The Turtle and the Eagle: Changing the Story of Education

ICTMN Staff
6/4/11

On May 26, YouTube user fdsalkfdsdk posted a video montage of interviews with Native American students at Dartmouth College, the Dartmouth Powwow and clips from a lecture given by Colin Calloway about the college's Indian history.

The YouTube user produced the video as a final project for their Native American Studies first-year seminar at Dartmouth College.

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beaver's picture
beaver
Submitted by beaver on
One thing that is a shame is that most of us either look White or are on the path towards looking White. We look American, we sound American, our mannerisms are American, we move our hands like Americans, our speech is American, our attitudes are American, we've become so totally Americanized that we're Indian in name only.

beaver's picture
beaver
Submitted by beaver on
One thing I am sad about is that our younger generation either look White or are on the path of looking White. The best of them are a mix of White and Mexican. If the younger generation didn't tell people they're Indian, they would be mistaken either for White, or at best Hispanic. But we've stopped looking like Indians. Our accent is American, our speech is American, our mannerisms are American, our attitudes are American, we move our hands like Americans - we have stopped being Indian. That's what happens when you lose your language, intermarry and become Americanized. My generation has really let Indian country down. We should have taught them the language at least. Look at them now - they look and act American. Not Indian. It's the fault of my generation. These kids are as old as my grandchildren.

raven's picture
raven
Submitted by raven on
I don't think it's fair to polarize and generalize the situation to Indians versus Whites, especially so much as to consider Indians as distinct from Americans. That's not to say there isn't a pressure on young Natives to act more White, but I think it's more about how they deal with these forces. Perhaps these students have adopted some predominantly White mannerisms, but they clearly and strongly also associate with their Native heritages. The shame would be if they forsook this part of their identity, but did not. It's not assimilation to appropriate some White customs, but rather the combined existence of these cultures in their lives that is naturally shaping their opinions and behaviors. I think that it's unfair to expect individuals to decide between societies when they are so interconnected, but I do think that Natives should be proud of their Indian upbringing, which is often not the case because the majority population is so ignorant of the real Native image; however, this is precisely the problem. People need to see real Indian people and it's both the job of Natives to make themselves seen and the members of the majority population to look.
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