By Bailee Welsh
Did you know that November is National American Indian Heritage Month?
Today when people think of American Indians, they may think of Disney’s Pocahontas or the Indians who fought with the cowboys in Western movies.
Some may argue these examples are typical stereotypes today’s society has created.
Though students may not be aware, several of the residence halls on campus are named after Native American Tribes.
Examples would be Shawnee Hall, Lenape Hall, and Minsi Hall.
These are all names originated from American Indian tribes.
Americans have borrowed many things from American Indians, such as food, names for popular sports teams, and inspiration for designing clothes.
On Nov. 1, Dr. Samuel W. Beeler from the New Jersey Indian Center gave a presentation on what it’s like to live as an American Indian, which is often a forgotten heritage.
Dr. Beeler described that, “American Indians are far from extinct.”
As an American Indian he described himself, friends, and family as ‘normal.’
“I don’t know why they expect us to wear feathers or like we just got shot off of a horse. I’m not going to wear feathers, especially not during turkey season!” joked Dr. Beeler. He said that American Indians do have Nikes and iPods.
He also said that, “We’re not making blankets in our spare time” as many stereotypes predict about them.
Dr. Beeler went into detail about the history of American Indians. He explained that there are three languages spoken by American Indians which are–Lenape, Mohawk, and Cherokee.
When people say “hey” they are greeting people in Lenape which would be “hè” or when people say “hi,” in Cherokee they would be saying “oco” which is pronounced the same way as “hi.”
“We don’t get credit for anything that we created. If we are seen wearing moccasins, we’ll get laughed at,” says Beeler.
Dr. Beeler stated a few statistics about American Indians such as: they are the main ethnic group to serve in the armed services, New York City has the highest Indian population in the nation regarding metropolitan areas.
In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut there are a total of 18 Indian reservations, and the state of Pennsylvania does not recognize American Indians.
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