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Peter Farb

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The victory... was complete except for one final indignity. That was to Americanize the Indian, to eliminate his last faint recollection of his Indian traditions--in short, to exterminate the cultures along with the Indians. ...Orders went out from Washington that all male Indians must cut their hair short, even though many Indians believed that long hair had supernatural significance. The Indians refused, and the battle was joined. Army reinforcements were sent to the reservations to carry out the order, and in some cases Indians had to be shackled before they submitted. ...attention of the Americanizers was concentrated on the Indian children, who were snatched from their families and shipped to boarding schools far from their homes... usually ... for eight years, during which time they were not permitted to see their parents, relatives, or friends. Anything Indian--dress, language, religious practices, even outlook on life... was uncompromisingly prohibited. ...They had suffered psychological death at an early age.

 
Peter Farb

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Following the War of 1812, the young United States had no further need for Indian allies against the British, and as a result the fortunes of the Indians declined rapidly. By 1848, twelve new states had been carved out of the Indian's lands, two major and minor Indian wars had been fought, and group after group of Indians had been herded westward, on forced marches, across the Mississippi River.

 
Peter Farb
 

The desire of Whites to occupy Indian lands, and the constant rivalry between French and English traders for furs gathered by the Indians, led to many skirmishes and several bloody wars, all of which involved Indians on both sides. The Whites were determined to fight it our with each other --down to the last Indian. These battles culminated in the French and Indian War of 1763, which represented a disaster to many Indian groups in the northeastern part of the continent. In May, 1763, an Ottowa warrior by the name of Pontiac fell upon Detroit and captured the English forts, one after the other. Lord Jeffry Amherst, who commanded the British military forces in North America... distributed among the Indians handkerchiefs and blankets from the small pox hospital at Fort Pitt--probably the first use of biological warfare in history.

 
Peter Farb
 

General Phil Sheridan... had urged the destruction of the bison herds, correctly predicting that when they disappeared the Indians would disappear along with them; by 1885 the bison were virtually extinct, and the Indians were starving to death on the plains. ...the Indian Wars finally ended; and with the enforced peace came an economic recession in the West, for the United States government had spent there about one million dollars for every Indian killed by 1870.

 
Peter Farb
 

It is not a question of trying to reproduce objective features, only of good practice for the fingers and for the perceptive faculty, and that too is very useful. You must have read how Van Gogh was always getting his brother to send him drawings to copy. And how Rembrandt used to copy Indian an Italian pictures. Not of course, because they were short of material, but to get 'du corps'. So one should be always drawing... ...Oh, you’d love the Indians. The pure, Aryan Indians, not those one could see in Berlin, whose forms had become rigid and sterile through mingling with the Chinese.

 
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
 

By 1970, approximately two-thirds of the marriages of those on the tribal rolls were to people who were not, with the result that only 59 percent of births reflected a situation in which both parents registered themselves as possessing any Indian blood at all; U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, A Study of Selected Socio-Economic Characteristics of Ethnic Minorities Based on the 1970 Census, Vol. 3: American Indians (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974) pp. 74, 78. For effects in terms of the "blood quantum" criteria by which native identity is officially defined in the U.S., see Thorton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival, pp. 174-5. The implications are clear: "Set the blood quantum at one-quarter, hold to it as a rigid definition of Indians, let intermarriage proceed as it [has] and eventually Indians will be defined out of existence"; Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest; The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York; W.W. Norton, 1987) p. 338.

 
Ward Churchill
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