Education | Opinion

Ivan Star Comes Out: Education system diminishes Native people






Ivan F. Star Comes Out

Distorting historic events about Indians
By Ivan F. Star Comes Out
Native Sun News Today Columnist
nativesunnews.today

I learned the truth about American history while working in St. Paul in the early 1990s. As natives, we have been omitted from history texts, as taught in the American school system. Basically, we have been banned from modern society. Instead, our ancestors were assailed, massacred. The survivors were “civilized” and “Christianized.” As descendants, we are still misunderstood and maltreated.

Although an accurate native population count in 1492 is difficult, it has been estimated that up to 90% were slaughtered, 112 million to 6 million in 1560. This is the result of the indiscriminate slaughter under the “Manifest Destiny” doctrine, established by a Papal Bull in 1452. Native people were relegated to a Godless, inimical, and subhuman status. They were basically a hindrance to “civilization.”

The church had authorized the God-fearing Puritan newcomers to kill “Indians” and not feel remorse, similar to killing a wolf or a snake. We have been successfully portrayed as imbecilic creatures of nature, void of intelligence. We have an increasing number of faiths still on my home reservation targeting children as a means to “save us” for the “kingdom of heaven.”

Don’t misunderstand me, I respect these churches. The problem lies in the fact that they don’t respect me and my beliefs. Actually, I suspect that some of these minsters are being used to acquire money for their own human materialistic wants and needs. I doubt that the people have a genuinely pious interest in “saving” us from “eternal damnation.”

Also, I recall being confronted with, “Your people don’t have the wherewithal to even invent the wheel.” I was at a loss for words simply due to the fact that I did not have any. The new nation’s education system, including the Christian doctrine, made sure of that. I was physically removed from my culture and history which left a huge cultural void. I had nothing with which I could reply astutely.

Anyhow, here I am 20-30 years later and I can say that we have contributed more than can be imagined to this society. I learned that American history, as taught in the nation’s school system, including “Indian” schools, has been self-serving. An obvious result of this is that it diminished and eventually obliterated Native America’s credibility as humans.


Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Distorting historic events about Indians

(Ivan F. Star Comes Out, POB 147, Oglala, SD 57764, (605) 867-2448, mato_nasula2@outlook.com)

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