Race & Loss by Dinah

True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a about a Spokane Indian boy named Junior, who doesn’t feel welcomed either on the reservation or at his all-white school Reardan. In “True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” race and loss are a huge part of the book because it gives Junior a little bit of trouble for searching for him real self. Junior feels like he’s half-white and half-Indian. But in reality he doesn’t feel welcomed at either the reservation or at Reardan.

Sherman Alexie has given us as readers an idea of how much people stereotype and use racist slurs to describe Native Americans. Through Junior’s experience Alexie shows us the devastating impact of stereotyping and racism has changed Junior himself. One way Junior has experienced racism was when he went to his first day of Reardan. Everyone there was very stereotypical and calling him racist names and making fun of him because of his heritage and ethnicity, but in reality those people didn’t even know what Junior’s real heritage and background is like they were just making assumptions because of the way that he looks.

Junior has changed by realizing how bad and cruel all the stereotypes are and from that he has changed. He has changed by realizing that there is more in his life than just growing up on the reservation, there is going to school, making friends, and being more successful in general.

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Indian Stereotypes in Movies By Ross

Indians have been portrayed as killers and ruthless people in movies. Every movie needs a villain but the way people in the movie business make Indians is very wrong. There are hundreds of stereotypes out there saying that Indians scalp people, kill people, and are vicious and ruthless people with no respect for life but that is what the movie people want you to think and they do this for money.

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This is an image of an Indian tribe attacking a peaceful wagon train making people think that the Indians are the enemy’s in this. The Indians are using bows, flaming arrows and spears to wipe out this wagon train and for no reason making the Indians the enemy’s in this, making people believe that the Indians are ruthless killers who kill men for sport.

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This is an image of an Indian doing a war cry as the Indians supposedly used to do. I think that the movie makers purposely made the Indians have a war cry to make them seem hostile when really the white people where the ones being hostile by coming and making Indians seem crazy.

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This image is a tribal chief saying that they should wipe out all White men and after he says that the people in that tribe start attacking that white man to tie him to a post. I bet that the white man will break out and win because in these types of movies the white man always wins.

It is hard to think about growing up in that time where Cowboys and Indians were a big thing and being an Indian would be very hard. There are a lot of stereotypes out there and these were just a few.

Racism at Rearden High School by Audrey

Racism and stereo types were a big part in The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie. A book, about an American-Indian boy living on a reservation where he doesn’t totally fit in, because of his physical condition. This boy Junior, decided to switch schools outside the reservation, where he now didn’t fit in because of his race. Junior experiences racism throughout the novel, but especially mostly at Rearden. Junior switched schools, from the school on the reservation to, Rearden. Rearden was a white school 22 miles away from the reservation.

There are many examples of racism Junior experienced in The Absolute True Diary Of A Part Time Indian. Starting off where Junior even enters to school, and people stared shocked. The only other Indian in, or associated with Rearden was their school mascot.

Even stating his name Junior, smirks and laughter filled the classroom. On page 60 the text states:

“They both laughed. Word spread around the room and pretty soon everybody was laughing. They were laughing at my name. I had no idea junior was a weird name. It’s a common name on my rez, on any rez. You walk into a trading post on any rez in the United States and shout, “Hey Junior!” and seventeen guys will turn around. And three women”

The students even observed the way he spoke. Junior saying on page 60

“And yes, I had that stutter and a lisp, but I also had a sing song reservation accent that made everything sound like a bad poem.”

Sadly racism in Rearden doesn’t end for Junior. As he puts it, “a few Rearden boys, the big jocks, who paid special attention to him.” On page 63 there is even a picture of Junior being bullied by these larger boys. Soon after name calling wasn’t enough, and they even decided to use racial slurs and insults.

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The students were not the only ones who were racist. The geology teacher, Mr. Dodge was mad and angered at Junior’s shy and modest correction that petrified wood was not wood. Mr. Dodge accused him of lying, and was disrespectful about the reservation. Yet when a smart white kid named Gordy, confirms that Junior is correct he is praised. Mr. Dodge is not the only adult who shows racism in this book, there is also Penelope’s father. Penelope’s father says on page 109,

“she is only dating you because she knows it will piss me off.”

