’s but also in modern day to show that it is not just an issue of the past, but rather the effects are still being felt today. Huey uses his platform as a photographer to help visualize the injustice happening in the reservations. His images serve as visual narratives that capture the harsh realities faced by the native peoples on these reservations, or “prisoner of war camps” as Aaron describes them. Huey’s ability to connect historical context, personal accounts, and statistical data creates a story that highlights the injustices endured by natives. He shows how centuries of colonization, forced relocation, and broken promises/treaties by the U.S. government have resulted in poverty, family issues, alcoholism and other addictions, and overall a broken people within indigenous communities. The images of poverty, addiction, and despair are difficult to look at, opening the watchers eye to the ongoing injustices of colonization and oppression. It’s disheartening to realize that despite being the original inhabitants of this land, Native Americans continue to face systemic barriers that hinder their ability to thrive as a people and community. Huey also talks about reflecting on one’s own complicity in perpetuating these injustices. As a citizen of the United States of America, we are benefiting from the privileges afforded by colonialism. There is a sense of responsibility to confront and challenge the discrimination of indigenous people. This recognition can be uncomfortable but is necessary for meaningful progress towards justice and reconciliation. Overall, Aaron Huey’s Talk makes the watcher feel a wide range of emotions, from admiration for his advocacy to discomfort in confronting the harsh realities of Native American life. His ability to use statistics and photography to visualize the struggles of these native communities is both powerful and necessary to shed light on the injustices that have been and are continuing to affect them. It also serves as a reminder to our people who don’t feel that it is our fault or responsibility of the ongoing work needed to address the systemic injustices facing natives and the collective responsibility we all share in these injustices of the native people of America.
    2) I believe that Lincoln should be held accountable for his actions in the oppression of the native people, but he is not the only person in American history to blame for the oppression and wrongdoings of these people. As discussed in the ted talk, they have been cheated and lied to since the day we landed here, being lied to about the amount of land they would receive, being moved onto reservations and away from their native land. This has not only put a strain on the trust of the native people and the United States government, but also the native people as a whole. Throughout their whole lives, many modern natives on reservation have experienced some sort of impoverished conditions, addiction, or injustice from the United States legal system. These injustices toward the natives are not only Lincoln’s fault, but rather, many presidents who ignored the needs of these people and created conflicting treaties/acts in order to do what is best for the white society of the given time. Whether this includes taking the land promised to those who already have been stripped of their original homes, or the massacring of those natives who finally take a stand for themselves. The Dakota war was only one of many acts/rulings that unfairly treated natives, deciding things for them rather than asking the people what they want. Many presidents such as discussed in the ted talk like Andrew Jackson with his Indian Removal Act which displaced hundreds of thousands of natives to the reservations that would be slowly stripped from the for the ever expanding white society of Americans. These presidents do not keep the native people in their mind but rather would leave them to fend for themselves and focus on the most important baby of America at the time. The white people. I don’t think that Lincoln’s career as a president should be soured by the mistreatment of the natives, as he was not the sole reason for their injustices, but he should hold some accountability in the overall scheme of the injustices and wrongdoing of the native population as a whole. When viewed in the big picture however, I believe his name should be mentioned when discussing why and how the natives were cheated for so many years, as he falls under the same category as the other presidents who threw the natives to the side.
    3)I believe that the debts owed to the natives should be repaid, and native land of many large tribes should be not only paid for, but returned. I believe it is America’s government’s responsibility to take care of the native people as they do with all other people. I believe there should be more representation of native culture. This could start by creating government funded programs in order to educate Americans about the natives history and how they celebrate their different traditions. And as it goes for the land that was promised to the natives, I believe instead of reservations, we should allow the natives and their communities to decide what should be done with the land, to allow more government funding to the existing reservations, and create more rehab/addiction awareness programs to help those on the reservations struggling with substance abuse and alcoholism. This would not only allow the communities to recover, with better housing and a more healthy/less substance and alcohol reliant community among the natives. This should be the first thing done by the United States government. They should then create more cities/government funded communities in and around native reservations in order to create an economy that relies on the reservation, to avoid the poverty that most reservations are facing. I also believe that the government should help with child care and affordable housing on the reservations. As stated in the ted talk, it talks about the terrible conditions that most houses on reservations are in and how most children are raised by the grandparents. I believe this could be solved by government funded day care, schools, and nurseries on the reservations. And as i said the rehab programs could help people who struggle with the addictions commonly seen on the reservation with recovering and help create a better new generation that would be able to build a stronger community on the reservations. I also think instead of deciding what is and isn’t a reservation, the government should divide the land up and give it to families on the reservation and allow them to decide who and what live/work on the businesses and homes there to allow the reservations to feel more like communities ratchet than separate plots of land where only natives live. I think the debts owed to the natives can never be repaid, but the government can take more action to try and make up for the injustices to the native Americans of our land.

  31. Robert Nelson

    My reaction to the Ted talk is overall negative. The conditions in which these Indigenous peoples have to live is terrible, and the government should be playing an active role in supporting their communities. The slideshow presentation showed awful living conditions in which people had a mess of tattoos, scars, and houses. I’m sure lots of people cope with alcohol or just suicide, and all of the statistics that he mentioned just goes to show you how there needs to be special attention to the restoration of Indigenous communities.
    For Lincoln, it is disappointing to hear that such a great president ordered the massacre. Massacres should never be on the list of any political agenda, and there must have been a better solution. Mt. Rushmore was indeed poorly placed as the holy land for the Indigenous people now has a giant face of the person who massacred them. Whilst I think Mt. Rushmore contains brilliancy, its location is questionable. Overall, I don’t think that Lincoln’s actions should define his legacy, because Indian Removal has been a heinous plethora of crimes committed by presidents before and after his time, so it is not right to put all blame on Lincoln. Lincoln’s legacy certainly has its ups and downs, as does anybody who ever lived, just his ups and downs are on a much larger scale than the common folk, meaning that his downs mean a lot more than others. What I mean is that Lincoln may never be forgiven for his orders, and it will always be a stab in his overall legacy as a president. As for a conclusive stance on Mt. Rushmore, its location will not change, and I don’t think it will be removed either. I believe that it is ok to honor the lionhearts of America, but it is also important to fully understand the major events in the history of your country so that we don’t shy away from what else these faces symbolize.
    As for reparations, I definitely think the country is lacking. What I am not sure about is whether or not we should allot more forested land to the Indigenous people because they may or may not want to go back to their traditional ways of living in the wilderness. On one hand, I feel that they would think it is a lost cause, but on the other hand they may consider it. Whether that is a question or not, one thing for sure is that there is no real way in my opinion to repay the Native Americans, because the government can’t forcibly revive the lives lost in humans and animals, they can’t undamage the ecosystem, and they can’t bring back the culture. And if they won’t give back then land, then they need to improve the living conditions to a great extent for the Indigenous peoples.

