Denise K. Lajmodiere “American Indian Females and Stereotypes: Warriors, Leaders, Healers, Feminists; Not Drudges, Princesses, Prostitutes.” National Association for Multicultural Education (2013): 104-109. Web. 7 Sept. 2015. This article, written by native female author Denise K. Lajmodiere highlights the racial stereotypes that surround Native American women and how they are historically inaccurate. She argues that the true role of Native American women in their tribes had been misinterpreted by European colonists who failed to understand that they were important figures, and not just drudges or prostitutes. She does so by giving clear examples of how many tribal cultures were matriarchal highlighting women’s roles as healers, leaders, warriors
The prescribed question that I have chosen is Power and Privilege: “How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?”
In the third grade, I was asked to draw a picture related to Thanksgiving for a drawing contest to win a Toys R Us coupon. I remember the only knowledge I had of Thanksgiving was what my grade school teachers had taught me: the Pilgrims, people who wore tall, black hats shared a joyous meal with Indians, who were known as wild people who wore togas around their waist and feathers on their heads. Being a ignorant little boy, I drew what I thought Indians had to do to catch the turkeys as my picture; I drew an Indian man with a bow shooting an arrow right through the body of a turkey. With that picture, I won the contest. This thought of Indians in togas stayed with me until 9th grade when my world history teacher taught the class about the effects
Theda Perdue`s Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835, is a book that greatly depicts what life had been like for many Native Americans as they were under European Conquering. This book was published in 1998, Perdue was influenced by a Cherokee Stomp Dance in northeastern Oklahoma. She had admired the Cherokee society construction of gender which she used as the subject of this book. Though the title Cherokee Women infers that the book focuses on the lives of only Cherokee women, Perdue actually shines light upon the way women 's roles affected the Native cultures and Cherokee-American relations. In the book, there is a focus on the way that gender roles affected the way different tribes were run in the 1700 and 1800`s. Native
One of this week’s readings focused on Ch. 5, “Caged Birds,” in Professor Lytle Hernandez’s book City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965, and this chapter was particularly interesting because it further explained the development of immigration control in the United States. As a continuation from the last chapter, there was a huge emphasis in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Geary Act of 1892. This essentially prohibited Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States, as well as eventually requiring these people to comply with regulations. “Caged Birds” encapsulates the events afterwards, as the book heads well into the early-1900’s. The disenfranchisement of immigrants develops towards further exclusivity because “[by] 1917, Congress had banned all Asian immigration to the Unites States and also categorically prohibited all prostitutes, convicts, anarchists, epileptics, ‘lunatics,’ ‘idiots,’ contract laborers, and those ‘liable to become public charges’ from entering the United States” (Hernandez 132). This is significant because it is a reinforcement of the exclusive lifestyle of the patriarchal
Throughout history, there have been many literary studies that focused on the culture and traditions of Native Americans. Native writers have worked painstakingly on tribal histories, and their works have made us realize that we have not learned the full story of the Native American tribes. Deborah Miranda has written a collective tribal memoir, “Bad Indians”, drawing on ancestral memory that revealed aspects of an indigenous worldview and contributed to update our understanding of the mission system, settler colonialism and histories of American Indians about how they underwent cruel violence and exploitation. Her memoir successfully addressed past grievances of colonialism and also recognized and honored indigenous knowledge and identity.
Published in 2007, “The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie says about the moving story of a Native American teenager named Arnold Spirit who made the bold decision to attend an all-white high school from Spokane reservation to find hope for the future in the Reardan. This volume won the National Book Award in 2007 and won several other awards. Even though this novel can be power of education, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” paperback should be banned because this is not appropriate for middle schools.
Expectations often impose an inescapable reality. In the short story “Indian Education” by Sherman Alexie, Victor often struggles with Indian and American expectations during school. Alexie utilizes parallelism in the construction of each vignette, introducing a memoir of tension and concluding with a statement about Victor’s difficulties, to explore the conflict between cultures’ expectations and realities.
