About cultural diversity

For this assignment, you will prepare a research paper that focuses on one of these
scenarios, analyzing what happened, what the consequences either are or might be, and
how the situation can be corrected and/or prevented in the future. These must be
concrete suggestions that could actually be implemented rather than vague references
or opinions. While the situations have been fictionalized, there have been actual
situations that are very similar
The Course Project should be six to eight pages in length, Submission is in correct APA
format with an additional title page and reference page(s). The reference page should
include a minimum of four different scholarly, academically-accepted books and/or
journals used. Do not use Wikipedia and similar encyclopedia websites, such as
about.com or buzzle.com.
-Proposal: Discusses which topic scenario has been chosen and why, and how the topic
is important to the study of cultural diversity.
-Describes what the student expects to find and/or what the students would be
interested in learning; Describes how the student plans to go about his or her research.

  • Outline lists the main topics the project will cover and incorporates the key elements
    of the chosen topic scenario; outline is clearly written and well-organized.
    -Addresses each component of the chosen topic scenario, integrating concrete examples
    and strategies, and uses information from sources to support points.
    The scenario is: A large hydroelectric dam built in the 1950s and 60s created a one
    million acre impoundment, and it has been a major means of both producing electricity
    and flood control for many decades. In early spring each year, the water level above the
    dam is lowered to allow a reservoir for upstream snow melt and runoff later released
    downstream in a controlled fashion. This annual event has drawn no notice until this
    past spring, when a Native American tribe whose reservation borders on the
    impoundment came forward to claim that an ancient burial ground had been revealed
    less than a mile above the dam when the water level was lowered. To them, this was
    sacred ground and disturbing the bones of their ancestors was tantamount to
    desecration. Citing both 19th century treaty agreements and contracts with the U.S.
    government at the time the dam was built concerning the sanctity of holy grounds, the
    tribe insists that the burial grounds cannot be submerged again and that the water level
    must be maintained at its present, lower level. They also say that their culture does not
    permit the removal and reburial of the remains and that the federal government has
    recognized the rights of Native Americans to protect their holy places. Anthropologists
    have surveyed the site and report that indeed it is an ancient burial ground, but that the
    people may be from a much older group than those presently claiming ancestry.
    There are a number of problems presented. One, with no reservoir to hold snowmelt
    and runoff, there is likely to be major flooding downstream. Second, the lower level will
    mean less hydroelectric productive potential, and third, the lower water level will have a
    major impact on the recreation industry all along the impoundment apart from the
    reservation. Can this situation be resolved, and if so, how? Are we dealing with a
    cultural issue or one of race/ethnicity? How do the factors of economics and political
    power enter into the matter? Create a plan to bring this situation to resolution.
    This is the proposal page I prepared and submit already:
    Project Topic Proposal
    Pierrette Belot
    Chamberlain Online College Of Nursing
    The topic I chose is “The large hydroelectric dam ‘impoundment’. Created on a million
    acres that is very close to a Native American tribe burial ground”. For the Native
    American the burial ground is sacred and the ancestor’s bones are not supposed to be

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 2

disturbed because it will lead to desecration. In the other hand the impoundment is very
important to keep in the area so flood can be prevented and to generate electricity that
are both benefit the population itself in many aspects.
I chose this topic first of all because I assume that it is very challenging. Many issues
arise from the discussion between the government and the Native American tribe. 1rst
Not continuing the usual function of the hydroelectric dam will cause many problems,
not only at production of electricity level but also in maintenance of the environment.
Can the dam function differently and fulfill the main purpose? 2nd Is it permissible to
not valuing the Native American tribe practices regarding burial and remains of their
so-called ancestors? Can the remains stay still and being respected? This is a very
delicate situation where the solution chosen has to satisfy both parties. However, one
party will be happier than the other for the solution has to be the one the most
beneficial to the whole: the government, the population including the Native American
tribe.
I believe this topic is very important to the study of cultural diversity. It gives
opportunity to learn to accept others with all their differences from cultural point of
view. It also gives a chance to learn about the practices of this particular group
regarding burial even beyond this ritual.
I am expecting to find out that between the government and the Native American tribe
there was an agreement that does not make any party winner or loser. I would be
interesting in learning more about the Native American culture, and if the hydroelectric
dam exists still, and where is its location, is it still functioning; what happen to the
Native ancestors’ remains. The way I intend to go about my research is to use available
resources such as local libraries, Internet, my online school library, media article if
there is any etc.

