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Apache And Cherokee Indians

Apache and Cherokee
The Apache Indians of North America prospered
for years throughout Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona. They were a
religious society who believed in a “giver of life”. As any
complex society today, The Apache had many inter-tribal differences, although
the tribe as a whole was able to see through these conflicts. Women
and the extended family played an important role in the society and also
in the lives of young children. Groups of different extended families,
called bands, often lived together and functioned democratically.

The Apache also evolved as the coming of the white man changed their lives.

These Indians became adept at using horses and guns, both introduced to
them by the coming settlers. As with most Indian tribes in North
America the lives of the Apache were destroyed as their life-blood, the
buffalo were slaughtered by the whites. The Apache were forced into
surrender after years of struggle. One leader, Geronimo, was especially
hard for the whites to capture. After years of evading white soldiers
Geronimo was taken to Florida and treated as a prisoner of war. Government
sponsored assimilation saw English forced upon the Apache robbing them
of their culture. In 1934 The Indian Recognition Act helped establish
the Indian culture as a recognized way of life. This act gave
the Apache land, which the Apache in turn used for ranching. The
destruction of the Apache culture was not recoverable and saw the Apache
lose much of their language.

The documentary on the Apache was very
well done. The Indians of North America series, produced by Chelsea
House, seems to be a very well thought-out series and the film on the Apache
was no exception. The film moved quickly throughout the life and
times of the Apache. This film, as no surprise, is a great educational
tool. I felt that the life of Geronimo, the best-known Apache throughout
history, could have been examined a little more carefully.

The Cherokee
The story of the Cherokee Indians was
probably the most disturbing of any we have seen so far. The Cherokee
were the most unfortunate of the North American Indian solely because the
lived on the Eastern half of the United States. Their geographical
location left them to be the first major tribe to come in contact with
the white men. The Cherokees saw one man, Andrew Jackson, as
a sole enemy. Jackson, ignoring, a treaty President Washington
had signed, waged war on the Cherokee. Jackson brought some
300 Cherokee to help him at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. After the
struggle Jackson turned on the Cherokees once he no longer needed their
help. The initial aim of the United States Government was to move
the Cherokee west of the Mississippi River. In the 1820’s the most
impressive cultural change was made as an actual written language derived
from the Cherokee spoken word was created. In 1832 the Supreme Court
of The United States found the Cherokee people to be a Nation. This
ruling was a massive victory for the Cherokee. Jackson, acting against
the Cherokee and The Supreme Court, ignored this ruling. The Cherokees
are then herded into concentration-type camps and are eventually forced
onto was would later be known as “The Trail of Tears”. Andrew Jackson
was successful in his war against the Cherokee and eventually turned many
Cherokee people against their own leader and against themselves.

The film on the Cherokee was the most heart-breaking
thus far. This documentary was presented with much more emotion than
the films by Chelsea House. I never knew what an absolute monster
Andrew Jackson actually was. I am truly disgusted that this man is
viewed as a nation hero. This film was excellently presented in a
factual manner that let the audience draw their own conclusions.