When it comes to determining the identity of an individual, there are a few simple things that typically influence that assumption. The way one may speak or where they’re from, the types of things they like to do or hear or eat. While grander choices and decisions play into this identity, it is truly who one chooses to be on an average day that forms this mold. Gertrude Bonnin’s memoir The School Days of an Indian Girl focuses on her changing sense of self after being placed in a boarding school. No longer was she allowed to keep all of the little things that created her identity, the simple day-to-day habits that made her who she was up to that point. The schools fundamentally changed many Native American youths and anything that would have
“Song of the Hummingbird” by Graciela Limon is a book about Huitzitzilin an old Mexica woman who in the book tells both her life stories and sins to a young Catholic priest named father Benito. Throughout the book Huitzitzilin describes to father Benito how the Spaniards took the homes of her people and how they killed two of her kings. It showed how the the Indians were forced to fight back only because the Spaniards took advantage of their hospitality they were offered. Eventually the sad truth was that the Spaniards made the Indians weaker than ever from those diseases they brought with them. Which is the most important reason why Huitzitzilin lost her people and home. She would often talk about both her love and mother hood life along
Native Americans’ social structure was very different from the way Anglo-American’s believed was the correct way for men and women to live. This created a major conflict as the Anglo’s begin to press on the Natives’ land. Anglo-American’s believed that the best thing for the Natives’ was to be assimilated and transformed into their way of life. The Anglo’s intervened into the Natives’ life with a Civilization Program, removal and reservations, and boarding schools. The ramifications had lasting negative effects on the Natives’ gender roles.
Overcoming a challenge, not giving up, and not being afraid of change are a few themes demonstrated in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Perhaps the most prominent theme derived from the novel is defying the odds, or in other words rising above the expectations of others. Junior Spirit exemplifies this theme throughout the entirety of the book. As Junior is an Indian, he almost expects that he will never leave the reservation, become an alcoholic, and live in poverty like the other Indians on the reservation—only if he sits around and does not endeavor to change his fate. When Junior shares the backstory of his parents, he says that his mother and father came from “poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people, all the way back to the very first poor people” (11). He knows that if his parents were not born into poverty, his mother would have gone to college, and his father would have become a musician. Additionally, on page eleven Junior says that his parents “dreamed about being something other than poor, but they never got the chance to be anything because nobody paid attention to their dreams.” Junior believes that he is trapped in this “circle” of poverty, and his dreams will be ignored just as his parents’ dreams had been. However, after Junior launches an old geometry book across a classroom, and it hits his teacher, Mr. P, in the face, Mr. P realizes something substantial about Junior: He has fought since his birth, beginning with the
Throughout assimilation, there was a cultural barrier between the Indians and the teachers. At the core of this barrier was the idea that one culture was more civilized than the other. This idea can be seen in both Native American boarding schools and at St. Lucy’s. As stated in Sarah E. Stone’s dissertation, the teachers at Native American boarding schools were not “culturally familiar” (57) with the students and, as a result, treated them differently. Similarly, at St. Lucy’s the nuns saw the wolf girls as barbaric people and treated them accordingly. The teachers and nuns believed that since they were the civilized culture, they must assimilate the more savage people into their way of life and help them become as stated in Karen Russell’s
In his book the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie portrays a teenage boy, Arnold Spirit (junior) living in white man’s world, and he must struggle to overcome racism and stereotypes if he must achieve his dreams. In the book, Junior faces a myriad of misfortunes at his former school in ‘the rez’ (reservation), which occurs as he struggles to escape from racial and stereotypical expectations about Indians. For Junior he must weigh between accepting what is expected of him as an Indian or fight against those forces and proof his peers and teachers wrong. Therefore, from the time Junior is in school at reservation up to the time he decides to attend a neighboring school in Rearden, we see a teenager who is facing tough consequences for attempting to go against the racial stereotypes. The decision to attend a white school is a tough one and Junior understands that for him to survive and to ensure that his background does not stop him from attaining his dreams; he must battle the stereotypes regardless of the consequences. In this light, race and stereotypes only makes junior stronger in the end as evident on how he struggles to override the race and stereotypical expectations from his time at the reservation to his time at Rearden.
“Caged Bird” written by Maya Angelou in 1968 announces to the world her frustration of racial inequality and the longing for freedom. She seeks to create sentiment in the reader toward the caged bird plight, and draw compassion for the imprisoned creature. (Davis)