Sherman Alexie's Indian Education

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In a few scenes of the the grades one through twelve the short story “Indian Education,” by the Native American author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie is able to show us what it is like growing up in the white, American culture. Sherman Alexie is able to give us a glimpse of the differences of what it means to be in a non-white student area that is struggling due to the effects of colonization. Even though it has been many years since the European explores “found” North America, the settlers and government continued to expand into Indian territories. The Native Americans gradually saw their land and culture diminishing as they were relocated to reservations. The feelings of oppression become obvious through the eyes of Victor, a young boy. The…show more content…
Cultural appropriation is a sociological concept that views the use or adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different culture as a negative phenomenon. This theme is something that is not only found in Sherman Alexie’s short essay, but is also found in our world today. For example, the school that Victor transfers to is an off reservation, all white school where the mascot is an Indian. This is a disrespect to the Indians, and Victor believes that he is “probably the only actual Indian ever to play for a team with such a mascot,” (line 68). There are many examples of schools having names and mascots based of different Native American tribes and symbols. These mascots are seen as racist imitations of the Native Americans. There are even football teams such as the “Redskins” team of Washington D.C. that in a way has a negative connotation. For the Native Americans, the term “redskin” is a slur and a generalization of the people and their skin color, basically a stereotype. Many of these mascots run around wearing headdresses, beating drums, and waving tomahawks. These images have led us to relate such things to the Native Americans and it continues to push the stereotype of a Native American. The separation of Native Americans from their heritage, lands, and culture have led to an even bigger divide between them and the white culture. All these things are still impacting the lives of the Native American people
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