  32. Carl

    1. Aaron Huey’s Ted Talk sheds light on the historical injustices and ongoing struggles faced by the Lakota people, particularly those on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I think it provided a compelling narrative, combining historical facts with visuals to illustrate the impact of colonization, broken treaties, and systemic issues. One of the notable aspects of the talk is Huey’s acknowledgment of his own identity as a white person, providing a lens through which he navigates his relationship with the Lakota community. His transparency about being an outsider and acknowledgment of his privilege adds credibility to his message, helping convince me that he truly cared and was not just moral grandstanding. The chronological timeline presented in the talk, outlining the treaties, broken promises, and massacres, constructs a comprehensive narrative that highlights the continuous adversity faced by indigenous people. This context bridges the past and present, connecting the audience to the consequences of colonization and providing context into the systemic issues indigenous people face. For example, Huey highlights the drug and alcohol use in the Pine Ridge Reservation. I especially enjoyed it when he pokes fun at the idea of “white benevolence” near the end of his speech.

    2. While Lincoln is often praised for his leadership during the Civil War and his efforts to preserve the Union, his actions during the Dakota War complicate his legacy. He approved the largest mass execution in U.S. history. This decision reflected a harsh and punitive approach rather than a more nuanced understanding of the underlying issues leading to the conflict. The Dakota people were facing extreme hardship, broken treaties, and unjust treatment, and the harsh response did not consider the root causes of their grievances. Lincoln’s inclusion on Mt. Rushmore is ironic, especially for the Lakota Sioux people who see the monument as a symbol of the subjugation of Indigenous nations. It highlights the tension between Lincoln’s image as a savior of the Union and his role in perpetuating injustice against Native Americans.

    3. Acknowledging the debt America owes to Indigenous nations including forced removals, broken treaties, and cultural genocide, requires a multifaceted approach. Firstly, acknowledging the historical injustices through education is essential. This involves revising school curricula to include a more accurate and comprehensive portrayal of Native American history. It also means recognizing the cultural richness and contributions of Indigenous nations. Furthermore, reparative actions, such as honoring treaties and providing resources for economic development and healthcare can help mitigate the systemic issues faced by indigenous peoples. Land acknowledgments at public events can serve as a symbolic recognition of the historical and ongoing presence of Indigenous peoples.

  33. dylan brand

    My reactions to the blog were mostly positive. Up until the last line I agreed with everything he said. For example, all of the examples of broken treaties that were still being violated today. I also liked how when he asked people to help towards the end of the speech he compared the destruction of native lands to other big examples of poverty to show it’s not at all different. The problem is the average white person in America (including myself until I learned about what was happening) doesn’t know or doesn’t want to admit what is happening. The part I disagreed with was the last line of the speech, his solution. His solution was to love all the land back to the natives, let them do what they want with it. Although this would be great, at this point in time it would be impossible. It’s similar to pollution and global warming. It all started with the generations before us but it’s our problem. You can’t just snap your fingers and remove all the garbage off the streets and stop all CO2 emissions, just like you can’t pick people up and move them to solve a problem. Although, that’s exactly what white people did to Natives which is exactly what makes this such a huge problem.

    Knowing how Lincoln was involved in the native people conflicts by ordering the mass execution of the Dakota men only 2 days after the Emancipation Proclamation lowers my opinion of him. It’s Ironic to me that he is nicknamed “The Great Emancipator” but was part of taking land from Natives. It’s even more ironic that a statue honoring his greatness would be placed in the land where he called for the mass execution and took all their land. This only makes me ask, Did Lincoln actually care about freeing the slaves or was it purely strategical to make sure the union won? I know it’s a huge step to take but I think it’s a necessary question to ask.

    The problem with addressing the debt is the native people want all their land back immediately, and they should, while a lot of Americans don’t want to give it to them and a lot more don’t even know there’s a problem. The other problem is that if the solution is forcefully relocating all white people who have lived there for a century is not any better than what was done to natives from 1492 to today. It certainly wouldn’t fix the problem. Like the speaker said, the best solution requires a time machine.

  34. Charlisa P

    1 — Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why.

    I think that the Ted Talk was educational because it provided a perspective that often goes unheard or is glazed over when we engage in discussions about manifest destiny and westward expansion. My reaction is empathy for Native people, and it’s awful that they still suffer today. The statistics were especially startling — a life expectancy of 46-8 for men is surprising especially since the US average is well over 70. I can guess they probably lack access to quality healthcare, and their school dropout rate also indicates that their education system needs reform.

    2 — After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    Lincoln’s actions contributed to the colonization of Natives, but I think that he was comparatively better than other presidents and politicians for his time. This doesn’t justify his actions, but can put them into perspective. Lincoln famously ordered the execution of thirty-eight Natives in the largest mass execution of US history. However, General Pope initially planned to hang 303 Natives. When Lincoln heard the news, he was reportedly horrified, and cut that number down to 38. This incident also happened in early 1863 – in the midst of the Civil War – and Lincoln couldn’t afford to take attention away from the war. Again, he still led to 38 deaths and signed the Homestead act, which allowed Americans to settle land originally promised to the Lakota. I’m guessing that may have had to do with the Republican party platform, which included many former ‘free-soilers’. But, other politicians at the time held much stronger anti-native prejudices, and there were limits to what were politically feasible at the time. Since Lincoln was already introducing radical anti-slavery legislation, he may not have been able to garner support or invest political capital into Native issues. Still, Lincoln undoubtedly could’ve and should’ve done more to protect Native rights, especially in the context of his support for more African American rights. It’s certainly a stain on his legacy, but keeping in mind the general attitudes of the time and how instrumental he was to progress for Black people, I don’t judge him quite as harshly as I otherwise would.