Later he even makes a racist comment on Junior’s skin tone.

Racism was undoubtedly a common theme all throughout The Absolute True Diary Of A Part Time Indian by: Sherman Alexie especially in the scenes located at Rearden. Reading about Junior’s experience can be beneficial to anyone. It teaches you about some racist things, American-Indians have to deal with. How unfair it is to them, and how we need to start to change.

The cultural appropriation of Native Americans, or why I hate Coachella by Emily

If you go to a music festival or just go outside on Halloween, there’s bound to be more than one racist costume. The people wearing them well defended by claiming that they’re honoring the culture, but they’re dead wrong. To the right there’s a picture of Eliza Doolittle at Coachella.  She doesn’t look Native American, does she? I’m not sure any bird comes in that color. And also, the headdresses that Native Americans are so commonly depicted wearing at powwows have had every single bead infused with the prayer, and every single feather placed meticulously. And then there’s just this. A white girl playing  dress up of a culture that isn’t her own.  

Traditional headdresses cannot be mass-produced. as previously mentioned every single little thing on the headdresses has been blessed, and to take away that meaning and just turned into a fashion accessory isn’t right.

But don’t think that only Native Americans have their culture appropriated. look at you Miley Cyrus,  with her dreadlocks, or White people wearing bindis and henna and being praised for being trendy,  whilst people of color get made fun of for it.  once you start looking for it, cultural appropriation is everywhere. You can’t change everyone’s mind, but you can try and make other people aware too. And maybe, that will be enough to start a revolution.

 

Check out these videos to hear from actual Native Americans.

Halloween costumes

Music festival fashion

 

Redskins Name & Mascot Racism by Peter

The name and the mascot of the football team the Washington Redskins has been documented as a racist and stereotypical name to Native Americans because the term “Redskins” was supposedly used back when the English settlers first encountered them. The word “Redskin” has been considered a slur because it is stating that all Native Americans have red skin, . With their chants and their mascot supposed to be based off Native Americans in a certain way that they do not like. The owner of the team is not willing to change the name also which has sparked more controversy. Another thing is that people do not want a team with a racist name to be based in the capital of the country.

They should change it. It is an old and racist term to describe Indians and that is offensive. I do see a potential reason that the owner is not willing to change the name, possibly because of the history the team has had with the name. The Redskins franchise was created in 1932 and started with the name Boston Braves, the name Braves has also sparked national outcry for a name change too because people think that it is also stereotypical, this means that the team could’ve always started off with a stereotypical name and changed it to another stereotypical name. 1 year later they changed their name to the Redskins. Since then, they have won 3 Super Bowls, 5-time Conference champions, 14-times Division champions, and have appeared in the playoffs 24 times. With a successful history like that, it’s not too hard to see why he would not want to change the name of this team.Displaying SACK Cartoon.jpg

Though and through even through the protests and outcry and fuss about the name, he will probably not change the name because its history on the NFL. That and possibly all of the changes that would have to be made to the team with the kits, logo, and more esthetics within the team. An example of a comment the owner gave to USA Today was “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.” This has caused much controversy among Native Americans and other people who want to change the name because it seemed like he had not stated a reason to keep the name and they still wanted it changed. Although, unless the owner resigns or if the government forces a name change, it doesn’t look like the Washington Redskins are going to have a name change anytime soon. President Obama was notified about the subject of the name and he said that “Names and mascots like the Redskins perpetuate negative stereotypes onto Native Americans.” he has even said that if he was the owner of that team then he would consider a name change. I hope that one day the name will be changed because the name itself is a racial slur and is stereotypical.

Problems with Reservations by Matt

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, we took a look at the horrible situations that happened in the Spokane Indian Reservation, but this got me thinking, is it like this an all Indian reservations? So I looked at three reservations to see the contrasts and similarities of reservations over America. I looked at Spokane, the poor reservation the book focuses on, the Seminole tribe of Florida, the richest reservation in America, and the Crow Indian Reservation, one of the poorest reservations. I’ll also take a look at the proposed ways to help reservations get out of poverty.

