Opinion: Native people 'airbrushed' out of American society

President George W. Bush presents medals to 21 Navajo Code Talkers during a ceremony honoring their military service at the U.S. Capitol July 26. During World War II, the Code Talkers used their native language as an unbreakable code to relay secret messages. White House photo by Paul Morse

Writer wonders why Native Americans are virtually absent from popular culture:
When one watches movies, news reports, history etc about the United States, it would seem that the contribution and existence of Indians or, as they are called these days, Native Americans seemed to have been airbrushed out of history.

You get the impression that the USA had all of its native population killed off by disease or war, as Europeans from the east to west settled the lands from the 1600s onward. This is plainly not the case, as in the USA today, there's 2 to 3 million Native Americans from well known tribes such as the Sioux and the Apache, all living their lives as if the white man had never set foot in the Americas.

Obviously, conditions on a lot of reservations are not exactly hotbeds of pleasure for those tribes that live on them. Alcoholism and crime is rife and many tribes try to keep their traditions going not just for the sake of curious tourists but for the sake of their culture, in order to keep it alive for the next generation. Many Native American tribes now own casinos either in places like Las Vegas or in the reservations, where money can be used to fund projects in the reservation.

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Nick Bishop: Native American people airbrushed seemingly from American society and culture (Blasting News 2/16)

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