Wilderness as a settler-colonial construct that embodies prejudice--racism and sexism--and that continues to shape and engrave settler-colonial ideologies in our society’s mindset, it should be questioned as to how it has been so powerful a cultural enterprise. Stories are what empower cultural persistence and cultural identity. In particular, the United States has implemented the use of story to shape and construct its cultural ideologies and to marginalize and disempower women and Indigenous people so that white men can assume a position of supremacy. Within these stories, the heroes are often depicted as innocent--similar to anti-conquest in which the colonizer naturalizes his own presence while establishing his power over native peoples
Neil Diamond 's documentary “Reel Injun” depicts the historical portrayal of the treatment of the First Nations in America. It brings awareness to the truth behind not only First Nations, but other stereotyped groups. For example, that many people often mistake all members of the Muslim community as Extremists who commit inhumane acts of terrorism. Small percentages of the population who fit the stereotyped criteria may often unintentionally represent their background negatively and as a whole. These are then misinterpreted by society ultimately having a biased view on groups of people.
In particular, the writer’s use of metaphor and symbolism works to highlight the way that Europeans and their capitalistic systems have influenced First Nations and their culture. “When a meat eater becomes a sugar eater”: Mike was forced to become a sugar eater, just like the First Nations were forced into dependency on Europeans. First nations used to exist eating natural foods, such as different meats and fish, which they killed themselves. The First Nations were forced into a situation where they became dependent on grocery stores and were moved into a white-washed world where they were unable to live a traditional self-dependent life like they used to. In the same way, Mike, who grew up eating natural foods, became dependant on white-washed food for survival while he was at school in the south.
Forming his argument, Brown provides the reader with the understanding that White Americans primarily wrote native histories. Continuing to make his thesis, he claims the narrative provides a Native American history of the west. Through their words and perspectives, he offers the reader a comprehensive history by developing the identity of the Native American (Brown, XXV). The thesis’ concept of identity is the most interesting aspect of the monograph. Brown’s view on identity offers the reader with insight into native culture and relations with the United States
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.
Smoke Signals is one of the most touching films of the 1990’s, based on Sherman Alexie’s short story, This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona. Although it is not a standard Western film, but one can learn much about American Indians’ life as it is a film created and acted by them. The indigenous characters of the film are not represented as the typical Western film’s American Indians, but the story represents indigenous life in a natural way, and gives a contemporary image to the viewer of them as the new generation American Indians, who grew up in Native American boarding schools, speak the English language well, and white people started to convert them into the Christian religion. The well-known stereotypes about their roots and lifestyle appear in a hidden, humorous way with the help of symbols that usually refers to their past; and do not appear in an easy, clear way, as it is hard to understand without any background information about Native Americans. In this paper I would like to search for the symbols of the film, analyse them, and try to understand the historical or even political background of these motifs, which pervades American Indian’s life, and can help us understand their spirituality that is deeply rooted in their culture.
When Smoke Signals Indians’ Distress… “The only thing more pathetic than Indians on TV is Indians watching Indians on TV” declares ironically Thomas-Builds-The-Fire, in the movie “Smoke Signals”, to condemn the Indian stereotype conveyed by media. The writer, Sherman Alexie narrates the story of Thomas and Victor, Native Americans, who go on a road-trip to retrieve the ashes of the lately deceased Arnold Joseph, Victor’s father. Leaving their natal Coeur D’Alene reservation, Victor and Thomas are stepping into the foreign world of America, in which codes and values differ from their native culture. Alexie portrays the duality of Native American culture, capturing the history of people who have been oppressed, yet attempting to forge their identity in the media-saturated world of the 20th Century, adopting panoramic shots, manipulating the circular sense of time,
The first television series on the NBC network starred a Native American as a law enforcer of white law and order. Now, Native Americans were viewed as civilized men. More films were made that promoted Native Americans. Though the positive stereotypes were introduced, it still didn’t warrant problems. In the 1971 Advertising Council’s Keep America Beautiful public service announcement is sincere, it still confines the Native American chief to the past, as he is representing a by-gone era and a by-gone people.
The way that they are represented in the novel provides an insight into modern day native American culture unparalleled by any history book. The way women, children, men, religious figures, and senior citizens are represented in the book allow readers to see the way native Americans interact with others. These interactions allow us to see how native
However, Indians break the barriers of their traditional lives by being in more modern and “white” activities. They partake in “normal” activities to not only change their future, but to make their ancestors proud of their accomplishments. Through a variety of events in the early 1900’s, Deloria expands on what it means to be Native American by retelling their lives of, men grew from their reservation life, into competitive sports, the auto industry transformed how Native Americans traveled, and they also gained relevance in the fight to make themselves known in film, not always as a savage warrior, but also capable of love moving pictures. Marking the anniversary of Wounded Knee, Buffalo Bill Cody wanted the shooting of the film The Indian Wars to be a historical reenactment of the events, by using the battleground for the film.
Indigenous people, are rarely represented in the media. They typically don’t appear in film and when they do, they are negatively stereotyped. These negative stereotypes are deeply embedded in American life and most Americans cannot even perceive Indigenous people as real people.
He will invariably have a thin sexy wife with stringy hair, an IQ of 191, and a vocabulary in which even the prepositions have eleven syllables” (79). In this text, Deloria argues how anthropologists purposely contrast themselves from Indians on reservations with how they dress to show their overwhelming wealth and intelligence over Indians while also crudely mocking how anthropologists pretend to be hierarchical snobs. High school students would be intrigued with the sass Deloria uses in his writing. Another appropriate type of reading would be Native Americans’ personal narratives of their own experiences on colonization, American politics, cultural appropriation, and more. Dawnland Voices edited by Siobhan Senier, for instance, would be a spectacular reading for this proposed class since it includes intimate indigenous short stories, poems, and writings from the New England region.
Methods To explore levels of media use and beliefs about representation, ethnographic interviews were conducted with Native American students enrolled at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Qualative methods were used to analyze the data collected. This was utilized through direct observation, communication with participants, analysis of texts, and following an ethnographic study. Ethnographic studies or ethnographic designs are “qualitative research procedures for describing, analyzing, and interpreting a cultural group 's shared patterns of behavior, beliefs, and language that develop over time” (Hart, 2006). To achieve this, interviews were done with ten native students at Eastern Oregon University.
Once European men stepped foot onto what is now known as North America, the lives of the Native Americans were forever changed. The Indians suffered centuries of torment and ridicule from the settlers in America. Despite the reservations made for the Natives, there are still cultural issues occurring within America. In Sherman Alexie’s, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, the tragic lives of Native Americans in modern society are depicted in a collection of short stories taking place in the Spokane Reservation in Washington state. Throughout the collection, a prominent and reoccurring melancholic theme of racism against Native Americans and their struggle to cope with such behavior from their counterpart in this modern day and age is shown.
Concerning the 2012 film “Crooked Arrows” and its use of natives and native culture, the film features an unexpected yet flawed representation of the natives role in the modern world and the noble savage archetype. The film achieves these representations through the use of music, shot selection, and editing. The film “Crooked Arrows” presents natives as a people that are more than able to survive and live in modern society, however it also chooses to embrace the noble savage archetype and the idea that natives are in tune with nature. The native lacrosse team featured in the film are presented in a way that is unexpected.