Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Mix: First Nation Population

I. [E]verywhere the declaration is made that we [i.e. the USA body politic] are an ambitious, unjust, hard people, more given to war than any people of modern times. Whether this be true or not, it is not for me to inquire. I am speaking now merely of the reputation which we heard abroad -- everywhere, I believe; for as much as we have gained in military reputation abroad, I regret to perceive, we have lost in our political and civil reputation . . . We have conquered many of the neighboring tribes of Indians, but we have never thought of holding them in subjection -- never of incorporating them into our Union. They have either been left as an independent people amongst us, or been driven into the forests. . . John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, On the Mexican-American War, 1848. Hmmmm.

II. Tribal affiliations have persisted and survived. As a result of 19th century "Removal Policies," many tribes are still concentrated in Oklahoma, formerly "Indian Territory." More survive in the West and along the Canadian borderlands. In the East, there are noticeable concentrations of "American Indians" in the Carolinas (Cherokee, Lumbee, Catawba, Saponi, and others) and Florida (Seminole, Miccosukee). In Louisiana and other Gulf States, there are additional surviving groups (Chitimacha, the Jena Choctaw Band, Coushatta and Tunica-Biloxi in Louisiana, for instance; Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee in Alabama; Choctaw and Natchez in Mississippi).

III. Native Americans / American Indians / First Nationals make up about one percent of the overall population within the outer borders of the USA. The green-shaded sections of the map above show where the higher concentrations are.

Today's Rune: Partnership.


Lana Gramlich said...

I'm not proud, but our town used to be a Choctaw village (we even have an "Indian Princess" in our logo.) The "Abita" in Abita Springs came from "Ibetap," the Choctaw word for fountain/spring (which makes it "Spring Springs," technically.)

Erik Donald France said...

Hey Lana, I love stuff like that. The Choctaw still live with you as a spectral presence. Words and place names are powerful, eh? That's cool.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I sometimes wonder about whether the languages and customs of various tribes--will they survive, or vanish?

the walking man said...

The American push westward from the East was simply the learned philosophy of all Europe. Our European ancestors who called themselves American always differentiated themselves from the indigenous peoples and felt a cultural superiority over them.

This is the same Manifest Destiny philosophy Coronado and many other 15th century explorers traveled under.

It is a useless thing to even desire to rewrite the terrible history but it is not to late to incorporate the cultures of the first peoples before they are entirely assimilated and ground down.

Charles Gramlich said...

Oklahoma. I remember reading a lot of history about Native Americans being relocated there. So close to Arkanas, we knew quite a lot about it.

Erik Donald France said...

Also, dides, thanks for the comments. Jim, at this point, I think they will survive.

Mark, agreed, though the Manifest Destiny terminology was coined in the USA; the Spaniards were closer to Divine Right of Conquest, even more naked in their ideology, with the Cross as a support.

Charles, that's cool.