    3 — Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why?

    I think that there are a few ways that America can reconcile with Indigenous nations. I believe that while it is always important to acknowledge the past, ensuring hat Native people can have opportunities to excel in the future can help them prosper and address the most immediate issues. In the status quo, reservations face high poverty levels and poor access to services like healthcare, education, and more. The US government could invest and expand these services. Encouraging more business in reservations, creating job opportunities, expanding resources for resolving addiction, and strengthening education can help future generations escape cycles of poverty. Moreover, self-determination is key to helping them achieve some level of independence. On the issues of sports mascots and improving services, governments should consult Natives and incorporate their opinions. Other than improving opportunity for the future, symbolic gestures like rescinding medals from the Wounded Knee Massacre and other acknowledgements of injustice can be the first step towards reconciliation.

  35. Kaylen C.

    1.My overall reaction to the TED Talk was very eye opening. The way that the speaker so well spoke and described what life for indigenous people has been like on reservations and how the United States government has betrayed them. One thing that was most eye opening and that I believe that I had the largest reaction to was the list of events that may have been depicted as something that it really wasn’t and treaties that have been broken. This was eye opening to me because it put a more quantitative value and more clear depiction of, firstly, how long this has been taking place, and secondly how many times the indigenous people have been betrayed by the United States government. I thought that the speakers use of photos was also something that further showed what he was talking about, so that instead of just describing something, he gave the audience a picture of what he was describing. Overall I had a negative response to the TED Talk because this gave me a more clear understanding of what has been done to indigenous people over the years and has caused me to think more deeply about what we have been learning about in class.
    2. After reading about the Dakota Wars of 1862 I think that the lack of willingness to look at how the action of the people of the United States at the time to look at any of these conflicts from the view of the indigenous people. It also made me think differently about Abraham Lincoln in relation to how he is taught to most students in history class. Typically Abramham Lincoln is depicted as the president who ended slavery and pulled the nation together at a time of crisis. Not only is this information mostly false, but also in comparison to what he did when dealing the the conflicts with the indigenous people this depiction is the complete opposite. Overall reading about how Lincoln so poorly dealt with the conflicts with the indigenous people it has made me realize that everything that is taught about Lincoln being an amazing president is not necessarily true.
    3. My main thoughts when it comes to paying the debts to the indigenous people is that there is no way to truly and fully repay for the damage that has been done. Nothing can bring back the people who were killed or died because of violence, and nothing can be done to repay for the serve ramifications of being removed from their land that was theirs to begin with. I do think though that some efforts could be made to give recognition to those who were lost, and to give the people still living on reservations today the resources that they need to improve their living conditions and their access to what we have. This is because if we took their land from them to have what we have in our society then one step towards paying any debt to them could be giving them ways to improve and make their lives safer.

  36. Hangyul Kim

    1. Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    I had a somewhere-in-between reaction to the video. In our first trimester of English 10, we discussed the Indian reservations and the struggles that they had to face. It’s a very unfortunate and sad outcome they do not deserve. We talked about the dangers of a single story and how getting more than a single point of view can give us a fuller vision of the situation. The lives of the current Indian population are not as well known and I’m glad to see that people are trying to spread the word about the injustice that Indians have faced throughout history. The video shows the downside of the society we live in and how the American system isn’t great in every way. Many of us are fortunate and can live a good life, but at the same time, we can live this life because we have stepped on others to reach the top of the hill. This goes with many of our ideologies in American society, like “Survival of the fittest”. This greed that envelopes America has pushed away morals and the system we live on encourages benefitting yourself only. I agree with the speaker that it is unfair that the Indians have to live on reservations and that the land that they truly deserve and the equality that they truly deserve is not given to them.

    2. After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    This was the time leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln and the Republican party had a partial agenda to free the blacks from the Confederacy and Lincoln a year later would release the Emancipation Proclamation, a document declaring that all black slaves in the Confederacy were declared free. It seems that though the crucial fight for the freedom of black people was going on, no one seemed to care for the Indians. President Lincoln himself, just two days after he released the Emancipation Proclamation, ordered the execution of 38 Sioux men in the West. He also released the Homestead Act of 1862, disregarding the Indians that were living there and encouraging Americans to move into the occupied Western territories. President Lincoln was not a radical, he didn’t advocate for the immediate emancipation of slaves or rights for blacks. He didn’t care for the rights of Indians or their terrible history of suffering either. Though he was influential, his views on slavery or civil rights did not change greatly during his presidency. He adapted to the situation that he was given and became the leader.

    3. Discuss your thoughts/concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    Canada is doing a much better job at honoring Indians compared to America. There, they are calling Indians the First Nations people and extensively teach the history of the people and the injustice they faced. Though the reservations aren’t much better than America’s, they at least recognize the injustices they had committed and put an effort into honoring them. They even play the First Nation version of the national anthem often. But the biggest step America could take to acknowledge its debts would be to actually put an effort into doing so. Improving living conditions, giving more support to those on reservations, trying to get many out of alcoholism, and providing welfare for those in need. All of these could be the first step into acknowledging the debts that America owes. Even bringing more awareness and recognition would be better than having nothing. The Indigenous people and the nations have been treated with unfairness for hundreds of years and an entire continent has been almost completely taken away from them. It is time for America to repay its debts.

