Lesson 12: Cherokee

On Tuesday we began our discussion of Cherokee culture, society, and history. We discussed origins and connections to pre-Columbian Mississippian societies, role and status of women, society, politics, and warfare, and early interactions with the British. We addressed several questions including what the existence of the Whites and Reds tells us about Cherokee culture. We will finish up our discussion today by talking about Cherokee-American interactions and examining Margaret Bender’s article discussing changing attitudes toward Cherokee language education in both Oklahoma and among the Eastern Band of Cherokee. In the former, one of the most important questions is why the Cherokee were so mistreated by the United States despite the fact that they tried to do everything they could to accommodate American demands. In fact, the more they accommodated and adopted Western approaches to farming, for example, the more threatened Americans felt. Why is this? It’s a paradox with a set of complex causes.

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