Andrew Blackbird Identity

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Imagine living a simple lifestyle where growing up everyone close to you was content and knew exactly who they were in life. Unfortunately for you, everything began to change as you grew up and the life you knew so well was becoming more modern. This then caused you to start forming different identities for yourself with all of these changes. That was the personal battle that Andrew Blackbird, author of History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, faced during his lifetime. In his short book he describes the events of his life and past events of his tribe and others in the area. In doing so it can be believed that he is trying to make sense of his own identity. Throughout the book, Blackbird discuses three major identities that he sees himself as a(n): Pe-Pe-Gwen, Ottawa, and American.…show more content…
As he grows up he has no choice but to identify himself as an American because of the way that the country was changing. The Ottawas slowly became involved with the American government as they signed more and more treaties. “March 28th, 1836, a treaty was signed at Washington, not with the free will of the Indians, but by compulsion” (Blackbird 23). From this statement it can be assumed that Blackbird is not happy with how the Indians are treated even though they are Americans themselves. Blackbird also describes in his book the intermingling of white culture into his tribe through weapons, liquor, and language. “But all the young folks did not drink intoxicating liquors as a beverage in those days” (Blackbird 4) he explains. He is clearly reminiscing on the past in this statement and how much his tribe’s ways have changed since then. “…but I am very sorry to add that they have also learned profanity like the white children” (Blackbird 10) he explains. Although it is apparent that Blackbird is not fond of the White- American culture, he still identifies himself as American due to the integrating of their culture with
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