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  1. The reason that missions were built was to convert Native Americans into Christian Spanish citizens. However, there were also other reasons that were not expressed as openly. The textbook describes the purpose for building Mission Dolores: “to protect the mission from Indigenous inhabitants whose territory the Spanish were usurping and to round up those same people and force them to live and work for the Franiscan friars at the mission” (pg 127). After reading, it is clear that most missions were created for control over the indigenous inhabitants. Some indigenous people fought for independence through wars and others escaped the missions. It was clear to settlers that every single mission would experience uprising and attacks from these escaped indigenous peoples.
  2. Manifest destiny is a 19th century belief that Americans had the god-given right to explore and settle across the entire continent of North America. The textbook describes the popular narrative of the movement west as “natural”, however this narrative “normalizes the successive invasions and occupations of Indigenous nations and Mexico” (pg 118). Wars were fought by fighters drawn from indigenous nations in an attempt to fight for independence; however, people saw the movement of settlers replacing indigenous tribes as historical destiny and persisted. This chapter of the textbook connects to the term Manifest Destiny, as it uses the term as a tool to expose the settlement of the west. By describing what settlers really did and how they ended up in the west, the author is able to show the true intentions of settlers and what they believed their “god-given right” would allow.
  3. In her article “Lying to Children about the California Missions and the Indians”, Deborah Miranda describes how the way that the history of missions and California Indians is taught is very damaging to the Indian community. She is fighting for the perspective of the California Indians to be told, as most of the hardships that they faced are not being shared. Deborah’s history is being told in a way that shines light on the people that hurt her ancestors. She shares that the missions that her ancestors built are not even recognized by name in a fourth grade textbook; all of the glory goes to the Priests while the “loyal Spanish subjects” were the ones who did all of the work. What stood out to me the most was Debroah’s encounter with a fourth grader; she describes the girl Virginia as looking at her as if she was dead. This was really shocking to me because it shows that fourth graders, such as Virginia, are not being taught about the population that keeps California Indian cultures and traditions alive. There are many ways that the history being taught damages the ancestors of the Californian Indians, but for people to be completely shocked that you exist must be the most hurtful part.
  4. In fourth grade, I was not taught about the horrors that the California Indians endured because of the missions. I was told the popular narrative of a positive impact left by “the Spanish saviors” and had to make a replica of the “Spanish creation”. I was not taught about the California Indians’ involuntary work to create and maintain the missions. This is a very problematic way to teach this history. We teach history to try and avoid mistakes from the past reoccurring; hiding what really happened is, like Lim says, fueling genocide as we are not facing or reflecting on the tragedy that happened. I agree with Lim when he says that this part of California’s history should be taught to older kids. This is important information for the general population to know; however, the violence is not information that is appropriate to share with nine year olds.
  5. What stood out to me the most from this article is that the U.S. congress did not honor the treaties that they made with 139 California tribes. When Native Americans were forced off of their land in the east, they were promised their own land that the U.S. would not be able to touch; it is very disheartening to see how they stole from native tribes once again. To indigenous peoples, the “California Dream” is getting their land stolen, forced assimilation into cultures and religions, and genocide. There is nothing dreamy about the repercussions of settlers chasing their own dreams that the California Indians had to endure. The author proposes a solution of decolonization. She speaks of a return to the ties that Indigenous people have to the land they live on as well as a rebirth of the cultures practiced by California Indians. By giving tribes the rights back to their land, the California Indian populations would be able to live the “California Dream”.
  6. This song definitely sheds light on the hardships that Indigenous people faced. It mentions some of the more negative facts that are typically left out from the history of indigenous people. One line that really stood out to me is “fighting on arrival fighting for survival”. It really shows how indigenous peoples were forced to fend for themselves and figure out a new way of life as settlers arrived with no warning. Another line that stuck out to me was “said he was a buffalo soldier win the war for America”. This line caught my attention as it highlights how a lot of the labor and work that it took to establish settlers’ civilizations was done by Native Americans. They were forced to build missions and some were made indentured servants while settlers got to enjoy their new establishment. Bob Marley calls for people to learn more about the Buffalo Soldier when he says “If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from then you wouldn’t have to ask me who the ‘eck do I think I am”. This is a direct call out as he is telling the audience that they need to educate themselves on the history of indigenous peoples in order to understand the Buffalo Soldier and his life.
  7. I have learned a lot from this course. I learned about perspectives that I had never been exposed to before, which is very valuable to me. I learned about historical thinking, and have been able to apply that kind of mindset to almost everything. I believe that Module 6 will be filled with information about the way that settlers silenced the indigenous peoples and how this affects us today. I believe that learning everything from the previous modules will help with this new information as having context and a background knowledge of everything that happened leading up is important. The most important takeaway from this course is the importance of having a broad perspective and understanding many different sides of the story before jumping to a conclusion. The most interesting thing to me from this course was Module 2, as I enjoyed learning about the cultures of indigenous people and seeing how connected they are to their culture.”
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