Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Am Multicultural Lit - Day 3

President Andrew Jackson called for an Indian ...Image via Wikipedia

American Multicultural Literature - Day 3
We read the following selections for class yesterday:

1. "The Indian Removal Act" (see page 411 & 412)
From the Twenty-First Congress, Session 1, Chapter 148 (CXLVIII), Approved May 28, 1830.
An Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi.

Comment: The law reads pretty one-sided: The Indians gotta go. Seems President Andrew Jackson wanted to make sure the South got settled by Whites who might support him in his presidency. Here's more on the Indian Removal Act which led to the infamous "Trail of Tears."

Chief Joseph (19th century photograph)Image via Wikipedia

2. An excerpt from An Indian's View of Indian Affairs by Chief Joseph (Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, or Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain), published in 1879:

"If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. . . . Let me be a free man - free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself - and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty.

"Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we will have no more wars. We shall all be alike - brothers of one father and one mother, with one sky above us and one country around us, and one government for all. Then the Great Spirit Chief who rules above will smile upon this land, and send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers' hands from the face of the earth. For this time the Indian race are waiting and praying. I hope that no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people."

Comment: Wow!

3. Lullaby by Leslie Marmon Silko.

4. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.

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