Thursday, 16 February 2012

Native American Tribe website - The Cherokee

There is a large portion on this website that is dedicated to the history of the Cherokee tribe. It is split into individual sections (facts, trail of tears, biographies, places, chiefs and events). They have presented their history as a proud heritage, focusing on how the tribe has been successful even when faced with difficulties, such as when they were moved to 'Indian territory' under the Indian Removal Act, they 'soon re-established themselves in their new home with communities, churches, schools, newspapers and businesses'
Throughout the website they have repeatedly used the word 'our' when mentioning any aspect of community life and for headings. Examples include 'our government' and 'our history'. This emphasises their individuality and stands them out separate so as not to be generalised with Native Americans as a whole. The first thing that I noticed when I entered this website was the heading 'Remember the Removal'. This is a direct reference to the Trail of Tears and the memory of this is still deeply embedded in their citizens today. What this headline is actually doing is advertising for the Remember the Removal bike ride. Which is a 950 mile bike ride completed by Cherokee high school and college students who have good academic achievements. This is a good way of teaching a significant event of the tribes history to younger generations so that the memory of this is never forgotten.
The way in which the website presents the current situation of its people today is as if they are an entirely separate community from the rest of America. On the site they are showing support for the federal government in opposing 'fake' tribes. There is an indication to an increasing number of frauds who are claiming to be of Cherokee background and heritage. A reason for this is to gain benefits which Native American Indians are entitled to. They also have various groups in place to help support the community, examples include; a roads programme (this is in order to improve road and other transport for the community to reach other member, schools and hospitals etc, more safely and conveniently), environmental health and self help housing repair assistance amongst others.

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