  37. Sofia Alrawi

    1. I believe that the information presented in Huey’s TED Talk is something that all viewers should educate themselves on due to its ongoing importance and the people it currently affects in our own country. Additionally, I enjoy the way Huey shows pictures of the reservation side by side with his empowering speech, which serves to form a bigger picture of how these conditions on the reservations are a consequence of the centuries of cruelty endured by native people during the expansion of America. Also, Huey frequently references instances where betrayals and broken treaties have occurred, and I like how he implies that we are still responsible for these wrongs by our inaction despite not being directly responsible for them.
    2. To most people in America, Abraham Lincoln’s actions against slavery, such as the Emancipation Proclamation and aiding the passage of the 13th Amendment, mark him as a hero in our history and a strong advocate for racial equality. However, during the Dakota War, Lincoln frequently took actions which harmed the native population and forced them further out of their lands despite several treaties promising their safety. For instance, he did nothing to stop white settlers from encroaching on native territory, and under his presidency the indigenous tribes were forced onto reservations to allow for further settlement of the western territories. Most notably, however, was his decision in the trials following the Dakota War. When presented with the transcripts of trials condemning 303 men to death, Lincoln and his cabinet sentenced 38 of the accused to execution by hanging. Though many will say that he was merciful to pardon so many, or that their deaths were necessary to please the public, there is nothing redeemable in executing men whose worst crime was to defend their people’s future in battle.
    3. There is much more to atoning for America’s wrongs than empty apologies or poorly funded efforts to lift reservations out of poverty. I believe that the debt we owe can never be truly repaid until we restore lands to the native people who lived on them for centuries before us. Still, the government should be ready and willing to put strong support into efforts to create jobs and better housing on reservations, especially improvements with the education system to give more opportunities to indigenous children. Moreover, the countless lives lost in massacres such as Wounded Knee should be properly memorialized, and the crimes done to them should be acknowledged rather than forgotten in history.

  38. Vidushani Hettiarachchi

    After watching Aaron Huey’s Ted Talk, my reaction to it is positive in the sense that we should honor the treaties. Even though these events have taken place before we were born, it is important to acknowledge the abuse Native Americans encountered and to respect the tribes that were on this land first. At the very end of the Ted Talk Huey states, “It’s not your business what they do with them”. I strongly agree and want to generalize this statement because it wasn’t just about the Black Hills but everything Native Americans and their ancestors fought for.
    In 1862, a war broke out between the United States and many bands of the Dakota. Eventually the Dakota lost and Lincoln executed 38 of them which were hanged. His actions during this time complicate what he represented to our country. The Emancipation Proclamation says that all people held as slaves shall be free which is contradictory to what he has done. The Dakota War caused the largest reduction in the Native American population during this time. It’s unhinged to think that Lincoln’s face was on Mt. Rushmore despite what he did to Native Americans and doesn’t help that it was the holy land for Lakota Sioux people.
    My thoughts on how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations is to remember and honor the people best to our ability for everything that has gone through. Manifest destiny has taken a toll on history and impacted people in such a way to think they were superior which led them to believe it was their right to take land. Soon, Andrew Jackson encouraged the Indian Removal Act of 1830 to move Native Americans west of the Mississippi river because they were seen as a threat. Although this was in the past, we can still provide a comfortable and diverse environment. As a person of color, whenever I get microaggressions I would like people to apologize and take accountability rather than to play it off and ignore it. Invalidating someone is far worse than to leave it. As long as we know what Native Americans stood for, we know that no race is inferior. Also, to answer the question if we should replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Day, I completely agree. We learned that Columbus had intentions of earning gold but after finding out about Native Americans, he became dependent on them and the idea of white supremacy.

  39. Lynn Meradi

    1. My reaction to the Ted Talk was surprised by the man discussing his relation to the Lakots because in certain situations he is accepted in the community. However, at other times, he is seen as a white man who wants to make the best for himself, which shows the effects history has left with these ingenious nations and how it can truly go one way or the other, for some negative or positive experiences. I like the way the speaker read out the history from the Lakota perspective since the history books do not teach it and simply go with what is written records and attempt to explore the other side of things. I was surprised to find out that the treaty that was broken in 1852, could have completely changed the way America was built if there were no broken promises within the Lakota nation. It was interesting to find out there was a specific time when treaties ended with indigenous nations because that would mean they could live as sovereign nations which was a problem for America. The battle in 1890 is known as the largest amount of metals of honor being awarded in battles of American History is honestly not shocking, because of the multitude of acts and horrible treatment against indigenous people. Overall, I love how the TED talk brought in the perspective of the Lakota nation and not just what American textbooks have us believe.

    2. How the Dakota War complicates Lincoln’s legacy is by looking at the events taking place during that time. Lincoln, during the Civil War, was fighting the Confederate states for seceding from the Union and didn’t show the harsh nature that was done to the Dakota men. While Lincoln seemed to have some sort of leniency towards the Confederate states, an example is the Ten Percent Plan and how he went with this one rather than the Wade-Davis Bill. This shows how Indigenous people were not seen as Americans until the law established they were in 1924 and how even then they were not treated like human beings. One point that is worth mentioning is the fact that he called for the execution of thirty-eight Dokota men (one who was wrongfully convicted, found out in later years, in the eyes of the government). This is known to be the largest mass execution in the entirety of American history. The irony is the fact that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, just two days after the execution took place. Along with the fact that Lincoln cut down the number of convicted Dakota men from three hundred to thirty-eight, which begs the question of why he went through with it if had the power to call off the execution of the other two hundred sixty-two men.

    3. I think that America has a long way to go when it comes to the debt owed to Indigenous peoples. The nation should look around at other countries and how they’ve been able to honor the indigenous nations that have lived there long before anyone else, an example is Canada. America should first start off by replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, as well as focusing more on reservations and funding them so that the people living there have the bare necessities when it comes to proper food and housing. However, for America to truly respect and honor indigenous nations they need to be able to listen to them and what they need. It’s important to acknowledge these things because in Western society it’s become too normalized to look past this history and not think anything of it, when these are the nations that built America, but get treated terribly and like they are lesser than? That shouldn’t be normal and Americans should try to acknowledge its history and not try to cover it up like nothing happened because that’s how history and culture get erased.

