Otoe-Missouria Tribe

The Importance of Preserving the History of the Native American Tribes

For many modern-day Americans, even those who have little interest in history as a subject, the thought of Native American Tribes ruling the lands of the United States for millennia prior to the arrival of Eastern settlers is something that is better suited in a fantasy novel than in a history textbook. Regardless, there is a fascination among the general population regarding their activities in the truly Wild West.

Current historical accounts regarding the Native American tribes are fraught with speculation and uncertainties. This is largely owing to the fact that historians are skeptical of the accounts made by the tribes and question the reliability of tales passed down through the generations. A reliable source is considered to be one which is transcribed on paper, such as a letter or diary entry. On the same note, modern tribal descendants are often proud of their rich heritage and are unsure of historians’ ability to give a true representation of the tribal way of life.

Modern celebrations of the Native American Tribes’ history are shamefully lacking. The most obvious of these events is Native American day, which occurs the day after Thanksgiving, but this is largely underappreciated when compared to the excitement of the latter celebration. And yet, for many people with Native American heritage, the day should instead be considered a highly valuable opportunity to learn more about their roots. Even for those individuals who don’t have tribal roots, the celebration should be appreciated as a way of recognizing the tribes’ effects on the modern American landscape and values.

In the United States, even to this day, there exist hundreds of tribes who still practice their ancient traditions wherever possible. And yet, despite this, so many people are unaware of their existence. In our modern, technological world, this can be partially blamed on a lack of coverage and interest on the part of television producers and news coverage.

The Native American Tribes grew and developed alongside the wildlife of America, and it can be argued that they were the only people who ever truly understood the land and its fragile and interconnected ecosystems. The arrival of white settlers invariably disrupted this otherwise harmonious existence with the planting of expansive cotton plantations and farms.

Nowadays, however, our land is at breaking point. Communities are divided on political matters and the demand for cheap goods has resulted in environmental chaos. On that score, perhaps it is time that we instead look back and study the ways of the tribal communities who protected these grounds before the settlers’ arrival, instead of ignoring them, to see what secrets they can reveal. Potentially, the tribal stories and knowledge could help modern communities relearn peace and cooperation as opposed to the laziness, greed, and jealousy which is rife in our modern world.