Our spirits Don’t Speak English: Indian Boarding school is an 80 minute documentary that details the mental and physical abuse that the Native Americans endured during the Indian Boarding school experience from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. In the beginning going to school for Indian children meant listening to stories told by tribal elders, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and storytellers. These tales past down from generation to generation were metaphors for the life experience and their relationships to plants and animals. Native children from birth were also taught that their appearance is a representation of pure thoughts and spiritual status of an individual.
Adjusting to another culture is a difficult concept, especially for children in their school classrooms. In Sherman Alexie’s, “Indian Education,” he discusses the different stages of a Native Americans childhood compared to his white counterparts. He is describing the schooling of a child, Victor, in an American Indian reservation, grade by grade. He uses a few different examples of satire and irony, in which could be viewed in completely different ways, expressing different feelings to the reader. Racism and bullying are both present throughout this essay between Indians and Americans. The Indian Americans have the stereotype of being unsuccessful and always being those that are left behind. Through Alexie’s negativity and humor in his essay, it is evident that he faces many issues and is very frustrated growing up as an American Indian. Growing up, Alexie faces discrimination from white people, who he portrays as evil in every way, to show that his childhood was filled with anger, fear, and sorrow.
“Quantie’s weak body shuddered from a blast of cold wind. Still, the proud wife of the Cherokee chief John Ross wrapped a woolen blanket around her shoulders and grabbed the reins.” Leading the final group of Cherokee Indians from their home lands, Chief John Ross thought of an old story that was told by the chiefs before him, of a place where the earth and sky met in the west, this was the place where death awaits. He could not help but fear that this place of death was where his beloved people were being taken after years of persecution and injustice at the hands of white Americans, the proud Indian people were being forced to vacate their lands, leaving behind their homes, businesses and almost everything they owned while traveling to an unknown place and an uncertain future. The Cherokee Indians suffered terrible indignities, sickness and death while being removed to the Indian territories west of the Mississippi, even though they maintained their culture and traditions, rebuilt their numbers and improved their living conditions by developing their own government, economy and social structure, they were never able to return to their previous greatness or escape the injustices of the American people.
Berkhofer, Robert F. The White Man's Indian: Images of the American Indian from Coloumbus to the Present. New York: Vintage, 1979. Www.book.google.com. 31 Aug. 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.
Looking back at the book, I think the root of Eastman's contradictions is obvious. This is man that found himself stuck in a fork in a road for his entire life. He found that on one side of him he was a Native American Indian, while on his other side he was a Christian doctor. He swayed back and forth with both identities not knowing where he had belonged in this world. It's not until the end of the book he finds himself and where his spirit laid. He states, "Nevertheless, so long as I live, I am an American.”
With the influx of white settlers heading west, the United States government soon was faced with the problem of where to put the Sioux. They began to make treaties with the Sioux, the first of which took place...
Johansen, Bruce E., Pritzker, Barrym. Ed. Encyclopedia of American Indian History. Vol I. Santa Barbara: ABC.CLIO Inc, 2005. Print.
Joseph, Chief. “An Indian’s Perspective.” For the Record. 5th ed. Vol. 2. New York & London:
The novel Lame Deer, Seeker of visions is a biography of a Lakota Medicine Man who lived in the 1900’s. this book is his personal views of the situation that Lame Deer’s people have been left in after everything that had happened as the “white man” immigrated to what they believed to be unknown land and theirs for the taking. through the story he speaks of the history of the desecration done to the Native Americans by the European invaders. as well as explaining to Richard Erdoes, through hours of interviews, the way of the Lakota People and their Rituals and customs. this depiction shows the vast spirituality of the Lakota as well as what they hold highly in their religion. It is explained how the “white Man” took over their sacred land and destro...
Sioux as told through John G. Neihardt, an Indian boy then a warrior, and Holy Man
Growing up on a reservation where failing was welcomed and even somewhat encouraged, Alexie was pressured to conform to the stereotype and be just another average Indian. Instead, he refused to listen to anyone telling him how to act, and pursued his own interests in reading and writing at a young age. He looks back on his childhood, explaining about himself, “If he'd been anything but an Indian boy living on the reservation, he might have been called a prodigy. But he is an Indian boy living on the reservation and is simply an oddity” (17). Alexie compares the life and treatment of an Indian to life as a more privileged child. This side-by-side comparison furthers his point that
Banks, D., Erodes, R. (2004). Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement. Ojibwa Warrior. Retrieved January 20, 2005, from http://www.oupress.com/bookdetail.asp?isbn=0-8061-3580-8
It was August of 1819 in Mississippi. Men were harvesting corn and beans. The smell of the Choctaw own acorn bread filled the air. All the children were prancing about, playing with friends, shooting squirrels with their little toy bows, and wrestling for the last bite of jerky. All but one child. That lonely little boy’s name was Koi. Koi never got to play with the other Choctaw boys, as he had to prepare to become chief.
William David Sutton, my great-great-great grandfather, or “Willdee” as he had often referred to himself, led an extraordinary life marked by many accomplishments, ups and downs, and went from a man of considerable means to a man of none. Mr. Sutton was born half-Cherokee on January 2nd, 1843, to a family of five, and later developed into an aspiring and capable young man. Mr. Sutton also kept a diary of all his recollections throughout his life, which were transcribed digitally, and I am lucky enough to refer to it for the essay.