Native Americans - Week 7 - Written Response.docx - Week 7...

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Week 7 Written Response: THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: NATIVE AMERICANS IN MODERN AMERICA For many years, Native Americans fought forced relocation to reservations, and the United States' attempts to erase their traditional cultures and languages. Anyone who threatened their communities or families was deemed the enemy. With the erasure of their languages explicitly targeted by the government in their bid to assimilate Natives, it is ironic that their native tongue would become the United States one saving grace in its time of need. Despite their turbulent and storied history with the United States government and citizens, many Native American men and women have served in all military branches, defending their homelands and the United States. Many people are aware of the now-famous Navajo Code Talkers, the moniker given to Native American Navajos, although there were code talkers from various tribes. The Navajo Code Talkers used their native language for secret communications during World War II's Pacific theater. During the nineteenth century, many of these future code talkers were Native youths forced to attend the religious and military-like boarding schools, where tribal customs and speaking their native language was forbidden. The irony that a government that once tried to suppress their native tongues was the same government requesting they speak their language in service to the military wasn't lost on the Code Talkers (Townsend).

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