Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America

Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America

Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America

Unlearning the Language of Conquest: Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America

Synopsis

Responding to anti-Indianism in America, the wide-ranging perspectives culled in Unlearning the Language of Conquest present a provocative account of the contemporary hegemony still at work today, whether conscious or unconscious. Four Arrows has gathered a rich collection of voices and topics, including: • Waziyatawin Angela Cavender Wilson's "Burning Down the House: Laura Ingalls Wilder and American Colonialism," which probes the mentality of hatred woven within the pages of this iconographic children's literature. • David N. Gibb's "The Question of Whitewashing in American History and Social Science," featuring a candid discussion of the spurious relationship between sources of academic funding and the types of research allowed or discouraged • Barbara Alice Mann's "Where Are Your Women? Missing in Action," displaying the exclusion of Native American women in curricula that purport to illuminate the history of Indigenous Peoples. Bringing to light crucial information and perspectives on an aspect of humanity that pervades not only U.S. history but also current sustainability, sociology, and the ability to craft accurate understandings of the population as a whole, Unlearning the Language of Conquest yields a liberating new lexis for realistic dialogues.

Excerpt

Four Arrows

Grandfather, don’t you know me?
Grandfather, look what I have done to our world.
Mother earth is on her knees.
I don’t understand the language you speak Grandfather.
I want my Pepsi, Levi’s and Porsche too.
I don’t have time to dance in the old way Grandfather.
Grandfather?
Grandfather why are you crying?
Grandfather, don’t you know me?

—Extracted from “Grandfather Cries,” by
charles phillip white

Columbine and red lake

On March 20, 2005, a seventeen-year-old Ojibwa boy from the Red Lake Indian Reservation (in Minnesota near the Canadian border) murdered his grandfather, his grandfather’s friend, five students at Red Lake High School, a security guard, and a teacher. As of this writing, seven other students are hospitalized. the event has been billed in newspapers as the worst school shooting since the Columbine tragedy in 1999.

There are similarities between the two events. Both involved high school boys who, after killing others, shot and killed themselves. Both were young men who contemplated certain neo-Nazi assumptions about social systems. They had similar psychological profiles and similar preoccupations with media violence. Both had been taking antidepressant drugs. Such similarities are perhaps helpful to note in terms of understanding how to recognize and maybe prevent some of the precursors that may have moved these boys to such horror. Children, whether white, black, brown, red, or yellow, are fundamentally the same and may be susceptible to the same kinds of influences.

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