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Talk:American Indian Genocide

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This United States politics related article has been assessed as SIGNIFICANTLY PROBLEMATIC in one or more ways. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

This article requires attention for the following reason(s):

I made some revisions, mostly in that slavery and internment are not genocide as defined by the UN Genocide Convention, and those examples weaken the claim that what happened to Native Americans was on a par with the Holocaust - I'll look at this later when I'm not monstrously hung over...PFoster 16:55, 24 July 2008 (EDT)

Thanks. this is article that I actually have a "side" on, having spent many years dealing with this topic. Since the whole "was it a holocaust or not" thing is contentional, i have a hard time seeing if what i wrote is opinion or fact - as fact is hard to define when one group says "millions of us died", and another group says "yes, but not that the explicit hands of one person or government".--WaitingforGodot 16:59, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
Not my area of expertise, but it is my understanding that the current trend in academic Native American Studies is a departure from this somewhat heavy-handed portrayal of the Indians purely as victims, in favour of a more nuanced understanding of them as quite active actors who were often able to make the best of or even profit from circumstances - at least until the US became too strong in the early-to-mid-19th century or so. This might be added as a criticism, but again, it's not something I know terribly much about. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:03, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
Personally, I don't know how you do *not* portray them as anything but victims. If the Jews of Europe are seen as "victims" because they had little choice in anything done to them, how less can you say of a people who are not only technologically disadvantaged but also conceptually disadvantaged. Yes, you can show that indian leaders lied to their people, and you can show that there was a seroius complex of events that lead to the slaughter by Cortes of Indian-on-Indian battles. But to say that the massive slaughtering of over 10,000 indigenous people in the islands of the bahamas is something someone else could "make the best of" is, personally speaking, an absurd idea. (told you i have strong opinions here. grins).
No, I think the point is that while the Indians of course ended up as the victims, they were not necessarily so for the greater part of post-Columbian American history, i.e. until the US eventually grew too strong to oppose around 1850.
One example off the top of my head is the Iowa tribe of the late 18th and early 19th century who very skillfully bargained their way into an alliance with the US forces stationed in their area. Then they basically used the Americans against a neighbouring tribe that was threatening them, allowing the Iowa to build a degree of prosperity that they wouldn't otherwise have had, if they had even survived. To me, that does not exactly indicate helpless victims; rather, it speaks an entity of capable political actors whose members knew exactly what it was they were doing. However, such events are very difficult to fit into a discourse that assumes an uncritical view of the Indians as "just victims" based on the unfortunate ending. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:24, 24 July 2008 (EDT)
Grins. yeah, i can see that point of view. I spent a good deal of time explaining to open minded students, closed minded biggots, and anyone else who would listen that there really were unique, complex societies with rich religious traditions, developed (in some case quite advanced) governmental systems, construction, actual towns, etc. I swear many of the people I work with think that all indians are like what they see in John Wayne or Dances with Wolves.--WaitingforGodot 21:48, 24 July 2008 (EDT)

100 million dead[edit]

It just struck me that this number seems... excessively high, and it seems like there's a fair amount of debate about the number, not to mention over the term itself. Perhaps we should rewrite this to be a little less ideologically charged? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 07:46, 7 December 2008 (EST)

Certainly there was a massive drop in population, but whether that was due to increased deaths or reduced births...WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 08:34, 7 December 2008 (EST)


Shouldn't this be called "Native American genocide" or some such? Since they weren't Indians, obviously? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:58, 9 June 2009 (UTC)


The Trail of Tears was a brutal exercise in inhumanity and injustice and was totally illegal according to the Laws of the United States. There is no evidence that it even vaguely approached the notion of genocide - the deliberate attempt to eradicate an entire peoples - in this case the Seminole; Choctaw; Chickasaw; Creek and Cherokee Indians.

I consider the treatment of the above tribes one of the most hideous and barbaric episodes in American History. Mainly because, at the end, they were not Indian Wars. They were land grabs from legal US citizens who happened to be Native Americans, accomplished by forced relocation which led to the deaths of thousands. It was inhuman. It was unjust. It was illegal. It was wrong. But, it was not genocide. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

They just "happened" to be Native Americans? As in, them being Native Americans had nothing to do with them being chosen for the land grabbing? You are saying this was a complete coincidence? (talk) 07:36, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Insert: – — … ° ≈ ≠ ≤ ≥ ± − × ÷ ← → · § inforlife: (talk) 17:06, 7 October 2017 (UTC) Genocide is not only the attempt to divest a people of life, but also land liberty, etc... based on race or religion. So an imprisonment, or forced relocation is considered genocide under UN convention. Also the forced removal and reeducation of children falls under the umbrella of genocide (ie, Indian day schools, residential schools, 60's scoop etc) From the UN convention on genocide: Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Article 2 CPPCG)

"Europeans killed thousands"[edit]

"Europeans, especially the Spanish conquistadors, also killed thousands deliberately." "Thousands"? Are you kidding me? I don't have any scholarly estimates right here with me, but this number seems ABSURDLY low. Sure, most people died because of disease and famine, made massively worse by Europeans' active destruction of the native social structure. But even if we don't include these numbers in our calculation, those who died doing slave labor or during a war with a European power must number in the hundreds of thousands or millions. I mean, thousands died during the Trail of Tears. This is ONE single incident in North American history, and early invaders in South America were much more cruel. (talk) 06:32, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Forum mention[edit]

Here: http://atforums.mobi/msg.php?threadid=2422370&catid=14&rnum=6 FuzzyCatPotato™ (talk/stalk) 19:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Anyone can link anything in forums. just look at the internet referencing us all the time in the past week. Ikanreed (talk) 19:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Blood Quantum Laws[edit]

I reverted these edits for the time being. While I do know that the sentiments expressed in the paragraph are very common I am also well aware most American Indians tend to take a different view of Blood Quatum laws than the one that was presented in the paragraph Rand0 wrote. Therefore it may be preferable to discuss how we should apporach that topic before actually writing stuff about it into the article. Alsto003 (talk) 14:29, 8 May 2015 (UTC) Alex

If the blood quantum is 1/16, every last redneck is a Cherokee. CorruptUser (talk) 14:57, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Holocaust or Genocide?[edit]

Should we really be using the term "Holocaust"? The term Holocaust was applied to the genocide under the Nazis since the term refers to burning. Wouldn't simply "genocide" be a better title for this article? Asarelah (talk) 14:50, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

One crucial aspect is missing[edit]

Genocides usually involve some form of "plan" to make people die. Usually with a timescale of a decade or less. In the case of Rwanda or the Armenian genocide it was only months.

In the case of what happened to Native Americans we are talking about centuries and there was - as far as I can tell - never a plan. Yes, there were atrocities and some of them were probably planned in advance. But - as this article correctly points out - acts of genocide are not the same as a genocide. This should be made clearer. Plus, this article lacks sources. Pizzameister (talk) 21:36, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Detractors headline has no sources and should be removed[edit]

If this is a wiki that takes itself seriously, then it should consider removing this section because it looks like it is purely based off subjective reasoning rather than creditable sources. If you do not know what credible sources are, surely you would like to do a quick Google search and educate yourself. A blog or low-ranked article does not count as a credible source. — Unsigned, by: ‎ / talk / contribs

While unsourced, these are things that conservatives have said. Feel free to help out by hunting down and adding sources. CorruptUser (talk) 07:24, 20 February 2017 (UTC)