Racism Towards Native Ams Film

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There is an old African proverb which states that "until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters." This seemingly simple phrase has proven itself accurate time and time again throughout all histories, including that of America. The natives of the land now known as America are of course, the lions, and the European settlers of this land, the hunters. As the glorious hunters sweep through the savage lands, inhabited by the backwards lions, they did their best to convert and save the lions; or simply destroy, destabilize and dehumanize them. While the destruction is clear, and the destabilization is also rather apparent, in the many Indian reservation policies passed throughout American History, the dehumanization of Indians is often much more covert. An initial background relating the situation of the natives in the eyes of the European settlers, will be followed by a detailed look at the main Indian movies throughout the history of film, and the stereotypes shown within them. Also, an inspection of recent films with relevant subject matter will be discussed. These three peices will show that the racism expressed in cinema, specifically towards Native Americans, is predominantly institutional and unintentional racism.
First, it is important to note that from the beginning of the European explorations in the Americas, reports were written in regards to the savage nature of the indigenous peoples. In these writings, however, there were also typically references to the honorable, even noble, nature of the Indians. However, as land became the chief desire of the Europeans, treaties were written, which is of particular importance, in that it recognized the United States recognized each tribe as a sovereign nation (by definition ). From the initiation of the USA as a nation, until the relative end of westward expansion, literally hundreds of these treaties were written, and agreed upon by bo…