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Zitkala Sa

  • Word Count: 1878
  • Approx Pages: 8

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 and distrust while preserving on paper the rebellions of her
youth that helped form her independence from society, she was able to find
her own place between her lost past and the world of the white man. The
cruel intent of the so called missionaries shaped Zitkala-Sa's future into
what it has become. 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. 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.
If only her mother truly knew at the time of Zitkala-Sa's youth of what
impact she would h...

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Zitkala Sa. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:29, November 28, 2015, from