About cultural diversity

Introduction

The proposed construction of a large hydroelectric dam that was to sit on one million
acre land elicited a major conflict between the government and the Native American tribe in
the 70’s. For the government, it was believed that this construction will attract several
benefits for the government as well as the locals in terms of energy and water for use. As for
the Native Americans, the project would seriously violate their values and hence they would
not put up with the government’s idea. If these factors were held constant, one question
would remain, would it be possible for the government and the Native American tribe to have
a consensus over the construction? This project seeks to discuss core values of Native
American tribes and how the construction of the dam would affect them. Moreover, it will

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 3

discuss the outcome of the conflict and give a report on whether the project was successful or
not.

Main body
The Conflict

The conflict in this scenario was the choice of land by the government in which laid
the remains of the ancestors of the Native American tribe. The Native American tribe
consisted of many other indigenous tribes who came together to form one umbrella tribe. It is
argued that the land where the dam was to be constructed was sacred to the tribe and hence
any other use from this truth was unacceptable and could attract cultural consequences.
Moreover, the ancestors of the tribe were buried in this land and it is observed that
disturbance of their bones would lead to desecration. As a result, the conflict arose because
for the Native American tribe, it was a matter of respect for cultural diversity while for the
government; it was a matter of development agenda of the country as well as the locals.

The Native American Values

The Native American tribe is believed to be a collection of indigenous people from
India, United States, Mexico and Hawaii, just to mention a few. It is observed that people
who were affiliated to this group had experienced a cold reception by the government
probably due to their way of doing things as well as their way of life (Ferguson, 1996). This
trending stirred different reactions to the United States government including opposition to
government projects like in this scenario. Due to the experience of World War II, the Native
American had been on a recovery process in terms of their values and culture and this process

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 4

was done with vigor and enthusiasm to ensure that their respect was recovered (Coyhis &
Simonelli, 2008).
One of the most appreciated tribal values is the recognition and respect for the
diversity in people. This value recognizes that people are different and there is no way all the
people in America can behave the same. In other words, it can be considered as a call to other
Americans to respect the way they are and therefore give up on their quest to change their
cultural inclination. Secondly, the practice of tranquility is considered to be a means of
survival especially when they are in a conflicting situation. In other words, it is a way of
expressing their discontent about a particular situation. Therefore, this knowledge must be put
into consideration anytime a conflict is being resolved especially in this scenario. The third
value is the ability to wait or the practice of patience. It can be argued that patience can
become a vital tool in conflict resolution. The Native American believes that there is time for
everything and therefore the need to be patient becomes salient.
In addition, this tribe appreciates the fact that no man is an island and therefore they
need each other’s support in life. This is the value that brings about consensus and
cooperation among its members and a strong, unitary community is the end result. Finally,
religion and mysticism is believed to be the core of every individual and community as well.
It therefore serves a central role in ensuring that the spirituality of every individual is up to
the standard and this will ensure that their natural ability to heed to the spiritual voices is
enacted in their souls.

Beliefs and taboos

Irrespective of the many tribes that constitute the giant Native American tribe, there
are common beliefs and taboos that show the distinctiveness of its members. It is observed

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 5

that Native Americans have an esteemed position for families and spiritual well being of their
members; and these values help every member to live together in unity and strength
(Richardson & McLeod, 2005). In regard to life and death, it is argued that Native Americans
belief in the life in the body and the soul, which depart from the body when a person dies.
When death does the soul and the body apart, Native Americans believe that the soul roams
all over in the land of the dead, which is not clearly defined. It is also believed that the person
embarks on a journey which requires the facilitation of the living and thus, aspects of food
and drink is introduced during burial rituals.
Burial ritual is a common belief and is therefore important to discus some of the
pertinent issues in this regard. It all begins from the choice of the grave which may be in
cemeteries, or family owned plots, just to mention a few. In such situations, tradition takes
the centre stage in dictating what needs to be done or avoided. There were different types of
burial which included decaying the body but this was later developed to more permanent
method like the use of cemeteries became more common.

