The story of the Native American - or American Indian - is unique, tragic and inspiring. It is unique because the Indians were the original inhabitants of the American continent. It is tragic because the conflict between the Indians and whites paralleled the experience of traditional peoples throughout the world who have come in contact with industrialized societies. It is an inspiring story because the Native Americans, although dispossessed of much of their land in the 19-th century, have survived, have asserted their political and economic rights, and have succeeded in retaining their identity and culture despite the onslaught of modern civilization.
Today Native Americans are full citizens of the United States. They are proud of their own cultural heritage, which they are trying to protect and maintain it. Indians taught the Europeans how to cultivate crops such as corn, tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco. Canoes and mocasins are all Indian inventions. Indian handicrafted articles such as pottery, silver jewelry, paintings and woven rugs are highly prized.
About half of the Indians in the United States live in large cities and rural areas scattered throughout the country. The remainder live on about 300 federal reservations. Most reservations are located west of the Mississippi River.
Today, there are about 1.4 million Native Americans, which is believed to be more than there were when the first European explorers arrived in the New World. At that time, about one million Native Americans were living in North America.
The transfer of land from Indian to European - and later American -hands was accomplished through treaties and war. It was accompanied by a long struggle between the Indian and European ways of life. In many ways the history of the United States is the story of this struggle.
I. Read the text. Divide it into logical parts. Find the topic sentence of each part.
II. Answer the questions on the text:
1. Why is the story of the Native American unique, tragic and inspiring?
2. What are they proud of now?
3. What did the Indians teach the Europeans?
4. Where do the Indians live nowadays?
5. How many federal reservations are there in the USA?
6. How was the land transferred from the Indians to the Europeans?
III. Ask your friends to put questions to the text and answer them.
IV. Give Russian equivalents to the following English word combinations:
the original inhabitants of the continent; to come in contact with; to teach smb. smth.; the onslaught of modem civilization; cultural heritage; handicrafted articles; rural areas; reservations; European settlers; to accomplish... through treaties; European explorers; rural areas; inspiring story, silver jewelry, to cultivate crops; a long struggle.
V. Give English equivalents to the following word combinations:
Европейская цивилизация, передача земли, завершить процесс, федеральные резервации, культурное наследие, европейские переселенцы, политические и экономические права, сельская местность, индустриальное общество, гончарные изделия, серебряные изделия, распространиться по всемумиру,передача земли, путем соглашений и войн, длительная борьба.
VI. Make up apian of the text in the form of questions.
VII. Retell the text, using expressions given in task 4.