Indigenous peoples have endured many hardships and damages inflicted on them over the years. They have dealt with attacks by foreign peoples, with forced removal from their own land and the development of reservations, with forced assimilation encouraged both by society and government policy, and with desecration of sacred lands and ancestral remains. In attempts to survive, overcome, and even prosper in the midst of these hardships, Indigenous peoples have pursued several cultural, legal, and economic strategies.
[...] In an attempt to call attention to continuing problems in Indigenous communities, hundreds of Native Americans marched from San Francisco, CA to Washington, DC. The march symbolized the historical forced removal of Indigenous populations from their homelands onto reservations. After 1978, Red Power activism came to a close, largely as a result of suppression through violence by the FBI. From 1972 to 1978, many AIM and ARPM members were imprisoned, assaulted, and killed. There were few arrests made and most of the cases were not investigated at all (PBS and KQED). [...]
[...] As successful as Indigenous activism and the Red Power movement was in the 1970s in acquiring Indian studies, cultural museums, and religious litigation, there are still many flaws in the interaction between the U.S. government and indigenous populations. Real protection of land, that of reservation land and sacred land, remains elusive. As significant as NAGPRA was in affecting how Indigenous populations are viewed, Native Americans still retain a dependent nation status. With no real self-governing power, Indigenous populations lack the resources necessary to make significant changes in their communities. Many Indigenous communities are overtaken with poverty and alcoholism, and the negative aspects that come with these conditions. [...]
[...] Army took control of the island, first using it as a fortress in 1855, then as a prison starting in 1907 (PBS and KQED). Indigenous people determined to encourage rebellious actions against the government's assimilation techniques were imprisoned there. The takeover of Alcatraz made a statement on two points; one, Native Americans were taking back land originally theirs, and two, they would no longer suffer eradication of their identities. The occupation of Alcatraz forced both the federal government and the American public to confront Indian rights issues. [...]
[...] In recent years, Native Americans have begun economic development programs. Economic sovereignty is the one area that Indigenous populations have been able to accomplish significant legislative advances. In an attempt to increase the economic condition and living circumstances of many Indigenous communities, reservations have seized on the casino and gambling industry. There has been much legislative success concerning the allotment of casino and gambling profits to the tribal governments that run them. Participation in the heritage industry is another economic development strategy. [...]
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