On The Rez

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In the essay “On the Rez” which is written by Ian Frazier, the author tells us about life near the

Indian Reservations. Life there can be very though, especially when some of your neighbors treat you

with no dignity all because of your color and ethic group. The author then tells us various types of racial

discrimination that the Indians felt around the Indian reservations, but the main story is about how a

fourteen year old high school student was able change the hatred that was around her reservation, all

from a single action that happened in a basketball game. The name of this fourteen year old high school

who changed everything around her reservation is SuAnne Big Crow. She was only a freshman but she

was able to change so much. During the fall of 1988, the Pine Ridge Basketball team, which is a female

basketball team made up of Indians, went to the South Dakotan town of Lead to play a basketball game

against the local high school team. Frazier then tells us that the “place where Pine Ridge used to get

harassed regularly was the high school gymnasium in Lead, South Dakota”(592). When the Pine Ridge

team played against Lead, the Lead fans started to harass them. They were shouting at the Pine Ridge

team with pure anti-Indian phrases and pure hatred. When the Pine Ridge team was about to enter the

basketball court, the tallest member and high school senior, Doni De Cory was to afraid to enter the

court. But SuAnne Big Crow, who was only a freshman at the time, was not afraid, instead she had a leap

of imagination. A leap of imagination is when you think you have an insolvable problem, about to give

up, and then- the solution appears. That is what happened to SuAnne, instead of givin...

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this coup was an act not of war but of peace”(593) and “SuAnne’s coup strike was an offering an

invitation”(593). What Frazier is telling us is that SuAnne invited the Lead fans to share in the culture of

the Oglala, she wanted them to be friends with her people not enemy , and because it was an act of

peace, it changed the relationship between the Oglala and the town of Lead for good not evil. This offer

of friendship was received by the people of Lead and they accepted it, and the Oglala and the people of

Lead became good and friendly neighbors.

In conclusion, it takes only one person at the right time, place, and moment to change the future

between two peoples, and because of the act of bravely and pure courage that SuAnne Big Crow did

when she took off that warm-up she was able to turn an air full of hatred into good will and friendship.
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