Natives and the American Holocaust


We've made it pretty clear that history has done an awful job of representing the persecution of Native Americans after European contact. Starting with the spread of smallpox and other diseases that killed an estimated 90 percent of the population to slavery, forced removals like the Trail of Tears and boarding schools.

Images like these that have been popping up on Facebook and other social media sites serve to remind us all what the original inhabitants of Turtle Island suffered through.

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quinzy's picture
Submitted by quinzy on
Ummm...... it is a deliberately spread myth by Europeans that natives succumbed en masse to smallpox. Natives had become immune to European diseases. We were killed by Europeans and not by smallpox.

vhawk's picture
Submitted by vhawk on
add eugenics .... which was a sad part of my family / tribes history here in the northeast

Kelly Lee Bettazza
Kelly Lee Bettazza
Submitted by Kelly Lee Bettazza on
the whites did massive murders of us and left us to rot. then want us to forget it because it does not fit with how they want the rest of the world to see us now but how do they explain what happened to us?

mem's picture
Submitted by mem on
How can we see these images and not do more to bring the truth into the spotlight of the world? These Native men, women, & children were the utmost of survivors ever! They not only braved the elements but they survived vicious Europeans hunting them down to murder them & their families. Many plants, animals, and tribes were made extinct by greedy, evil, men but these survivors made it so that we are here today, not all native tribes survived the evil. We must make their spirits proud and happy to know they didn't suffer for no reason. We absolutely have to bring their story forward, strong, loud and clear to the present and keep it going into the future. Our children of the future must know their blood contains the utmost bravery of human kind. Unlike many generations of today that survived living off others' suffering & sacrifice we are here by true meaning of survivalists.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I once argued with a Jewish man who claimed that Natives DID NOT suffer a genocide because disease was responsible for a large number of Native deaths. I told him that using his logic meant that Jews in WWII concentration camps who died of disease or malnutrition also did not suffer genocide. He was offended by that remark, but lacked the empathy to see why his assertion would offend me/us.

onedman's picture
Submitted by onedman on
To be very real about it, the loss is a global loss. White-man did not listen to what was being said to them about how to live within this land. So we never became part of the land. If we had listened to what was being said by the Tribes, by the Land, the world would be a different place today. We didn't understand the gift being given to us. To this day we do not understand that greed kills in many ways.

WinterWindTeacher's picture
Submitted by WinterWindTeacher on
The Native Indigenous American holocaust is epical and seems to dwarf all other human tragedies. A tragedy man made bitter by its tenacious greed is unfathomable due in part to its breadth and mans nausea to blood and death. What is miraculous is that anyone survived. A tragedy of such magnitude fractures the living. There are professionals in the medical and emergency first responders who need treatment and counseling after handling traumatic accidents and deaths which are but a few , miniscule, minute in comparison to the ongoing death toll growing repeatedly among the Native Indigenous people. I feel certain I would have succumb to the reality of it, the constant death and violence would overwhelm me to have no further capacity to bother with a tomorrow. There has been a steady reality of the Jewish holocaust that took place in Germany and Poland but there has never been, to my awareness, the same such importance, knowledge, communication, the free expression, opinion and facts openly discussed about the Native Indigenous holocaust that was executed on these soils for quite a period of time. Perhaps in some time a Native Indigenous filmmaker/director will undertake such a project so that many more human beings will have greater access and understanding to the historical reality of it. The holocaust of the Jews and of the Armenians are more familiar to most people than the shushed one of epic proportions committed under the feet of most passersby. The silence may be the fact that Americans are much more comfortable using the shaming tool on others than being strong willed enough to be hit with their own paddle. Bravery has many meanings, brave can be accepting what belongs to you - in this case the shaming comes to Americans where it rightfully belongs and to discover conscience, for some the first time. It is a shameful history and it needs to be well read, and given deep thought to understand what festering disease grows in the minds of people to become so inhuman to mount such a campaign of inhumanity and a vicious cruelty against fellow human beings, to be so rapacious, ravenous, to require a brother and sister to be put to such a merciless reality is worthy of meditating on and given deep consideration to, discussed, queried. The crime is not invisible nor are the Native Indigenous people it was perpetrated on. It should be no mystery but a well known fact that is curricula appropriate and no educational program could be considered complete if it does not include extensive study and knowledge of these historical facts. One has to reconcile oneself to truth, it is necessary. Salvation comes in knowing ones self not in hiding from the self.