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Write a paragraph identifying the system that is the subject of Chief Joseph’s comments, and explain his ideas about how that system relates to Native Americans. “If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small part of the earth, and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented, nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me - Chief joseph, quoted in the North American Review, April 1879
Chief Joseph's comments were extremely racist. He did not want to incorporate any white man ideas into his world. But it overall would've helped them, thus leading to a steady diet of problems for both races. Chief Joseph is commenting on the reservation system. The U.S. government developed reservations as a way to promote white settlement of land formerly occupied by Indians. Cliief Joseph believes that Indians are bound to fail within that system. He draws a parallel between a Native American and another living creature, a horse, as he explains that an Indian needs freedom of movement in order to be happy and healthy. Chief Joseph uses tliree words to characterize a healthy, positive living situation—contented, grow, and prosper—and he believes that this kind of life is impossible for Indians to achieve if their physical movements are restricted by the government.