The reading reveals an intersection of American, Native American, and African American histories. The most shocking thing from the reading is that Native Americans contributed to the development of slavery and reestablished slavery in the state of Oklahoma upon the end of forced migration. This is because slavery is usually associated with white settlers, not with the indigenous population of the United States. I used to believe that oppressed nations stayed together and had a common goal of going against their master. As such, I did not think that Native Americans would participate in slavery as I thought that oppression was solely a thing of wealthy European nations.
The second thing that was interesting is that history is constructed and not always true. Prior to the class and this reading, I did not think about how history is biased and made in a way to appeal to the existing norms. Native Americans are considered victims of the American policies, and there is little adverse information about them. As such, reading that they had slaves do not match my previous knowledge and perception of them.
The third thing that was surprising for me is the theory that Native Americans contributed to slavery to demonstrate their societal sophistication to white settlers. During that time, slaves became tokens of society and economic success, thus meaning that slave ownership was associated with “civilization.” Therefore, Native Americans, in their attempt to prove their civilization, were trying to imitate the white settlers’ lifestyle. This explanation for me was surprising as I did not expect that the influence of settlers on the indigenous population could be so deep and comprehensive.