  40. Clare G

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    It was very eye opening to hear history from the perspective of the oppressed rather than the oppressor. While I was aware of the United States’ harsh treatment of Indigenous nations, listening to their point of view on the same history I’ve heard my whole life shed new light on the matter. Seeing life on reservations depicted through photographs provided a moving glimpse into their reality, which made me feel a mix of fascination and sorrow. However, the true weight of the situation became apparent after hearing the staggering statistics that truly showed the gravity and consequences of systemic injustices faced by Indigenous peoples.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    Abraham Lincoln’s involvement in the 1862 Dakota War presents a complex and often overlooked aspect of his legacy, one that complicates his legacy as the ‘Great Emancipator.’
    As the war escalated, Lincoln faced political pressure to take a harsh stance. In the end, he approved the execution of 38 Dakota men just two days after the emancipation proclamation, the largest mass execution in U.S. history.This decision was horrible and stands in contrast to Lincoln’s reputation as a leader who fought for justice and equality. It raises questions about the consistency of his principles and the extent to which political power and pressures influenced his actions. While Lincoln’s role in the Dakota War may not negate his achievements in preserving the Union and ending slavery, it does force us to confront the complexities and contradictions of his legacy.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    I think that it would be a very complicated and messy process to amend all the wrongs done to the Native people of our land. Of the questions asked in the blog prompt, I believe that the following would be the least complicated to accomplish; Returning their religious artifacts(provided they want them), pushing for the revocation of the medals of honor, and replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Of course, these things would be difficult and take time, but they face the least amount of problems. The topic of sports team mascots is confusing to me. See, when we read the article about it, it seemed that some tribes didn’t care either way. It is my belief that it should be up to the tribe the mascot represents/appropriate to decide if it is disrespectful. The most complicated of the presented solutions is the abolishment of reservations and the idea of returning the Black Hills and other historically native land. I did some google searches, and what I found was that there are around 200,000 people living in the Black Hills. While it is stolen land, there are still thousands of people whose lives are on that land, and it’s still unfair to uproot countless families without giving them a choice(ironic I know).Returning this land to it’s original, arguably rightful owners, would take years of planning and slow execution. Additionally, abolishing reservations would take a lot of planning as well, and may do more harm than good, once again uprooting and abandoning Indigenous people. Ultimately, I think that these decisions cannot be made by anyone other than the people they affect. The big question was what do we owe them? We owe them a say in their own future, their own lives. We owe them a choice.

  41. Helena Zweig

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;

    This video was extremely heartbreaking, spun out in fine detail on how America, time and time again has made an effort to effectively destroy the Native American population. The land stolen from indigenous people and multiple governmental policies to deprive nations of their rights is despicable, and must be acknowledged and resolved with something more than a standard and bland apology, not expressing the forgiveness to give back, but in simple words that fall flat. It was absolutely a positive reaction to the video, certainly not in agreement with the acts committed, but with the message behind the words. To truly forgive, we must not take all the meat, but share and distribute all that white Americans have taken so that the scales of balance become filled with justice.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).

    Lincoln’s legacy has always been more complicated than it seems. The action of issuing an order of mass execution, and only two days after the Emancipation Proclamation no less, is deeply troubling. America already has a long list of injustices against Native Americans, especially when allotting land to various nations and then proceeding to take that land away (Homestead Act of 1862). Lincoln is just another name to add to that list in regards to the horrors he’s inflicted upon indigenous people. It is continuing a horrific pattern, but equally disgraceful, that Mt. Rushmore, a revered spot for the Lakota people, is branded with the faces of their oppressors. All of the men carved into the hill, one way or another, became a part of the tapestry of hatred America threads. This information about Lincoln deserves to be shared with the world, to let others decide the extent of Lincoln’s positive legacy, and to further a movement to restore the lands to Native Americans.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.

    America needs to restore, at the very least, the reserved lands for the Lakota and various nations as outlined in the Ted Talk. Acknowledging so far has put America only so far, admitting to starting tragedies (like the Dakota War or Wounded Knee Massacre) but not taking the active steps necessary to give back the land. Annually, I believe the U.S. should issue a statement detailing how Native American communities are being supposed, with these claims being checked out by non-governmental authorities to assure the actions are being carried out. In addition to this, government spending should be put aside to assist reservations and build necessary businesses to combat unemployment. Finally, any land that bears the visage of any who has committed travesties upon Native American land should be destroyed and immediately returned to the people residing in that area. Even these measures will never be able to make up for the devastation the U.S. has caused, but with them or something like them, America will be moving, slowly but surely, in the right direction.

  42. Corinne

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;
    I thought Aaron Huey did very well in describing the little known history and modern day status of the indigenous nations in America. From the beginning, his introduction of the phrase “the one who takes the best meat for himself” being synonymous with white was interesting to me. It rang true in all ways; from the first Europeans to enter the Americas until today, white people have always taken the best lands for themselves, chopping and chipping away at indigenous land to do so. Even when it seems like the indigenous are left with the smallest chunks of unwanted land possible, there is somehow still more to take, and it must always be the best available. After his introduction, the speaker dives into the history of indigenous relations with the U.S government. However, he doesn’t just focus on the defeats. In fact, he brings up at least two instances of indigenous victory that I had never once heard of before. The light shed upon these successful instances of fighting back showcases the strength of these nations, despite their eventual losses. One historical event that especially stood out to me was the seven medals awarded to the murderers at the Wounded Knee Massacre. Not only were these medals awarded, tarnishing the word “honor”, but it was the greatest number of medals given for a single battle. In this case, it wasn’t a battle at all, rather a deliberate massacre. As the speaker states, Wounded Knee marked a turning point in American history, when the government openly attempted to wash their hands of all things Sioux. Next, the speaker describes the conditions on indigenous reservations, including alcoholism, crumbling houses, higher rates of cancer, and more. To finish, Huey implores the audience to think about what they can do to truly make a change, emphasizing the complexity of this ongoing issue. He ends with a clear demand: “Give back the Black Hills”. This made me wonder how we personally can help indigenous communities today and what the best way is to pressure the government to finally listen. This non-indigenous man sharing the indigenous story so people would pay attention struck me. What does it say about America that a white man has to be the speaker of a story he was not a part of?
    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).
    Knowing the atrocities that occurred during this time, including the Battle of Little Bighorn, makes Lincoln’s legacy much less shiny than it used to be. Not only did he allow so much mass slaughter to happen in innocent indigenous communities, but he ordered killings and passed acts that he knew very well would trample upon previous deals and promises the United States government had made with the various indigenous nations across the country. His decision to pass acts such as the Homestead Act were completely catered to white settlers who stole the indigenous people’s land from right under their feet. Even land designated specifically for indigenous nations was stripped away, and they were crammed into smaller and smaller plots of land, nothing more than an inconvenience to land-hungry white settlers. The hanging of 38 Lakota warriors by Lincoln’s orders, the largest mass execution in U.S history, is especially shocking. With the general narrative surrounding the president, the truth of his capabilities is nauseating. The aggression towards indigenous populations did not start nor end with Lincoln, but he was certainly not innocent. His face, as well as the others, being carved permanently into Lakota holy land is a mockery, and only further sours his legacy. In conclusion, Lincoln should not be celebrated without accepting his downfalls, or praised without remembering his evils.
    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.
    In the modern day, there are still countless concerns surrounding how indigenous communities still very much in existence today should be compensated for what they have had to endure over the centuries since European colonization began on this continent. Firstly, Columbus Day should certainly be abolished in favor of a day in celebration of the many indigenous cultures who, despite the awful circumstances and aggression from the government, still live on in vibrant and lively descendants today. Rather than praise a man who wrought havoc upon whoever he met on this “new” land and slaughtered so many, the nation should really celebrate the people who were here first, before any white person even stepped foot on the shores. Next, while reservations should not have had to exist in the first place, they still are set on top of land that is special to the indigenous people who still live there. However, rather than letting the people in these areas live in complete poverty, the government should take a strong stance in support of the reservations they themselves forced indigenous people to live on. Financial aid, supplies, and anything they might want should be provided. In fact, they should let the people decide for themselves what they want for once, instead of trying to decide for them, like in the case of the Dawes Act. When it comes to the matter of whether or not to rescind medals of honor given to murderers of the indigenous, they should certainly take back this mockery of what it means to be honorable. These men were not heroes; they were slaughterers. Historians have already marked this event as a stain on the nation’s history, so why should these medals still be left in the hands of the aggressors? In the instance of team names supposedly “in honor” of indigenous nations, the clear answer is that they should immediately remove the offensive names and mascots, replacing them with better alternatives. If they truly want to honor the indigenous people who live here, they should support and lift up indigenous voices in this country. If the goal is to honor, the best way to do so is to honor the wishes of the people themselves, who certainly never asked for a team called the Kansas City Chiefs. Furthermore, all desired artifacts locked away in museums should be returned to their rightful owners if true respect is something non-indigenous Americans want to give. While Canada’s policies only get part of the way to where we all should be, there can still be a lesson learned from them. Rather than demean and diminish, we should honor, respect, and, most importantly, listen.

