Poisonous Lies

Posted on March 5, 2012 by

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For my upcoming research project in USHRS on Native Americans, I chose to look at the general topics of treaties between the Americans and the Native Americans throughout history. Most treaties that were signed in agreement with the Native Americans were later broken by the Americans, when we felt that we needed the land or the resources that we signed away to them. Confining them onto reservations and then later taking back the land from under their feet, Americans were never truly reliable. This specific issue is illustrated in Idaho, on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, a piece of land that the American government granted the Shoshone-Bannock tribes to live, with the signing of the Fort Bridger Treaty in 1868. In later years, Americans needed the land to build a phosphorus plant, so they took back over the land and built the plant. Recently, Native Americans have realized the rights they possess and they started to realize the dangers of the phosphorus plant on their land. The people of the land required an investigation of the chemical leaks and chemical hazards of the plant, claiming that it was their decision to close the plant.

I’ve been researching using the official website of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe of their reservation, which has the complete history of the reservation, the tribes, and the links to the official treaties that have anything to do with the Shoshone-Bannock tribes. I have looked at books and primary sources, but will continue to read and research.

I want my audience to realize the importance of signing and keeping treaties with the Native Americans. I think that it is unfair that we can give them land and then install our own chemical plants on their land. I want my TED-style talk to be informative and serious, but not depressing or trying to guilt trip the audience.

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