My favorite lecture by far was the in class lecture on the Cheslatta Nation. I am a Native American from a Cherokee tribe in the northern Oklahoma region, and I have learned through word of mouth and research that the Native American community as a whole is extremely undervalued and taken advantage of. There is a whole group of people who are deprived of adequate living facilities and basic human rights. This is why I enjoyed this presentation so much, because it was a way of informing students of what is really happening to the Native American tribes in America today, and it’s been happening for far too long and far too frequently.
The lecture was extremely impressionable because the presenter was so enthusiastic and passionate about what he was discussing. His lecture was so in depth and covered so many aspects of what’s going on there, and I believe it really got to the hearts of many students listening. I actually looked around during lecture and noticed that nearly everyone was paying attention–what a good sign. It was most heartbreaking for me to hear of the depression on the reservation. I have heard this is a common trend among tribes, and that many turn to alcoholism, but it’s devastating to think that the way they are being treated and ostracized have forced many to become extremely saddened about their existence. It’s almost as their presence isn’t relevant for they are a people who were overcome by the ‘white man’. For instance, the building of the dam was approved with the condition that the tribe would get a high amount of money in return, which none was ever presented to the tribe. Additionally, the building of the dam also caused the water to flood their land, especially their graves. As the guest speaker explained, these graves are sacred places that are highly valued to the Cheslatta and are seen as a place to connect and speak with the deceased. Many tribe members graves were flooded and dragged under the water, including chiefs or important figures of the tribes. The government who built this dam not only didn’t pay them, but also completely disrespected what they held most sacred to them, thus implying that they really don’t consider the tribes needs and values. It’s a devastating thing to think about and I really respect the speakers dedication and passion on the topic. It makes a huge impact when people, especially young people, are informed of these things going on around the world. Especially in the United States, for the native people of America are so widely abused and discriminated against. It is important that there is something done about this–on the Cheslatta reservation and on reservations in the U.S.
In regards to the country I was chose, I learned so much and I do not regret my decision to research Syria at all. I’ve always been very intrigued of what’s happening in the Middle East, specifically Syria, for there is so much media coverage over the country and ISIS involvement there. I gained so much insight into the people of Syria and the refugees, as well as ISIS. I think it’s important to research the country as a whole, and the people individually, since they are essentially being masked or eliminated by ISIS. Their beliefs and culture is still very important to them, even if ISIS blurs what Muslims really believe in and even if they must evacuate their country. What’s happening in Syria is horrendous, and it breaks my heart, and scares me to see what is going on there. I hope that soon there is a huge shift in the lives of the refugees and residents of Syria, and that NGO’s and other organizations/governments work very hard to consider the safety of this country and their peoples and make a change, and take back Syria from the radicals that are infesting their land.