“All these kids have given up. All your friends. All the bullies. And their mothers and fathers have given up, too. And their grandparents gave up and their grandparents before them. And me and every other teacher here”.(The Story of the Native Americans). This depicts that there are a lot of Native Americans that have problems and have given up on trying. What kind of challenges do Native American face today?
Native Americans lived in America 35,000 years before the Europeans came in 1492. At first the Indians welcomed them and wanted to share land and food with them. However, the Europeans wanted more land and started to drive the natives off their land. This made a big conflict and those who tried to oppose them were killed. A lot of the Indians died, but they died because of the diseases that the Europeans brought with them and not necessarily from fighting against them. Since a lot of the Native Americans died, the culture almost perished away, and if they continued to fight more of them would have died.
After being driven off their land, and having conflicts with other tribes, they were forced to live in reservations. The new settlers, wanted to take away the Native American culture, so they forbad practice of their culture and the Natives had to send their children away to boarding school, so that they could learn European traditions. Since there were a lot of children that got sent away, the Native American culture was even more damaged and there were fewer people that practiced it. In 1924, the Natives were given American citizenship, and they were able to have their own set of rules in the reservations.
Junior is in a situation where he has to choose between the tribe, and his future. He decides to got to a school outside of the reservation, because he will get a better education. This is because of his math teacher “Mr. P”, that encourages him to get out of the reservation where everybody else has given up, and Junior’s goal is to try and become successful.
Leaving the reservation is quite difficult for Junior. He thinks that the tribe will be disappointed in him and he says that they will probably torture him. He also leaves his best friend, Rowdy, who gives him a good bye gift, which is a black eye and a swollen nose. He also leaves behind his family, which makes him really sad, and he hopes that the tribe would forgive him for leaving.
Junior’s situation is quite typical for Native Americans today. They have to decide between living in the reservation and respecting their culture, however that leads to them living in poverty and not having a good education, or leave the reservation and get an education or a job. Having no job or education, leads to poverty. Because of poverty a lot of people misuse alcohol which leads to a lot of drunk people and an addiction to it, which affects the whole community.
Reservations do not have a lot of jobs, because there are not a lot of things to invest in or investors. They can invest in a casino, but that does not really represent the Natives. The land in the reservations is not good either, so it is hard for the Natives to grow food or grow a lot to make that be an income. The only way they can get out of poverty is to leave the reservation and work, which can make the Natives’ language and culture disappear.
Because of these struggles, there are a lot of challenges that Native Americans face everyday, such as alcoholism, choosing between tribe and future and more. However, these challenges can be solved and a lot of people are trying to solve it. Implementing a better educational system and getting more jobs in the reservations can fix it, but it will require a lot of help.
“The Story of the Native Americans “Retrieved 15 April, 2016 from: https://files.itslearning.com/File/Download/GetFile.aspx?FileName=The+Story+of+Native+Americans+(Tracks)+pdf.pdf&Path=Sknz0n8nokPYAok8pS%2f691LEzWjJ4zexgV115gtgc5C%2fWysBFBm8tLbWZ7ctbsA5zYN%2fAyN%2faj4v3MHsmSr%2f9qBeCxq65ywUB%2bOcP3SyGI8zZef2%2blEviMBsWE0GX3uKSY1FQJqrKXtZt5S9QZmpDgw8PEftoustVml%2fMp1Mikg%3d&MimeType=application%2fpdf&Domain=akademiet.itslearning.com&TimeStamp=635963203516400871&Signature=SupkIy35UVyf3cqVLdVo%2fkFp87uQLqWgn8TquOkA9H5E6geMbihNLubmQAB7DF%2fIpVmDROG6mdD3cIoqLIMvxBrU72DDcXy3eT6mw9kl0hLGNK%2froatKqfCI%2fFAHb%2beuFBOv5boN6Yj3l8nNWXjtdUnWlTEB4H5NSqpPVwiOEyQ%3d
Adapted from: Alexie, S., 2008, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, London: Andersen Press Limited.