  43. Max

    The Ted Talk video gave me more insight on how much American settlers took from the Indigenous people when they arrived in America and how it has affected their lives up until today. These tribes have been isolated in reservations and face poverty, violence and addiction but get no support from anyone. The video also reminds me how much these Nations have been cheated and stolen from over the course of centuries and how white settlers invaded their land and have completely ignored and shy away from responsibility. When the speaker mentions how the Buffalo and Bison were killed it makes me feel a sense of hopelessness for the tribes because for them Buffalo are food, supplies and clothing but settlers killed so many of them for fun and with no regard to their significance and importance for the Indigenous people.

    I think that Lincoln’s legacy often is glorified because people believe that he freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation and people don’t research the rest of his life. Lincoln was president during the Dakota War in 1862 in which Natives from Minnesota battled federal troops due to Westward Expansion and the Federal Army ended up winning. Despite Lincoln not leading the attack or being directly involved in the aftermath of the war he was responsible for the hanging of 38 Dakota Sioux people. This shows that Lincoln was not as great of a person as people made him out to be because he punished the Dakota people for something that they were not in the wrong for and had no remorse about it because afterwards he and three other presidents were honored by having their heads carved into Mount Rushmore, which is in the Black Hills of South Dakota, which is home to many Native tribes. It is truly disturbing how someone can do so much harm to a group of people and then leave a large monument honoring yourself, in the same place.

    I do not think that America will be able to ever make up for what they have done to the Indigenous people. The actions that have happened in the past and that continue to happen have been only detrimental to Native tribes and are hard to come back from. Some changed that should be made though, include getting rid of Columbus Day as a National Holiday and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day. Also, the Government needs to better support the people on Reservations to manage and eliminate the problems of poverty and addiction across all Reservations. The appropriation of Native American culture in sports teams and in general should stop being normalized by society and should be frowned upon, and old Native artifacts and belongings that have been taken and been put in museums should be returned as this is stolen property that doesn’t belong to anyone but the respective Nation it came from.

  44. Kabir Kapur

    My reactions to the Ted Talk are to be feeling emotionally disturbed and a slight sense of confusion as well. I feel as if the issues that Aaron Huey goes over are so closely connected to everyday American lives that it makes one feel a sense of disturbance emotionally. Knowing that all that we have today wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the discrimination and past policies that these Indigenous Tribes faced is horrifying. Also learning about President Lincoln’s mass-execution of the Indigenous shows the horrific history that the Natives have in this country. It shows me that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t exactly the man that everyone said he was. His execution of so many Indigenous people shows the prejudices and injustices that he held in his mind towards Natives.
    Reading about the 1862 Dakota War certainly does complicate Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. He’s known as one of the greatest presidents of all time for his work in the Civil War and thus ending slavery. However, he completely contradicts his Emancipation Proclamation by his actions in the Dakota War. Him deciding to approve executing 38 Indigenous men without any fair trials shows the prejudices he must have held towards them. In saying that slaves should be free, one would assume that Lincoln held these beliefs for all people, yet his legacy remains tainted by his earlier actions in the Dakota War. Additionally, his face on Mount Rushmore shows the utmost disrespect towards the tribes who suffered because of his actions. His orders to execute 38 men as well as the inequality he provided them prove that there should be no reason for him to have his face on the Lakota Sioux’s sacred land. If one was to give Lincoln the benefit of the doubt, they can believe that his views changed in the one year that it took from the Dakota War to the Emancipation Proclamation.
    I believe that to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations, we need to recognize the injustices that we have perpetuated towards Indigenous tribes. We have to understand that we forced them to be displaced from their lands and oppressed them for centuries as well as disrespected their culture by placing the faces of presidents on their sacred holy land. We have to start with acknowledging these injustices publicly (which has been done), respect the treaties made with Native Americans, and help out Natives in their healthcare, educational, and economical issues throughout their communities.

