Dr. Cox II
Arapaho Indians are a Native American tribe that historically lives on the
Wyoming and Colorado plains. The Arapaho are allies of the Cheyenne, and had a
loose alliance with the Dakota and Lakota (Anderson 229). The southern Arapaho
reside in Oklahoma and are recognized federally as Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.
The Northern Arapaho live in the Eastern Shoshone in Wyoming (Anderson 234).
They are recognized federally as The Arapahoe Tribe of the Wind River
Arapaho lived in Minnesota originally. They were agricultural people who
resided in permanent villages in the east woodlands. The European expansion
forced them to migrate westwards to the plains of Wyoming and Kansas (Anderson
245). This forced them to change their lifestyle to become nomadic people who
followed the great buffalo herds for livelihood. The tribe was a warlike people
who had eight secret societies of warriors who were graded using age. Every
secret society had its own medicine bundles used in the Smudging Rituals. The
tribe lived in a Tepee which was a tent-like home. This Tepee suited their
nomadic life as they were easy to erect and dismantle. The Arapaho are very
spiritual people and call their God Be He Teiht. The tribe speaks the Algonquian language
which has five dialects.
Native Indians history is conveyed through the media. Most of the Americans
learn about Native Indians more in the media than schools and museum. The
Native Indian history plays a very important role in the American history. The
American Indians stories have been told through different media channels but
the idea and image depicted in the media is a white construction (Ramasubramanian
249). The stereotype has nothing to do with how Native Americans represent or
perceive themselves. Even though the media has further justified racism and
mistreatment toward American Indians, Plains Indians, including the Northern
Arapaho tribe, face injustices that still affect how they are seen in American
culture and society.
Northern Arapaho tribe speaks the Arapaho language (Anderson 43). The language
is an Algonquian language mostly spoken in Wyoming. It is polysynthetic language
containing long and complex verbs and a relatively free word order. The
Northern Arapaho speak Gros Ventre dialect. The dialect is slightly different
from the dialect spoken by Southern Arapaho, but the languages are mutually
comprehensible between the two tribes (Anderson 49). The language is mostly
spoken by the elderly although the tribe is teaching the younger generations to
revitalize the language.
Northern Arapaho land tenure forms one of integral tradition. The land is owned
by the tribe and an individual, family or a band cannot lay any claim to land
(Leavitt et al. 39). The whole tribe share and mutually defend their territory.
The tribe also has a unique division of labor. The unmarried women remain close
to the household and help their mothers with domestic work. The unmarried men
are assigned activities such as hunting and horse care. The married women are
tasked with household chores such as cooking. The married men care for horses,
hunt, maintain camp security and carry out religious functions. The division of
labor is partially defined by age grade membership (Anderson 59). The tribe
kinship is bilateral where extended family remains the tribe social life core.
The tribe kinship classifies all the mother’s sisters as mother and all the
father’s brothers as the father. The Northern Arapaho has two types of
marriages (Ramasubramanian 253). The most common are the arranged one where
senior relatives arranged the marriage of the prospective spouses. The second type involves elopement where a
couple moves in together in secret. Marriage is strictly prohibited between
Faced by Northern Arapaho Tribe
the major challenges facing the Northern Arapaho tribe is identity and
assimilation. Identity and assimilation
have long been a very critical challenge and poses a serious question today.
The tribe members face the dilemma when deciding whether to live traditionally
and identify with their tribe culture or to move to the cities and adopt the
modern life (Bird 61). They also cannot readily define how much of the dominant
American culture to accept in their lives. When a member of the tribe move to
cities, they fear other Americans will not accept them and the tribe will no
longer consider them a real tribal person. The Northern Arapaho tribe also
faces the challenges of living with the typical Indian stereotypes by the
American society (Anderson 78).
Native Americans face relative media invisibility. The media portrays them
generally as historical figures when they represent the Native Americans. Most
of the media show them as people from the eighteenth century who still wears
buckskin, live in tepees and ride horses (Leavitt et al. 52). This is evident
mainly in entertainment media. When the media portray Native Americans as
modern people, they associate them with poverty, addiction, and illiteracy. The
media also portrays the Native Americans as different types of American
Indians. The narrow representation does not in any way reflect the diversity of
the tribes’ cultures. The Native Americans are the most underrepresented group
of people in the media where the percentage of popular media characters is
almost zero (Bird 64). This underrepresentation is further heightened by the
fact that the average citizen has nearly no direct interaction with the Native
cultivation theory suggests that media shape the concepts of the social reality
(Meadows 36). The media influences
people although the effects are gradual and indirect. However, these effects
are significant and cumulative. The media is responsible for cultivating
attitudes and values present in a particular culture. The media also propagate
these attitudes and values. The media portrayal of the Northern Arapaho tribe
as illiterate and poor people has led to many Americans to believe this is
true. Since most Americans do not have a direct contact with the Northern
Arapaho tribe, they tend to believe whatever the media tells them about the
tribe (Bird 65). An average American will most likely believe what they see on
television and will not take their time to research if the information is
biased. As long as the media portrays the Northern Arapaho tribe negatively,
most people will believe them since the media is their primary source of
information about the tribe.
of tribal mascots by universities and in sports tend to do more harm than good
to the Native Americans (Anderson 94). Most people tend to believe the mascots
are promoting the natives culture but in reality, they pose a substantial
challenge to natives’ culture especially the youth. The mascots are a
derogatory stereotype to the natives. Instead of honoring the Native Tribes,
the mascots have very serious social and psychological effects on the Native
youth. There has been a significant advocacy to remove Indian references in
sports although a significant number remains (Meadows 36). This
misrepresentation has caused significant damage to the Native Indians. The
stereotyping has caused significant damage to the Native Americans culture.
to the Media Misrepresentation
missing white woman syndrome is the situation in which the media tends to focus
on the white people more than the other races (Anderson 250). This poses a
significant damage to the Native Americans since they get fewer media coverage.
Any crimes committed against the natives will not receive media coverage. This
means any injustices committed against the natives will not receive much
attention from the public. This media bias has a negative effect on the natives
since the media is a powerful tool to highlight injustices in the society
media misrepresentation has created a lot of prejudice against the Northern
Arapaho culture. Most of the Americans believe their culture is far more
superior to the tribe culture (Leavitt et al. 46). This is not the reality of
the tribe culture has many important values which the American culture does not
possess. A good example of these values is the strong family ties. The tribe
culture has very strong family ties regarding extended families. Strong family
ties are an important feature, which makes up a good society (Bird 75). The media portray of natives culture as
backward is incorrect, and both native and modern American culture have their
media is a powerful tool to influence people. The Northern Arapaho tribe needs
a better representation in the media to promote …………………………………………………
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