The narrative of the United States’ history is painfully one-sided. Many people, especially politicians, attempt to whitewash history. They do this by pretending the genocide of thousands of Native Americans did not occur. Recently, Texas Gov. Abbott signed race relations out of the public school syllabus. They use it as a scare tactic to pretend racism doesn’t exist in America. Apart from this, they act like a country that didn’t exist before Christopher Columbus. As a result, history relegates indigenous people to the bad guys. Let us examine the significance of it in the syllabus of all academic institutions.
The Trail of Tears as a Symbol of Oppression and Injustice
Native Americans occupied the lands in the present-day USA. They had their cultural practices, economies, and political systems. The arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 signaled the introduction of colonization. It also led to the eventual formation of the USA. It also caused the displacement, mistreatment, and marginalization of Natives. Remember, they were the original owners of the land.
The subject refers to the forceful removal and relocation of Natives. They moved from their ancestral land to appointed areas in present-day Oklahoma. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law. It authorized the government to negotiate treaties with Native Americans. The goal was their voluntary removal from lands west of the Mississippi River. But the terms of the negotiation were unfair. Hence, the government intimidated them and forced their removal.
The Act affected all American Indian people. However, the Cherokee Nation felt the most pressure. The Nation was one of the most prominent tribes. Apart from this, a landmark Supreme Court case called Worcester v. Georgia recognized their sovereignty. But the president ignored the court ruling. He forcibly removed them from their homelands. The action freed over 25 million acres of fertile farmland to white settlers. It also forced over 100,000 Natives to abandon their homes.
The Trek became known as the infamous Trail of Tears. The forceful removal affected all American Indians, most nations being:
The journey resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. They died due to exposure, diseases, and starvation. The American Indian natives lost cultural artifacts, and families were torn apart. In all, the natives suffered immense hardship.
The Importance of Implementing Trail of Tears in School Curricula
Academic institutions should be to teach complicated narratives of our history and identity. Below are the advantages of including the subject in the curricula:
Trail of Tears Allows the Recognition of Injustice and Promotes Reconciliation
The process of including the subject in the syllabus is vital for acknowledgment. It recognizes the injustice suffered by natives and helps undergraduates understand human rights violations. Many occurred from the forced removal, mistreatment, and displacement of indigenous people. This is crucial for promoting empathy and a more compassionate and critical perspective. For example, teachers may assign Trail of Tears paper writing assignments. The essay facilitates intensive research and helps to reveal the best human qualities. It also allows learners to explore the subject from different angles. Undergraduates consult Studriver’s examples of Trail Of Tears essays and use them as study materials detailing the event’s timeline. They also examine the story from various perspectives.
Accuracy History Lessons
Many people don’t understand American history in-depth. This applies to adults and students. Adults passed through the same education system as present-day schoolers. The subject sheds light on the dark chapter of American history often glossed over. It also helps to dispel stereotypes and myths about the American Native lifestyle and favors a more inclusive and truthful narrative.
Teaching native history in colleges promotes reconciliation between native Indian and non-native communities. Undergraduates recognize wrongs and challenge biases. It also plays a part in creating a more inclusive society. They also advocate for changes and support marginalized communities.
Tells About Present-Day Struggles from an Indigenous Perspective
The removal still has lasting consequences for native Indian communities today. Studying it helps students understand present-day injustices. It also plays a part in generating ongoing support for improvements. Studying promotes critical thinking. Undergraduates learn about the effect of colonization and the issues indigenous people face. More importantly, the subject offers an indigenous perspective. They also explore firsthand accounts, traditional knowledge from affected communities, and oral histories. This promotes a more inclusive and balanced recount of history.
The Importance of Promoting Cultural Awareness and Historical Education in Schools
Cultural awareness fosters inclusion and respect. High school students develop an understanding and respect for Native traditions and perspectives. It also creates an inclusive learning environment for everyone. Studying fosters a sense of empathy, and they use it to fight stereotypes. They also use it to help individuals from different backgrounds build positive relationships. Below is the importance of promoting cultural awareness in colleges:
- Counters prejudice and discrimination.
- Promotes cultural preservation.
- Empowers marginalized communities.
- Builds global citizenship.
- Promotes learning from past mistakes.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. This is a quote by George Santayana. Sadly, this is the same ideology we are promoting in academic institutions. Removing vital lessons from lesson plans is equivalent to repeating past mistakes. Teaching accurate and comprehensive history helps undergraduates challenge stereotypes. It equips them with knowledge and critical thinking skills and promotes cultural preservation. Apart from this, it gives a voice and agency to marginalized communities. The college empowers and validates the identities of students from underrepresented backgrounds. It also leads to greater participation and positive social changes.