The Spokane Indian Reservation in Spokane, Washington has suffered some tough times. There are more than 1,200 homeless people in Spokane. This includes about 170 families. A primary reason that this poverty rate is so high is because of government programs. The people cannot buy land because the land belongs to everybody. The problem with this system is that people can’t build up credit and they don’t have anything to use for collateral. Also the reservations are considered their own nations with their own courts. This is not good because the courts are unpredictable, and not trustworthy. This has driven away business because there is no way to know if the company contract will be enforced or not. In result, this makes jobs scarce and runs the community into a huge poverty loop.

On the other hand, the Seminole tribe of Florida flourishes. They operate seven casinos pulling in an estimated $500 a day. They own everything from a pair of Elton John’s high heel boots to a Jimmy Hendrix Gibson Flying V guitar. They even purchased the Hard Rock Cafe franchise in 2006 for an estimated $965 million. What is the secret to this tribe’s success? People speculate it’s impart of their location, by Orlando and Miami, and impart that they are able to fuse the Indian way with the “white way of making decisions and business choices’. With this steady incline of success, the Seminoles of Florida will continue to grow.

Lastly we look at the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. One of the poorest reservations in the country. No surprise, most of the land is held communally. Most people live in mobile homes or on the streets because they can’t get land. Many people blame the Dawes act of 1887. The Dawes Act gave Indians land to farm and get out of poverty. The flaw of this act was that is the Indians weren’t self-sufficient, then the land would revert into federal property to sell. Usually they would sell to white settlers. This decreased the total reservation land from 138 million acres to 78 acres in just 23 years, when it was abolished by President Franklin Roosevelt. Unfortunately, the Crow reservation is isolated in Montana and doesn’t have the traffic that made the Seminoles of Florida successful.

 

The government has contrived many acts that have hurt Indians more than they could have ever helped. An estimated 85,000 homes are immediately needed in reservations across the country even though only 2,200 will be built. And many of the poor reservations have natural resources that could make them rich, but they can never optimize the resources. For example, the Crow tribe sits on 9 billion tons of high-quality-coal but nobody will mine it because the unsteady legal issues and the property rights problem. Why should the successful reservation have to act white and rely off of gambling to be prosperous? Some Indians have conceived and idea. They are willing to give up being sovereign nations so they can integrate with America and build up their economies and use the American legal system. Unfortunately, the government pays 2.5 billion a year on programs that deter Indians from getting change. Even though reservations have varying levels of success, they all have the potential to do more if we let them.

Processing Emotions Through Illustrations by Josie

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is about a 14 year old boy named Junior, who lives on a Spokane Reservation. Junior loves to draw. Drawing is his lifeboat. All of the illustrations add detail and personality to the book.
Throughout the book, the pictures get more detailed. For example, when he first drew Penelope (page 59), it wasn’t as detailed but towards the end of the book, Junior drew her again. The second picture of her (page 113) was more realistic. This showed the reader that Junior did not know Penelope very well at first. Towards the end of the book, Junior new more about her, and saw her differently than he did before. On page 43, there is a picture of Junior standing by a road sign. One side is pointing one way that says “Rez” and “Home”. The other side is pointed the other way that says “Hope”. In the drawing, he looks lost. This helps tell us how hard it was for Junior to decide to go to Reardon to find hope, or stay at the Rez and not be successful. On page 182, there was a picture that shows how Junior is seen in the Wellpinit Gym compared to how he is seen in the Reardon Gym. In the picture, Junior is saying “who am I?” The picture helps represent Junior struggling while playing against his best friend, Rowdy, and old basketball team.
The pictures Junior drew gave a better idea about his personality. On page 214, he created a picture of his report card. He drew stars around it and wrote, “Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen”. This helped the readers understand his humor and how proud he was of himself for getting good grades. Also, he drew cartoons. When he talked about being poor, there was a cartoon (page 128), the cartoon showed the possible ways for him to answer, “Are you poor”?

I do not read many books with illustrations. However, I enjoyed the pictures in this book because it helped me understand Junior as a person. It helped me understand what Junior was going through. The illustrations helped me picture the book better.