Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887:

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Brief History of the American Indian Movement

As I have noted before, the determination of people to change the world around them is not always viewed as the most logical and obvious solution to a problem based on the reasoning that some people suggest the definition, “an irrational person tries to change the world around them, but a rational person changes to the world around them.” The bottom line is, change is never an easy obstacle to overcome, but it is going to happen. Fearing the unknown is a common occurrence, and often people find help and comfort in performing daily routines, acting out personal habits, or even practicing ritualistic traditions to help cope with the anxiety and stress associated with these kinds of fears. But, sometimes the real story behind the need for these coping mechanisms is not fully illustrated, and being in a system of unchecked beliefs, the mechanisms themselves can begin to influence the story, or even become the story. Every year, we still celebrate Columbus Day as the discovery of America, even though we know that's not historically accurate. I remember being taught this notion of Columbus discovering America in elementary school at the same time that I was studying the Vikings and how they predated Columbus by about five hundred years. Even in today's current society, we have become all too comfortable with some of the ways that we think and perceive issues in America. Some of these stories may sound reasonable enough, or get imprinted into our minds from repetition, but they are nevertheless fallacious and dubious in merit for the fact that they can begin to influence people that they are historical truths. People tend to not understand what is outside of the personal comfort zone that they have created for themselves because they just might find themselves to be afraid of change. However, social movements are the exception to that specific commonality of people resisting change. Considering the idea that the skeptical community is often described as a social movement, A.K.A the "skeptical movement", I decided to take a more in depth look at what exactly a social movement is, why they are important, and most effective in creating change.

A social group aims to change a part of society that has been neglected or unrepresented by bringing attention to them and finding support to bureaucratically transform the publics' perception. The characteristics of a social group are dependent on how it plans to implement the necessary changes in society. Through a series of posts, I will share some early accounts, that may diffrentiate from the general American History of the First Nation people and a brief examination of the history of the American Indian Movement (AIM), which will also include the origins of the organizations' ideology and some examples of it's application put into practice. This will also be consistently highlighting the hope that the Skeptical Movement has to offer American Indians, their communities, and the future of tribal sovereignty.