The Native American Tribes have lived in what is now the U.S.A for well over 10,000 years. Unfortunately the stereotypes about the American Indian, the “Noble Savage” persist to this day. That is why there is a widespread, but completely misconception that Native Americans are disappearing from this land. Nothing could be further than the truth.
American Indians Today
Today there are over 500 distinct Native American Tribes alive and well in the country, however, many are still suffering from the colonial legacies left by European and American powers. The diversity of these Native Nations has contributed and continues to contribute a great deal to the richness of American society today. They speak many of their traditional languages besides English - Navajo, Spanish, Ojibwe and over 100 other dialects in California and the United States, Mexico and Canada. They live as sovereign nations, on reservations, rancherias, on farms, in their own homes in towns and cities across the country. Their children go to school along with other American kids. They work in the same jobs as other Americans and run their own businesses – many in the same areas as other citizens and some in unique fields. They are doctors, lawyers, accountants, legislators, educators, professors, writers, actors, police officers, enlisted military officers, and are a part of almost all professional fields. They practice their traditional cultural and spiritual beliefs while living side-by-side to American mainstream.
Their Strong Roots Give Them The Strength To Survive
For American Indians, their roots go back into the mists of time, long before formal history. Archaeologists and historians disagree about how long the native American tribes have existed, but there is evidence of the ancestors of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe having been residing within the greater Bay Area of over 10,000 years. Two of the oldest sites in the Bay Area include the Metcalf Road Site CA-SCL-178 which dated to 9,900 years, in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Scotts Valley, site CA-SCR-177 dated to approximately 12,000 before present.
The American Indians of today are the inheritors of their traditions, cultures, heritage, languages, and history. This gives them the strength to interface and interact with the American culture of today and be productive citizens of both nations while maintaining their cultural identity.
They Are Here To Stay and Prosper after a period of Genocide
To quote from the movie “Independence Day” the Native American Tribes will not go quietly into the night. They stand shoulder to shoulder with the other cultures and beliefs that make up the U.S. and continue to work for both native and American nations. American Indians stand proudly on all that they have accomplished after the periods of colonial genocide. Instead, they blend the old traditions with the new generations to weave a tapestry of culture, history, faith, innovation and progress that makes them unique among the people who make up this country. American Indians are indeed not vanishing, but indeed revitalizing their sense of well-being, through their heritage. They are all around us, protecting the country and contributing to its growth.