Zitkala Sa

Length: 8 Pages 1878 Words

During the time of western development in the 19th century of American history, the Sioux Nation was at the forefront of political aggression. Already forcing the Native American people onto cramped lands, the dominant white man began to turn to new solutions in order to kill the salvage and westernize the Indians. While it was obvious for the most part it is hard to school an elder and force him/her to repent their ways, the best possible solution was to disconnect the future generations from their heritage and exploit their innocence and purity. Methods such as cutting each natives hair in order to separate them from their former people, banning the young Indians from making snow angels which in turn reminded each who they really are, installing proper eating habits and not tolerating any language except English to be spoken by every native even if he/she did not know how. Call these methods culture shock, trauma schooling or whatever you must they slowly helped minimize the Native American culture. If it was not for those wise enough to cherish their heritage, it is quite possible the culture would have been lost for ever. Zitkala-Sa was one of those people. Capturing a feeling of anger an Continue...


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She was also very blessed with her understanding that to just capture a story did not do justice for her people. Particularly inspiring her was an instance when participating in a debate in the state capital. Her works and messages were being recognized. Thus I mean to divide my time between teaching and getting story material (Forward vi). The education her daughter had received scared her to the extent they had little to talk about. That the only way to keep them alive for eternity was to document their message and the story telling which defined her heritage and people in such a remarkable way. Unknown to both Zitkala-Sa and the white man was the fact that she had become very gifted in the language of English speaking it very fluently when compared to an easterner. He is the hypocrite who reads with one eye, "Thou shalt not kill, and with the other gloats upon the sufferings of the Indian race (pg 93). The education she received that was meant to erase her reflection that she could so easily find in the "snow" was the greatest gift she received. And more importantly she never understood the impact her daughter caused by documenting her mother's heritage into books an essays that, more then anything, brought her closer to her people. Although threatened by their acts of talking with the white settlers, she saw them content with where they were expected to stay. " (Pg 79) That same night she was inspired again by the feeling of victory as she was awarded first place as barbarian palefaces held out a white flag with an Indian girl on it. Instead of westernizing she used the white man's words to tell her tale of bead work, oral story telling, schooling and her lonesome world inside a world. She speaking the words of her people was intimidated by her own blood speaking the words of the paleface. "Still called a salvage one must look at the basic fact of these comments.