Home Social Justice Featured Blog: Native Americans and the discrimination of indigenous people across the globe

Featured Blog: Native Americans and the discrimination of indigenous people across the globe

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For hundreds of years, many indigenous people have been discriminated against across the globe. The most notable have been Native Americans, who have seen the full force of the impact of European colonization take place on their land. But this is happening around the globe to many people who believe their land belongs to them and has been taken, resulting in them being discriminated and treated poorly.

The late 15th century began the colonization of Europe into North America and the taking over of Native American land. By the 1960s and the rise of the Black Power Movement, many remember the struggles of African Americans reaching autonomy but forget the plight that the natives faced. The American Indian Movement was one of the few groups that advocated its rights at this time. They were inspired by the Black Power Movement and its use of media, but this outshone a lot of the American Indian voice. But many were fighting for their rights of their land and dealt with discrimination on the same level as African Americans.

The Native American population is on the rise, and demographics show how there will be 11.2 million in 2060, yet many face discrimination still today. What has become evident in recent years is the extensive cultural appropriation from many celebrities, some, for example, dressing as Native Americans for Halloween. Also, many high schools and colleges use Native Americans as mascots to represent history, but many see this as discrimination. Though the discrimination isn’t explicit, many natives are being pushed into the background of their own country and forgotten.

The Aboriginals is one of the most widely known indigenous people, especially known for being ancestors of their land. When the British shipped their prisoners to Australia in the late 18th century and well into the 19th century, we began to see the movement of the British claiming Australia as their own.

What we know today is that racism is ever present in Australian society. In 1976, racial discrimination became illegal, but this has rarely protected indigenous people from being worse off, as many end up trapped in poverty and crime. Many indigenous people in Australia want to be recognized by the government and accepted, but many feel that the political hurdles they face are the hardest they will face. And what most fear is the entrenched racism they face in everyday life.

The Adivasi are tribes across India that were once discriminated against. Despite being largely protected in the Indian constitution, they have struggled for survival and have in modern times intensified and spread like never before. Many tribes had been consigned to the lowest ladder in society, as the caste system has become more prominent in modern times. The lowest caste is largely isolated, and when the British entered the region and created a capitalist economy, breaking the traditional economy, their little influence was reinforced. The upper caste controlled mainstream India, and there was nothing in place to stop this.

The Inuits, who are largely based in Greenland, Canada and Alaska, have particularly faced struggles with Canadian government. The creation by the Government of Canada of the Inuit Relations Secretariat in 2005 was a huge advance for the Inuit community. However, in recent years, the suicide rate among the Inuit youth have been approximately 10 times the national average. This could be due to social, cultural or generational dislocation. Despite that, what is evident in Canada is that the Inuit population have progressed largely.

It is evident that many of the countries globally with indigenous population have suffered silently throughout history but progressed largely over the years. However, it is even clearer that many of them still suffer in today’s society, suffering from the entrenched racism of everyday life or stuck in a poverty trap. Also, many are still struggling to regain their land or even to be recognized by government. So how far have they really come?

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