In US History we read and discussed the Indian Removal Acts, analyzing them through different perspectives. First, we read through them in groups, each person focusing on a different section. Then, as a class, we debated as various groups- mine being politicians- to see how people may have argued for or against them. This assignment clearly fits within Recognize Perspectives, because to us living in the 21st century these actions were clearly wrong, but by seeing them through the lenses of many different people, it became more nuanced. This addresses my overarching question because the Indian Removal Acts were a truly painful time for hundreds of Native communities forced to leave their land, their traditions, and their homes. This was a drastic change for many Native peoples and created an even bigger rift between indigenous and non-indigenous societies.
Ahner, Lilia. “Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act.”
Livejournal.com, potus_geeks, 28 May 2012, potus-
geeks.livejournal.com/226043.html. Accessed April 2018
In English we read S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of The Summer Moon discussed the impact of having a switch from a white narrator to more information on the inner workings of a powerful Native American tribe. This reading fits within the pillar of recognize perspectives because of the transition from the initial narrative of a white victim to a broader perspective of Native Americans. This gave the reading a more fair outlook on the entirety of the situation as it gave perspective and background from both sides. Furthermore Empire of The Summer Moon supported the concept of this pillar in that it rejected the classic narrative of the white people not being at fault, and did not avoid the history and traditions of the native peoples.
Image Courtesy of Ms. Cooper
In AP US History we studied various altercations between the US army and Native Americans by creating presentations. This project fits within the pillar of Recognize Perspectives because it shows the varying understandings held by the US government in regard to its indigenous population as well as the oppression faced by Native populations at the hand of the government. This addresses my overarching question in that it shows how Native narratives of oppression change their opinion toward the government, thus effecting how community is shaped.
In AP Spanish IV we did an activity surrounding cultural appropriation and how one would identify it in real life. Some of these images included halloween costumes depicting skimpy Native American “outfits,” and festival-wear that included cheap headdresses. This fits within the pillar of Recognize Perspectives because we explored the underlying reasons for appropriation, as well as the line between being respectful and appropriating traditional cultures. Furthermore, we had a long discussion about each image and situation and we found that for some, cultural appropriation was a large grey area, and for others it was a heated subject. This addresses my overarching question in that it shows how relationships between white and Native societies today and how culture is being appreciated both thoughtfully and disrespectfully.
Photo Caption: "Baby Blue Tomahawk Hottie Costume"
“Baby Blue Tomahawk Hottie Costume.” Amiclubwear.com, Ami
553700babyblue.html. Accessed April 2018
In English we read the essay Superman and Me, by Sherman Alexie, which detailed an autobiographical account of Alexie’s growth into a writer as well as the current education system for Native children on reservations. This essay fits into the category of Recognize Perspectives because it shows the disparity between education systems in the US as well as the racism that seeps into the self-image of many Native American students. Furthermore, this supported the pillar in that it was a piece of writing from the perspective of an indigenous person, which is one rarely portrayed in the media. This addresses my overall question because it shows the relative stagnation of improvement within the reservation education system, often making it harder for children within to reach their full potential for growth.
Veregge, Jeffrey. “Last Son.” Jeffrey Veregge, Jeffrey Veregge,
www.jeffreyveregge.com/. Accessed April 2018