The motto of the United States, "E Pluribus Unum", meaning "Out of one, many", neatly recognizes that although America may be a single nation, it is also one originally made up of immigrants who arrived not only from Europe and Asia, but forcibly as slaves from Africa and of Native Americans. Its population is the most racially and culturally diverse in the world, and for that reason there is a constant battle of defining what it is to be an American, as well as to belong to its many social groups. One of these social or ethno- racial groups is its original inhabitants, the Native American people. This group has endured 500 years of Europeans, European Americans, and their dominance in the lands they consider home. To highlight the unique social position of the Native Americans this essay looks at the arrival to the United States by Native Americans, the legal status they were accorded, the political and economic conditions they faced, their renewed sense of identity, and their assimilation to a greater white society.
When the United States declared its independence in 1776, the Native Americans had already been independent for thousands of years. They did not arrive in the United States, or immigrate, or be brought in as slaves, or land in the country against there will. They were the keepers of this new land with their own set of laws, customs, and traditions, without the need for conversion, transformation, or any other attempt to tame or rescue a people from their own way of life. As the explorers to the new world searched for rich lands or other economically beneficial substances, they changed the native's lives forever. One way or the other, millions of indigenous people died as the result of their arrival. Many consider this the greatest crime in United States history. However, after the deaths of millions of natives, the treatment of the survivors has not made up for their losses or even try …

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