As a student or researcher, you may find yourself struggling to come up with a thought-provoking essay topic that accurately and respectfully portrays the history, culture, and struggles of Native Americans. It can be challenging to shine a light on Native American issues without appropriating or causing further harm, but this list of argumentative essay topics should help guide you in the right direction.
- The land and cultural practices of Native Americans have been repeatedly stolen and co-opted throughout history
- Education and representation of Native American culture are ongoing issues in American society
- Environmental issues continue to affect the livelihood of Native American communities
- Gaming and gambling regulations have a complicated relationship with Native American communities
Argumentative Essay Topics:
1. The impact of colonization on Native American communities
Argue how the colonization and eventual independence of America has impacted Native American communities. Highlight specific policies, events, or cultural changes that have altered the landscape of Native communities today.
2. The validity of using Native American culture in popular media
Examine the use of Native American culture in popular media, such as sports mascots or Halloween costumes. Discuss the commodification of Native culture and whether or not it’s effective or fair representation.
3. The ongoing fight for adequate representation of Native American history in education
Argue how American education systems have failed to provide adequate representation and recognition of Native American history and culture in their curriculums. Discuss specific examples and the effects they’ve had on Native communities.
4. Environmental justice in Native American communities
Examine environmental issues that have impacted Native American communities, such as water quality or fracking. Discuss how these communities are disproportionately affected and the implications this has on their lives and livelihood.
5. Casino gaming regulations and their impact on Native American communities
Discuss gaming and gambling regulations in U.S. law and the complications that come with protecting Native American land and communities while also allowing casinos to operate. Highlight any legal battles or debates that have taken place on this issue.
How can I ensure that my essay is respectful and accurate?
Be sure to do thorough research and read from sources that are written by Native American scholars and activists. It’s important to recognize your own biases and listen to Native voices on the topics you’re writing about.
Can I write an essay about my personal experience with Native Americans?
It’s important to recognize the power dynamics at play in these kinds of personal essays. If you are not Native American, examine why you feel the need to write about these experiences and whether or not they are appropriate to share.
Can I write an essay about Native American spirituality?
Spirituality is deeply personal, and it’s important to recognize the differences between Native American communities and their spiritual practices. Be sure to research specific tribes and seek appropriate sources to ensure accurate representation.
How can I support Native American communities as a non-Native person?
Listen to Native voices and actively support Native-led movements and organizations. Educate yourself on the history and culture of Native Americans, and recognize the ongoing harm caused by colonization and appropriation.