  45. Maddie Z

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;
    I felt the Ted Talk brought up important topics that are frequently ignored. The true source of why poverty is so rampant on native reservations is never discussed, leading many people to be ignorant to what really happened so many years ago. The video, along with more media nowadays, is addressing these topics and raising awareness for these issues. That on its own is very powerful and a success of the Ted Talk. However my own personal reactions to the Ted Talk were that of gratitude, but also not shaking the feeling the video came off a little fake. It only addressed the struggles of reservation life which yes are important, however, It showcases Native culture as something to be pitied in our time period. The message is important but why was Huey discussing it? I feel the video would have been much more powerful if he got a Native person to talk about the struggles and the successes of native culture, rather than the video coming off a bit in ‘White Savior’ territory.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).
    This knowledge can complicate his legacy because he is often regarded as a very liberal, forward thinking man who ‘saved’ enslaved people and completely freed them from the society they had been forced into. This legacy originated from history being told from a very Eurocentric position that glorifies much of what America did in its past. His legacy has been exceedingly complicated throughout the modern day as historians from different backgrounds seek the truth of what the government and our founding fathers have done. Lincoln is known as an antiracist man yet he signed off on the biggest mass execution in U.S. history that involved people who did not do anything wrong originally, they were just defending their land and culture which the U.S. was unfairly stealing from them. The fact after Lincoln silenced so many voices and committed this violent act, and his face became immortalized in the holy land of the Lakota, is something truly offensive. It rubs salt in the wound of the biased history told about Native Americans.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.
    I am not entirely sure on how to address the debt America owes all indigenous nations. I believe we desperately need to do something as a nation to help out in the struggles this group faces considering the atrocities the people in our history have committed. We should work to preserve native culture that was destroyed through the boarding schools meant to whitewash native children. Aaron Huey’s call to action of giving the Black Hills back to Indigenous nations is an important ideal as well. However, I am not educated enough on the topic to try and repay all of America’s debts. The most important part of repaying the nations would be to communicate with people on the reservations and see what they would consider fair.

  46. Delilah

    1. Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why;
    I thought that the Ted Talk was very insightful. The man who was speaking had the ability to critique his own bystanding and also the governments, which is not something many people are able (or want) to do. He presented the constant violations of the U.S. showing just the facts, leaving no room for people to second guess what he was saying, which I believe is the most effective way to present this type of information. I think that the showing of photographs he had taken was also very effective because it illustrates how Native American people are still being treated the same way, years and years later.

    2. After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).
    Lincoln is known as the Great Emancipator, he takes responsibility for freeing so many Black slaves, and history likes to paint him in the wonderful light. After watching the video, and with what we have learned in class, most of what he did as president was just for the good of the people, it was also greatly for his own political gain. Lincoln’s face being on Mount Rushmore (or any of the president’s faces for that matter) is a mockery of the Lakota and other indigenous tribes suffering. Lincoln by extension killed hundreds of Native Americans and now his face hangs in stone over their lands in a National Park. Abraham Lincoln had the power as president to keep the Lakota and Sioux tribes on their land, to not have them massacred, but decided not to because white people wanted to live there.

    3. Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.
    No matter what people do to repay the Indigenous nations, there will always be people who are upset about it. It is also necessary to acknowledge that there is no ultimate way to repay the Native American tribes and people. While we can not go back in time and undo what our ancestors did, we need to hold them accountable for it. Holding them accountable could mean removing faces from Mount Rushmore and replacing them with the faces of tribe leaders, or the faces of those massacred. It could mean changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s day in order to recognize the atrocities committed by the people who claimed to have discovered this land. It could mean helping out people on reservations by giving them ways to get out of poverty. That would mean better schools and education, better access to jobs, resources to help with addictions, and basic necessities like food, water, and electricity.

  47. Vishwa Charabuddi

    1. I appreciated the honesty and courage of the speaker in delving into such a difficult and often overlooked aspect of our nation’s history. It’s essential to confront uncomfortable truths, even if they challenge our perceptions or national narratives. By shining a light on this dark era, we are contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of our past and paving the way for important discussions about reconciliation and justice. I also couldn’t help but feel a sense of discomfort and even guilt when confronted with the atrocities committed against Native American communities throughout history. It’s unsettling to realize the extent of the suffering and injustice inflicted upon indigenous peoples, and it’s a reminder of the ongoing struggles they face today. It takes a lot of courage to criticize the state and especially at a public stage like Ted Talk, and I’m glad people are agreeing with this movement.

    2. Lincoln encroached troops to suppress the uprisings, while his administration also recognized underlying issues that led to the conflict. Lincoln commuted the sentences of many Dakota prisoners and appointed individuals advocating for more humane treatment of Native Americans. This makes me also feel guilty like question one because I had opinions on Lincoln to be the greatest president but that changed because he followed the crowd and makes me double think his intentions behind slavery too. Society is clearly blinded by the actions political leaders took among the indigenous to the extent that the population is diminishing everyday. Instead of solely focusing on suppression, Lincoln could have actively engaged in dialogue with indigenous leaders, provided equitable resources, and upheld treaties, acknowledging their rightful place in the nation’s fabric whilst achieving goals of economic prosperity with the land that currently exists. Societies in the past were able to do so without the idea of Manifest Destiny.

    3. In order to acknowledge the debt this involves addressing land reparations, respecting sovereignty, and investing in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship programs that are specific to indigenous nations. Preserving cultural heritage, and advancing equity and inclusion are crucial steps because as the population is diminishing everyday it’s necessary or else there would be nothing to support. Economic policy is a key aspect and that economic policy that is not mirrored to those who weren’t affected. Re-establishing broken connections between Indigenous communities and mainstream society is key. This involves fostering mutual respect, understanding, and collaboration. By acknowledging past wrongs and actively working to repair relationships we can make bigger steps than other generations in policy.

