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The Top 10 Most Interesting Native American Essay Topics


In ethnography, American culture and history classes, Native American essays are a common classroom assignment. Students who are unfamiliar with this topic can choose ideas from the following list. Depending on the length of the assignment, students may want to broaden or narrow down their focus.

  1. The Kwakwaka 'Wakw People
  2. There is a group of 17 tribes who all are known as the Kwakwaka 'Wakw. Traditionally, they survived by fishing, hunting and weaving. Although many people are unfamiliar with this tribe, they may recognize the tradition of the potlatch. This event basically served as a way for the community to get together and exchange gifts.

  3. The Trail of Tears
  4. Over the past few centuries, the arrival of white settlers have caused numerous hardships and difficulties for Native Americans. From the Trail of Tears to small pox, settlers drove indigenous cultures from their native lands.

  5. Child Welfare
  6. The Native American Child Welfare agency was set up to protect Native American children. Potential essay topics could cover the risks that these children face and how effective this agency has been at mitigating danger.

  7. The Linguistics of the Acjachemem
  8. The Acjachemem were a group of Native Americans who lived in modern day Orange County, California. It first contacted settlers through a priest at a Californian mission. Once Catholic missionaries moved into the area, they started forcing the indigenous people to attend school and other programs at the mission.

  9. Music
  10. An interesting essay topic could be on different types of musical instruments and musical traditions in Native American culture.

  11. Religion and Native Americans
  12. Many people believe that cemeteries and burial sites should not be harmed by incoming settlers. Despite a tradition of respect for the dead, American archaeologists have conducted digs at burial sites. According to the 1990 Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, this practice must end.

  13. Stereotypes
  14. From alcoholics to marauders, there are many stereotypes about Native Americans. Discuss a few of the stereotypes and uncover if they are accurate generalizations.

  15. Sports Mascots
  16. Athletic teams like the Redskins often adopt Native American mascots, animals or symbols for their team. Although some of these mascots are intended to honor Native Americans, other names are highly offensive. Should athletic teams be allowed to appropriate Native American names as their own?

  17. Iroquois
  18. How did the democracy practiced by the Iroquois inspire the Founding Fathers to turn the United States into a democratic republic?

  19. Living on the Reservation
  20. What causes some Native Americans to leave the reservation? What is life like on a reservation?

 

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