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Native American Heritage Month- What You Need To Know

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“They say you cannot know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes. You cannot walk in my shoes. I walk barefoot.” FeatherLeaf

As a person with pale skin I cannot pretend that I know the psychology of the Native American. This is despite years of both study and association. Yet there are certain things that all people of the United States and the world should know about the Indigenous peoples.

Columbus Was A Mass Murderer

Christopher Columbus got lost and that was how he wound up in the Northern Hemisphere. Columbus found a Utopian society. With a lust for gold Columbus enslaved the natives and had them dig for gold. He found it cheaper to work his slaves to starvation, allow them to die, and then enslave others. His men committed many atrocities.

Thanksgiving Celebrates Genocide

The truth of peaceful coexistence between the settlers and the Native Americans only lasted a short time. After the Natives helped the settlers survive, the settlers began the process of genocide, one which is being practiced to this very day.

The Constitution Plagiarized The Iroquois Nation

The most important document in the history of the United States could not have been written without the influence of Native Americans in particular the Iroquois Nation. In fact the Native American constitution was more progressive then what became the United States constitution.

George Washington Practiced Genocide

George Washington waged a war of utter destruction on the Iroquois nation. This fact of history is not taught to children in school.

Andrew Jackson Defied The U.S. Supreme Court To Commit Genocide On Peaceful Cherokees

The Cherokee people had assimilated to a great deal with their European counterparts. In fact not only did they live in houses and take up farming, but some of them even owned slaves. Still it mattered little in the eyes of those who coveted their lands. Against the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, Andrew Jackson marched the Cherokees out west in the middle of winter and inadequately supplied. This is called ‘The Trail Of Tears’.

The United States Government Has Broken Every Single Treaty With The Native Americans

The United States government has made over five hundred treaties with the Native American tribes and have flagrantly broken them all. The truth of the matter, the treaties with the Native Americans were just a method of placating the indigenous peoples. A treaty would be signed to settle a situation temporarily and when the United States felt they could take advantage of the Native American tribe, they did so in violation of the treaty. These treaties have modern implications such as the fighting of oil pipelines going through reservations and even outside of reservations.

Native Americans Have A Rich History With Many Heroes

In my personal quest to come to terms with my self and my country I eagerly read the tales of Native Americans. Crazy Horse, Red Bull, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Tecumseh, are all names that jump out to me. Their stories are stories of courage and most important stories of humanity. Today many heroic Native Americans are leading the fight to save our environment and defend Mother Earth. Native Americans have much to contribute and they are doing so.

The Problems Are Far From Over

The problems of Native Americans are far from over. In some ways they are a broken people living in a stolen land. Yet despite this, they show an outstanding heroism as they desperately cling on to their culture and boldly fight for their way of life. The struggle of the Native Americans is one that everybody should be involved in. Their fight is our fight. Some existing problems are racist stereotypes, lack of sovereignty on reservations, high suicide and alcohol abuse rates, among others.

Let Us Learn To Live Together

Good mental health calls for an understanding of one another. We all have something to offer. I know the great indigenous peoples of this nation have a lot to offer. Listen to them and learn of their history, it is part of what we are as a whole are.

Photos by Internet Archive Book Images, The Library of Congress,

Native American Heritage Month- What You Need To Know

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2017). Native American Heritage Month- What You Need To Know. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 17, 2018, from


Last updated: 3 Nov 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Nov 2017
Published on All rights reserved.