Challenges faced

Research has shown that Native American tribes have faced several challenges that
cut across every human related field. One of the greatest challenges is the failure on the
government’s side to recognize the existence of this tribe. This could be very disheartening
and discomforting to the members and could possibly lead to loss of land and property.
History has shown how inhumane acts and downing statements directed to Native American
were done which included sexual related abuse, as well as segregation of its members (Tsai &

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 6

Alanis, 2004). Other challenges that have been faced by the members of this tribe include
forced labor and land related issues like land settlement and cessations.
Conceptualization of the problem

The construction of the dam at the Columbian River Basin located at Bonneville
could obviously attracted several factors like the environment. It would cause lifetime
changes to the locals living in Bonneville and the river itself. It meant that the locals would
never use the river the way they had used it before. For instance, changing the direction of
water flow would mean that some people will never get water while others will face harsh
elements of weather like wind and humidity. In other words, things would never be the same
again for the locals; they would never enjoy fishing, farming, swimming and other activities
that would have deemed important to them. They would lose a place they had called their
native home for years at the construction of this dam. Their economic activity would be
adversely be affected and this would mean that their way of living or their lifestyle would
change. Attachment to this land and river could be distracted and this would lead to
psychological disturbance of the mind and thought pattern. For the Native Americans living
in this area, the consent to building of this dam would course more harm than good,
considering that they had acquired and maintained the land for a long period of time. Their
whole lives, including their livestock, spiritual acts of worship and physical structures, just to
mention a few, revolved around this area
On the contrary, the government had suffered from energy related problems. As a
result, the proposed construction of the dam would be welcomed with enthusiasm and
gladness because it would solve the nightmare. While the Native Americans considered this
as abuse of their lives, the government was considering it as an opportunity to utilize the river
and hence help to solve many other energy related problems. It can only be assumed that the

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7

government’s move to construct the dam was to open a window for many more people to
benefit from the construction rather than just a section of a minority group who would be
relocated to pave way for such projects. For the government, the construction of this
hydroelectric dam was necessary and was coming to ease the monopoly of power generation.
In present day times, Bonneville dam still exists and is located between Oregon and
Washington states on river Columbia. The government’s agenda prevailed while on the other
hand, Native Americans lives were adversely affected. Their fishing economy was halted and
the number of fishermen has since declined and many other effects. How was this conflict
between the government and the Native Americans resolved?
Conflict Resolution

It is important to note that the construction had earlier been faced with fierce
opposition from the locals and this paved way for construction treaty between the
government, contractors and the locals back in 1975. To begin with, the locals were supposed
to relocate from their native land instead of fighting against the construction. The contractors
agreed to build social amenities like schools as well as provide another piece of land for the
locals to build and provide a safe residential land for them. In other words, it was the
government’s responsibility to ensure that all the displaced people from this place were safely
relocated to new homes at the government’s cost. In addition to the relocation costs, the
government was to incur construction costs for the proposed social structures.
Secondly, it became salient for the government to reconstruct the Native American
fishing facilities, probably due to the effect and damage that the construction of the dam had
already caused, and this would mean that their livelihood would drastically change for the
better. This modernization would also provide for opportunity for the Native Americans to

ABOUT CULTURAL DIVERSITY 8

enjoy modern and high technology facilities in fishing and housing as well. This meant that
their culture, beliefs and livelihood was at a turning point for the better.
On the contrary, the locals had to look for a way to cope with the effects of
construction equipments. For instance, the presence of heavy trucks, earth movers, lifting
machines and many others would only cause noise distraction for a good period of time. At
the end of project, they would learn how to handle dangerous effects of water reservoirs
which would provide breeding places for mosquitoes. In addition, the consent to the
construction meant that they had no option than to relocate the remains of their ancestors to
another place. This would mean that they would be required to perform a ritual that would
cover the disturbance of the remains.

Conclusion

In general, it appeared that the method applied here to resolve the conflict was a win –
win situation. While the government won the consent of the Native American to construct the
hydroelectric dam in their ancestral land, they were required to pay a price for it. The Native
American on the other hand had to pay the price of relocating to a new area but with more
benefits than what they would have gotten if they had chosen to stay. For instance, the option
to relocate attracted the benefit of modern schools and fisheries to them. However, the Native
Americans had to gain the knowledge and understanding of how they would deal with the
aftermath of disturbing the remains of their ancestors.

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References

Coyhis, D. &. (2008). The Native American Healing Experience. Informer Healthcare ,
1927-1949.
Ferguson, T. J. (1996). Native Americans and the practice of Archeology. Annual Reviews ,
63-79.
Tsai, G. &. (2004, June). The Native American Culture: A Historical and reflective
perspective. Journey to thinking multiculturally , p. 8.

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Richardson, J. &. (2005). Native American Technology and Culture. Archived Information ,
1-28.

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