Office hours Extended office hours tomorrow, July 2, from 4-6p in my office (South Hall 2432G)
Indian Removal Act of 1830 • During presidency of Andrew Jackson in 1830 • Act gives US troops federal authority to remove Native Americans from their homelands. • Native Americans sign removal treaty and tens of thousands of Native Americans migrate to the West. This migration is known as the “Trail of Tears”
Remaining section of Trail of Tears at Village Creek State Park, Arkansas
Similarities with our past readings • African Americans who are forced to immigrate to the U.S. on slave ships often assimilate together, despite coming from different ethnicities. • In the Trail of Tears, Native Americans coming from many different tribes assimilate together because of the trauma of forced migration.
Background on Dawes Act 1887 • Authorized the U.S. President to divide American Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians. Those who accept allotments and live separately from tribe are granted U.S. citizenship. • Goal: to assimilate Indians into mainstream American society.
Dawes Act Provisions • The allotments held for 25 years, and then individuals had to pay taxes on the land. • Eligible Native Americans had four years to select land, then it was chosen for them.
Dawes Act Impact • Ends communal holding of property ensuring everyone in tribe has home. • The amount of land for Native Americans depleted from 150 million acres to 78 million acres. The remainder of the land was declared surplus and sold to non-natives. • Legislators hoped that the act would make Native Americans part of the economic capitalist system with dependency in smaller household units.
Vizenor on “indian” • The “indian” we know as a colonial invention that enforces the relationship of white dominance and Native American submission.
Part 1: Old Indian Legends • Who is Iktomi? • What is “stolen” in each of these stories? • Do the stories develop from each other or are they separate from one another? • How do they relate to the second part of American Indian Stories that we read for today?
What difference does it make that Iktomi is Native American rather than white? • What are we to make of the abundance of appropriations of Native American culture, including appropriations of Iktomi? • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5OBG6WR5zU
Motifs • Motifs: repeated, dominant ideas recurring in literary works. • What motifs did you find in “Old Indian Legends”?
Blanket Stories • A long staple in U.S. history is the offering of small pox infested blankets to Native Americans (or other minorities). • 1763: Amherst orders his men to give Native Americans infested blankets. • Such blanket stories become prominent in 19 and 20 c literature.
What is the blanket’s use in Zitkala-Sa? • Blanket as a carrying bag in “Iktomi and the Muskrat”: Iktomi wraps a heavy stone in a blanket (17). • Blanket as nature in “Iktomi’s Blanket”: Iktomi sees “the prairie put on a snow-white blanket and then change it for a bright green robe more than a thousand times” (13) • Blanket as warmth in “Iktomi’s Blanket”: “The old great-grandfather does not feel the cold as I do. He does not need my old blanket as I do. I wish I had not given it to him” (14).
Part II: “American Indian Stories” • How does the second part of Zitkala-Sa’s work develop from “Old Indian Legends”?
From “Impressions of an Indian Childhood” “My grown-up cousin, Warca-Ziwin (sunflower), who was then seventeen, always went to the river alone for water for her mother. Their wigwam was not far from ours; and I saw her daily going to and from the river. I admired my cousin greatly. So I said: ‘Mother, when I am tall as my cousin Warca-Ziwin, you shall not have to come for water. I will do it for you.’ With a strange tremor in her voice which I could not understand, she answered, ‘If the pale face does not take away from us the river we drink’” (69).
What is her rhetorical strategy in crafting the first section full of Iktomi stories and the middle section with seemingly autobiographical stories?
Recent Laws Granting NA rights • American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 • Violence Against Women Act in 1994