  48. Aaron H

    Describe your reactions to the Ted Talk – positive, negative, somewhere in between – and explain why.
    Personally, I didn’t have any certain reaction to the video. While it was interesting to learn more about Indigenous history, I’ve known about the U.S’s disgusting treatment towards Indigenous groups for years. I can say that Aaron Huey did a fantastic job of portraying just how horrid that treatment was & is. Though, I do wish he went into more detail about how indigenous groups are still being mistreated nowadays. Even so, I learned a lot things from his TED talk, such as: the fact that reservations were first called prisoner of war camps, “Wasichu”s meaning (non-indian or greedy (specifically the one who takes the best part of the meat)), how the Bureau of Indian Affairs (1824) was created within the war department, and the fact Indian population reached their lowest point (250,000) in 1900. The details Huey included were also amazing, what I especially loved was the quote from Black Elk: “I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch, as plain as I saw them with eyes still young.” It’s amazing that he included actual perspectives from those in the reservations, especially from those that lived through these massacres. Not to mention how Huey ended the TED talk which was utterly astounding: “my TED wish, is this: Honor the treaties. Give back the Black Hills. It’s not your business what they do with them.” 100% props to him, he did an amazing job, and truly educated everyone there.

    After reading and discussing the 1862 Dakota War, how does knowledge of Lincoln’s actions during this time complicate his legacy? (Keep in mind, it is his face – along with Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt – on Mt. Rushmore in the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people).
    Lincoln is remembered as a valiant president due to his actions during the civil war, but he should also be remembered for the horrors he allowed to be committed against Indigenous nations. I mean, he literally said “Attend to the Indians… necessity knows no law”, he is not a good person. Now, one can bring up how Lincoln & his cabinet negotiated with Gen. Pope and minimized a massacre from 303 down to 39 then to 38. But, this was and still is the biggest mass execution in U.S. history. Not to mention his signing of the Homestead Act, taking even more land away from the reservations. And the fact his face, along with others, is plasters on the holy land for the Lakota Sioux people is absolutely disgusting.

    Discuss your thoughts / concerns about how to acknowledge the debt America owes the Indigenous nations and why.
    I don’t think America can ever atone for its debts regarding the Indigenous nations, not unless we invent time travel. The amount of death is more than enough for America to never be able to redeem itself. Sure, one could argue against America’s fault for the disease related deaths, maybe even those related to the buffalo’s practical extinction. But what about the massacres, the mass executions, the relocations? Murder, at least in my mind, is not something one can atone for. Though, only the indigenous nations, only those families suffered from these deaths. The murderers are long dead having lived guilt free. While the families struggled to stay alive themselves, being seen as trash from day one, even with all they’ve done to help America. But, if reparations were to begin, while they would never be enough, they could help those struggling. First, indigenous lands should be given back to them, reservations should be given more funding, and help should be provided to the people living on said reservations. That’s just a start, a small start, but a start nonetheless.

  49. Isabella Franco

    I think that this TED talk is a positive thing, while some may see it as otherwise. Yes, the speaker was a white man talking about Native American struggles, however, he explained that the Lakota tribe welcomes him like family, and he has a very close relationship with them. It is also a fact that our society constantly pushes down BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) voices. While we’d like to believe the opposite, it is the harsh reality that being white still comes with special privileges, even in 2024. By using his voice as a white man to speak up against issues that are constantly ignored by our government, Huey is doing good for his Lakota friends and family. However, it would be ideal for us in the future to open conversations like this to people whose voices rightfully need to be heard, rather than white men.

    After learning about how Lincoln allowed thousands of white settlers on Native American lands days after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, his image in my mind is changed. Lincoln, typically portrayed as the savior who freed the slaves, allowed Native American lands to be overtaken. My image of Lincoln was already changed by learning about his hesitation to pass the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact, he may not have even passed the act if not convinced by the rest of the country. Knowing this, and what he did to Lakota lands, his legacy is extremely complicated to me. I don’t want to say that Lincoln was a bad president, because the Emancipation Proclamation was extremely important and impactful for American history. However, Lincoln being displayed on Mount Rushmore (Dakota lands) is an extremely complicated situation.

    America definitely owes a lot to the Native Americans, being that we stole and kicked them from their own land. To this day, Native Americans still face discrimination on their own land. Acknowledging this debt is an extremely complicated issue, as there is a lot to discuss. As Huey suggested, Native American land, such as the Black Hills, should be returned to them, and Indigenous People’s Day should be something that we celebrate each year. This is not erasing the accomplishments made by white people such as Lincoln or Columbus, as some people argue, this is simply repaying a lifelong debt that we as a country owe to the original settlers on our land. It is time for the government to stop ignoring the Native Americans, and acknowledge the wrongs that have been done.

  50. Lauren Goins

    (1)My initial reactions to the Ted Talk were surprise and sadness. One thing that particularly surprised me was the guest speaker’s reference to the disturbance in the Lakota Plains caused by railroad companies. From the videos that we watched in class, I originally assumed that the workers would take the longest route across the country, simply because placing more tracks meant that they were earning more money. Yet, the workers still chose to disturb the native nations by cutting through them.
    Another aspect of the video that caught my attention was the speaker’s clear feelings on the topic that he was lecturing about. The way that the speaker’s voice caught spoke toward his emotions, as well as his tone when referencing negligence towards the topic. Mr. Huey makes it known that he is very displeased with the American custom of convenience that leads citizens to shy away from uncomfortable situations. Especially, situations in which opinions that negatively view the past and current treatment of native nations are shared, and the possibility of said opinions being openly invalidated hand in the air.

    (2)The years 1861 to 1865 were very stressful for Lincoln, especially since the south had succeeded, and the task deemed most important was the unification of the confederacy and union. However, Native nations in the Great Lakes Region decided that they needed to act on their displeasure with Americans in their lands. Though occupied with Robert E. Lee and his forces, Lincoln sent General John Pope to ideally address the tensions in Minnesota, and placed Ulysses S Grant in Pope’s former frontline spot.
    Lincoln’s legacy becomes complicated because he is seen as a figure that pushed America towards integration and, in later times, equality. But, this progression was targeted toward the dehumanized African American population, and left loopholes for the interpretation of the position of Native nations in North America up for debate.

    (3)As we know, Americans are very insensitive when it comes to matters of adjusting one’s norm to accommodate a certain group of people. Since select cities and states are already adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus day, I believe that the first action made should be to push for a similar switch in state legislatures across the country. But, if any action were to be made, I think that it would be smart to rescind the Medals of Honor awarded to the 7th Cavalry after the Wounded Knee Massacre. With the repeal of these awards, one of the strongest and oldest ties to the stigmas around the native nations and the celebration of their casualties will be effectively severed.

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