Native Americans

Will the Columbus quincentenary highlight their problems?


Despite their great diversity, Native Americans share a fierce attachment to the land. But of the 1.9 billion acres that Native Americans roamed 500 years ago, only 46 million acres remain in Indian hands today. The Indians' lost heritage helps explain their outrage over this year's 500th anniversary celebrations of Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the New World. Columbus, to the Indians, was not a brave discoverer but a savage despoiler who brought slavery, disease and genocide. While Indians continue to battle oppressive social and health problems, they also are fighting for new respect. This includes denouncing the use of Indian names for professional and school sports teams. Eliminating Indian team names will help erase ethnic stereotypes, they say, making it easier for Americans to ...

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