Native Americans and Immigration

by Mia Desai, age 11
Native Americans and Immigration Mia is in sixth grade. She enjoys reading and writing. She has a twin and a younger sister.

“A lot of people talk about immigration, but sometimes they don’t really know what they are talking about. The point of this essay is to help them understand that.”

 A lot of people talk about immigration, but sometimes they don’t really know what they are talking about. The point of this essay is to help them understand that. An example of people who are under this definition in an unusual way are the Native Americans. 

The Native Americans are under this topic in an unusual way because not everyone considers them as immigrants because they were the first known humankind to migrate to America. In the Ice Age, when the first Native Americans came to America, it’s fiercely debated what actually happened. Scientists think that the first Americans started between northeast Asia and southern Siberia. Soon after that, about 25,000 to 20,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Native Americans split off from the East Asians. What happened next is not positive. It’s possible that the group immediately traveled across the now-submerged Bering Strait land bridge, or that they stayed in Beringia for a while. Another possibility is that the group stayed in northeast Asia, generally isolated from the other groups. Then they traveled across the land bridge to Alaska (Live Science). This shows us that the Native Americans really did immigrate to America, but they are not considered immigrants. 

From there, the population kept growing and the Europeans started to settle in America.  After America was established, Native Americans were not allowed to be citizens until June 2nd, 1924, when President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill granting full citizenship to them. Unfortunately, this only lasted for two more decades. In the 1950s, the federal government office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, that was supposed to take care of the Native Americans, stopped doing their job and put the responsibility in the hands of the states. Between 1952 and 1956, the Bureau of Indian Affairs also sold 1.6 million acres of Native American land for development (Library of Congress). This demonstrates that the English settlers said they would take care of the Native Americans, but just gave up as it was unimportant to them. They also sold the land that the Native Americans were living on for money, and made them move out. Clearly, here you can see that they are not taking care of the Native Americans, but doing the complete opposite. Even though the English are the immigrants here, they are acting like the Native Americans are the immigrants, and that they own the land.

As you can see, the Native Americans are under this topic in a in a very unusual way. This is an important topic because when people think of the word “immigration,” they usually think of the Europeans immigrating to America. Overall, Native Americans were not treated well at all by the English. If we understand this better in the future, maybe we can treat them better.

Works cited 

Geggel, Laura. “Here’s How People First Arrived in the New World … Maybe.” LiveScience, Purch, 9 Aug. 2018, www.livescience.com/63292-first-americans-route.html.

“Native American – Destroying Cultures – Immigration…- Classroom Presentation: Teacher Resources.” Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/native_american.html.

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