Films of Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
Part One: Trail of Tears: Cleansing the Land of the Indian “Problem”
If the White Man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace….Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.…Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade…free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty.
—Chief Joseph, 1840–1904, Nez Perce Chief
The white people, who are trying to make us over into their image, they want us to be what they call “assimilated,” bringing the Indians into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own cultural patterns.…
We want freedom from the White Man rather than to be integrated. We don’t want any part of the establishment, we want to be free to raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able to hunt and fish and live in peace.…
The White Man says, there is freedom and justice for all. We have had “freedom and justice,” and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not...
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