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The national minority of the American Indian tribes has always been of interest to researchers since the communities inhabited by the native people of the New World have kept their traditions almost unchanged. Some changes have occurred over time, but such common factors of life as the culture, communication, values have practically not altered. One of these tribes of the North American continent is the Mdewakanton Tribe of the Sioux Nation, the group of people who have their unique history. This community has its culture and national heritage, and their relationship with one another and people around them deserves attention.
Despite the preserved traditional way of life, the Native Americans have adapted to the new world in a significant way. As for the Mdewakanton Tribe, these people communicate their identities through the surrounding world, creating valuable natural areas and caring for animals. They did not create any grand architectural monuments, but their participation in the cultural life of America can not be denied (Halbach, 2017). Buffalos and bald eagles are of particular importance to these Indians. The community residents have developed a rather large-scale project, the essence of which is the cultivation and conservation of rare plant species.
Their social environment has undergone significant changes over the past several centuries. Nevertheless, the native people have managed to preserve their cultural heritage and to ensure that the government takes into account their interests and respects their history. The participation of the Mdewakanton Tribe in the 1832 uprising demonstrates that these people are ready to defend their lands. However, the tribe did not take part in the rebellion of 1862 (Canby, 2014). Despite the significant losses after bloody wars, they did not abandon their way of life and continued to recreate their culture despite the changing world around them.
Peculiarities of the Tribe’s Art
The Prairie Island Community, as this group of Indians is often called, did not pay much attention to the preservation of art; therefore, there are no many pieces of evidence of their cultural heritage. However, the tribe demonstrates an active participation in environmental protection. For example, these people have created several unique natural ecosystems to conserve rare species of flora and fauna.
The culture’s identity of the Indians is often expressed through mass media channels, for instance, TV and newspapers, where the natives look like people deeply involved in gambling business. As Canby (2014) notes, like many other tribes, the Mdewakanton Tribe is the member of this sphere, and the revenues from the casinos that they own significantly help the community develop. Moreover, the industry built on entertainment attracts many tourists to the recreation industry. They frequently hold various thematic festivals, where they invite neighboring related tribes. They show their way of life, perform songs and dances, and such events are always of interest to people.
Value Orientations and Relationships
A low context is the feature of the tribe’s communication. The native people of America are known for their wisdom, and they give paramount importance to the objective content of the communicative act and a secondary to its context. As for the power distance, the hierarchy within the tribe is not demonstrated in public, and there is no strongly marked dominance of some members over others within the community (Doerfler & Redix, 2016). The governing body is a five-member council; also, there is a court composed of the residents. The primary course that the tribe adheres is the well-being of its inhabitants, and it is these ideas that they are trying to introduce to the government.
Collectivistic Type of Culture
The Indians of the Mdewakanton Tribe adhere to a collectivist type of culture. The relationships of dependence develop among the members of the group, and this way of life serves as the protection from the outside world. Thus, the violation of loyalty in the group is considered a grave offense; confrontations with other people are impolite and undesirable. The council is usually assembled to formulate the group idea. For most Indian tribes, the form of individualistic culture is not typical as the Native American residents are known for their cohesion and devotion to the interests of the community (Doerfler & Redix, 2016). For example, no one will make independent decisions that can affect the situation in the tribe. It requires a collective decision, which will be approved by all council members and supported by the members of the group.
The monochronic type of behavior is more typical of the culture of the Indians than the polychromic type. People maintain order in their lives and do not hurry to accelerate the pace of life. According to Canby (2014), this behavior resembles the lifestyle of other tribes as the emphasis on time and its flow is one of the key positions of native peoples. Closing their world, the Indians appreciate and protect their environment, so they are distinguished by wisdom and frequent silence.
Uncertainty avoidance is another characteristic of the Indian society. The residents of the Mdewakanton Tribe, like other native communities, do not consider it necessary to show loyalty to those actions or events that could directly damage the welfare of their social group. Most Indians are known for their directness and sincerity. It is one of their fundamental differences from the outside world, and people who study the way of life of native peoples note this feature.
Thus, the Mdewakanton Tribe of the Sioux Nation has its culture and national heritage. The monochronic and collectivistic type of culture makes this community unique and distinct. The relationships within the tribe explain the way of life of the Indians and regulate their behavior. The cultural identity of these people determines their close connection with the nature and the desire for self-knowledge.
Canby, W. C. (2014). American Indian law in a nutshell (6th ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing.
Doerfler, J., & Redix, E. (2016). The Great Lakes. In F. E. Hoxie (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of American Indian history (pp. 131-157). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Halbach, A. (2017). Trends in total phosphorus concentrations in urban and non-urban environments. Web.