"An Oasis in the Badlands" by Edward Curtis, courtesy of the Library of Congress, image is in the public domain.
how complete SOVEREIGNal freedom has caused centuries of conflict
In the United States educational system, the complex history of the relationship between Native Americans and European colonizers is often limited to a simplistic, incomplete version of events. In American culture, traditions such as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving gloss over reality in favor of romanticism, while media representations of Native American conflate the multitude of rich and diverse indigenous cultures into a homogenous mass of stereotypes. This pervasive revisionism tends to place disproportionate importance on the Eurocentric perspective regarding the colonization of the Americas, and in doing so denies Native American cultures full recognition of their agency and status as equals to their European counterparts.
The Spanish, English, and French settlers came to this country for a multitude of reasons, including of the promise opportunity for prosperous new lives, religious freedom, and new trade possibilities. The result of these colonization efforts was a major power struggle between the settlers and the natives who had inhabited North America for thousands of years, developing unique cultures and histories. One of main cultural differences between the colonizers and the indigenous populations was the concept of land ownership. To Native Americans, land belonged to no one, while Europeans viewed land as property to be owned and often believed themselves to be superior to these "savages." While there were instances of peaceful coexistence and sharing of knowledge and resources, there history of the relationships between European colonizers and Native Americans has largely been one of oppression.
What is "sovereignal freedom"?
In these situations, we see the overall abuse of sovereignal freedom on behalf of the European powers, which stripped millions of Native Americans of their freedom. Sovereignal freedom is the act of disregarding the free will of other people in order to prioritize your personal freedom, at any cost. Spanish, English, and French settlers each had a different relationship the the various different groups of Native Americans that they came in contact with, but the attempt to rid the 'New World' of the Natives and their culture was always the outcome. They believed they were entitled to any land or resource, and what was not given to them willingly was taken by force. To the European settlers, the idea of a new prosperous life, fortune, and new opportunities for themselves was far more important than the lives of the Native American people. When America became its own independent country, this unspoken about and ignored issue of white washing Native Culture continued to grow. This website is meant to observe how European migration and settlement led to the oppression of Native American people, and how this relationship between vastly different cultures experienced extreme highs and lows.