There is a common misperception of American Indians that isolates them from
mainstream America. The erroneous idea that Indigenous peoples are innately inferior to
the dominant society is a myth that through ignorance and lack of personal interaction
becomes self-perpetuating. Statistically speaking, there are far fewer Natives than other
races and cultures. This inequality would not be so pronounced had they not undergone
systematic slaughter at the hands of early colonizers and settlers.
While it may be true that the newcomers were technologically advanced, technology in and of itself is not a sign of intelligence, but how it is used. Given time and contact with other technological societies, all races and cultures soon develop a rather homogeneous understanding and application of technology. The typical Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, or "white" person of early Briton were painting themselves blue and worshiping trees and other idols while China was developing printing and gunpowder. Intelligence is given by God to all men, we simply haven't developed on the same time line. Another glaring example of quick assimilation is the post-was Vietnam peasants. Given an opportunity for education in the U.S., Vietnamese usually surpass their American counterparts in grasping technical and scientific concepts.
American Natives are no different than anyone else in their abilities and potential. The stereotypical 'Indian' is either thought of as a romanticized, 'perfect' human being or a falling down drunk, neither of which is correct, but only serve the purposes of those who are adept at using images to manipulate public opinion.
It's about time to lighten up and realize that American Natives are just folks like anyone else. True, they have a special heritage and responsibility for the land, but in most ways they are like everyone else. They worry about the education their children are receiving, they worry about death, money, and crooked politicians like everyone else.
Our Native American brothers are like most husbands and take out the garbage when told to do it, just like those husbands in the "dominant" society. Native sisters work just as hard as anyone else to keep their homes together, their family taken care of while juggling the responsibilities of earning added income for the family, while maintaining a cohesive family unit. Indians are also Americans, not just isolated 'Native Americans, as defined by some out-of-touch anthropologists.