“Blankets for the Dead” Discussion Questions

“Blankets for the Dead” Discussion Questions
Objective: You will learn how cultural stereotypes were used to justify
official mistreatment of American Indians.
Directions: After reading the story “Blankets for the Dead,” thoughtfully
respond to each of the following questions.
1. In what ways did the Cherokees try to conform to European ideas of
civilization? Why?
2. How does the “roots/potatoes” incident highlight cultural bias?
3. What is the tone of the letter from Choctaw Chief George Harkins?
What is his attitude toward the government’s policy of Indian removal?
4. Describe the Indian removal from north Georgia. Was the evacuation
carried out according to plan? Why did many Indians choose to walk rather
than ride the boats the government provided?
5. Why did some soldiers take pity on the Indians, and why were their acts
of sympathy often severely punished?
6. Why did the U.S. government continue to view Indians as a problem even
after the Trails of tears? What strategy would the government use next?
7. What reasons did Andrew Jackson give for supporting Indian removal?
How did he compare the Indian removal to death?