A Seat At The Drum: Film Analysis

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How does one identify themselves as Native American in an urban environment? What is tribal identity? Does it have to do with blood quantum? Or do you have to be an enrolled member? Is one still considered a Native American if they intermarry with another race? Can religion be factor in tribal identity? The film, A Seat at the Drum, follows the journey of journalist Mark Anthony Rolo of the Bad River Ojibwe. He makes his journey to Los Angeles to learn about the Native American who relocated from their reservations to cities in the latter half of the 20th Century. He first makes his stop at Sherman Boarding School then to The film depicts hundreds of families being relocated to cities. Relocation is another form assimilation. The beginning …show more content…

Rolo shared a story about his relationship with Jesus. He had no connection with Ojibwa culture. He grew up Catholic. He mother was religious. It was not until Rolo met a woman from Germany. She came to the US to meet ‘real Indians.’ She asked if she could touch his face once he admitted he was Indian. He had realization that he may look indian but he did not feel like it. That was when he began his journey in finding his Ojibwa identity. Being ‘Native’ and ‘Christian’ are sometimes seen at both end of a spectrum. It’s one of the most challenging issue among Native Americans. For five hundred years, Native Americans endured colonial power which resulted in separation between those who are traditionalist and progressives as Rolo stated,” Indians have deep spiritual traditions so it should come as no surprise that even as Christian missionaries were participating in the cultural genocide of the tribes, individual Indian families were drawn to the faith and Christianity has been a very effective tool of assimilation in the cities.” The idea of blood quantum came into existence when applying to become a member to tribal nation. Some believe that you must full blooded to be called a Native American. Many tribal members have mixed feelings about lineal descent. This being if there are not enough tribal members, the federal government will withdraw its funding or federal recognition. This creates multitude of problems. How can blood quantum become

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