A Vanishing People: The Systematic Destruction of American Indian Identity for the Sake of American Manifest Destiny

Francine M. Miranda, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Thesis/Project Completion Date

May, 2011

Committee Chair

Kathleen A. Brown-Perez, UMass Amherst -

Abstract

Under the guise of Manifest Destiny, American Indians have been systematically reduced in size and numbers since the period of European contact. Their political authority over their land and themselves has been essentially removed through unilateral treaties, and by United States policies. The government has also taken on genocidal and ethnocidal policies against American Indian groups under the false pretense of assimilation and Christian benevolence, which has actually led to violence against native peoples and more illegal appropriation of their lands. The latest manifestation of governmental ethnocide is through the federal recognition process, which strips natives of their right to define themselves and makes it nearly impossible for groups to assert their autonomy. This paper argues that the process of federal recognition needs to be dramatically altered as well as the criteria for membership of native tribes in order to maintain the integrity of American Indian political, social, and cultural systems.

 

Recommended Citation

Miranda, Francine M., "A Vanishing People: The Systematic Destruction of American Indian Identity for the Sake of American Manifest Destiny" (2011). Commonwealth Honors College Theses and Projects. Paper 12.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/chc_theses/12

 

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