Smoke Signals : What's it like living on a reservation?

What's it like living on a reservation?

just what the title says; if anyone lives on an Indian reservation, i know someone on another post said they did, could you please tell me what it's like? since i've watched this movie i've been really interested in how it works.

see, from what i saw in Smoke Signals, at first i thought a reservation was like a neighborhood. you know, you live there, adn then you leave the property to go to school and work and stuff.

but then, when i remembered how the kids went to school there in the movie, i figured it was more like a town. is that right? because if it is, or if it isn't, i'm just curious to know what it's like living with only people of your nationailty all the time. don't get the wrong idea, i don't having anything against reservations, but it just seems like it would get kind ofi think the word isone-sighted?

i mean, it made since to me when i thought a reservation was like a neighborhood. (i'm white, and only about 2 or 3 families in my neighborhood aren't.) but when i go to school, or my part-time job, or just walk around a few blocks away, there are all kinds of different nationalities around my town. i can't imagine what it would be like to live with JUST white people all the time. it seems like it would be incredibly boring, not experiencing any new cultures or anything. hell, i'd probebly feel like i was back in the "pre-civil right's movement" time or something!

anyways, i'm really interested to know what it's like on an Indian reservation. i'm almost sure my description of what i think it is is totally wrong, and i feel like i owe it to this movie to actually know what i'm watching. i'd really appreciate anyone one who as any input.

thanks for your time

Chef13

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

First of all, Native Americans were literally 'forced' to live on reservations and the more fierce & noble a tribe was in the fight against the whites, the worse was the place picked for them by the government. It was the governments idea to punish them further, as if there was anything left to take. The atrocities of early reservation life were beyond description, often the children were rounded up like cattle, forced to go to only "Indian schools", beaten if they tried to speak in their native tongue, or act like heathens and if they made it further, "Indian colleges". Only in recent history have some Native Americans tribes claimed sovereignty and took back the idea that where they live ought to be a 'sovereign nation'.

Native Americans have historically stuck together out of fear, respect for each other and to represent what they are-a people of dignity. Out in the white world they are rejected, brutalized and often discarded as nothing more than drunks & drug addicts. So I doubt very seriously if living on the rez could be considered just "boring" as it is a life just like yours is.



Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Erdid I say something to give you the impression that Im racist against Native Americans or that I don't respect you or something? Because I definitely did not mean to and Im sorry that I came across that way. Im just interested in Native American history, that's all. I really like studying it in school and watching Smoke Signals got me interested in learning more about modern Native American life instead of solely the past. All I know on the matter presently is what I got from watching Smoke Signals and Id like to know more.

And whoever said I thought life on a rez was boring or not worth living? I said Id IMAGINE it would be boring for me IF I lived on one. And not because I disrespect where you live or anything. Its just that Id sure be bored living with only other white people ALL the time, since Im white. I have lot of friends of different nationalities, and Id miss the different people and cultures I get to know in my present life. But, like I said, I only IMAGINE thats what it would be like, but Ive never lived on one, so I dont know what its really like. Thats why Im asking you to tell me.

Another thing; the way you described it, you make it seem like everyone in the world is still racist toward Native Americans. And Im not going to deny that some people still aren't, but Im sure not. I don't know if you're east or west coast, but Im on the east, and I don't think anyone I know over here is racist against Native American's either.

Also, as I said, Im interested in Native American history, so I know how they were forced onto reservations and how horrible the conditions were. Thats actually one of the main reasons I put up this post.

See, Im just unclear about why someone would stay in a place where, like you said, they were "forced to live" and "rounded up like cattle" when they have the right to leave now. (At least I gather you have that right now, since, in the Smoke Signals, which, again, is my only experience on the matter, Victor and Thomas didn't have to ask anyone if they could leave. they just went on their way.)

I mean, if someone forced me to live somewhere just because of who I am Id want to get out as soon as I could and prove that I deserved to be free, just like everyone else. I understand the concepts that you mentioned, respect for each other and dignity, but claiming sovereignty would probably be the last thing on my mind in that situation. I would think it would only be strengthening the assumption that I didnt want to be treated equally. That I didnt mind being segregated. To me it all just seems backwards!

You know, I have this feeling that there is a really, really good and logical answer for every question Ive asked or every point Ive made here, and everybody in the world knows it but me and Im coming off as a completely heartless and arrogant bitch. PLEASE believe me when I say that I dont mean too. PLEASE, PLEASE dont think that. Im just a person who has no idea what Im talking about, and Id like you to tell me, so I have my facts straight. (I even said in my last post, and I quote, that I'm almost sure my description of what I think it is is totally wrong)

Thats all; its what Ive been saying throughout this entire post. Im just asking so you could tell me the truth about what its really like on rez because I really am interested in modern Native American life. Disregarding everything going on in, as you put it, the white world, I would like to know what its like living on a reservation.

Again, thanks for any input you may have

Chef13

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"And whoever said I thought life on a rez was boring or not worth living? I said Id IMAGINE it would be boring for me IF I lived on one."

Exactly, "you" as a WASP might find it boring. You might also find it 'boring' or disgusting to be a 'homosexual' if you are not. Or worse yet, to be a Native American homosexual-see "The Business of Fancydancing"

"Another thing; the way you described it, you make it seem like everyone in the world is still racist toward Native Americans. And Im not going to deny that some people still aren't, but Im sure not. I don't know if you're east or west coast, but Im on the east, and I don't think anyone I know over here is racist against Native American's either."

You have no exposure to Native Americansthat doesn't really mean anything. Perhaps if you lived out west here, you would hate them, how could you say at this point? I knew people growing up who thought they hated African Americans, but never actually knew any and so it goes-ignorance and biotry often needs no living examples, just images. American society is still incredibly hostile towards Native Americans and that is precisely my point why they tend to stay on the rez. Sometimes the hostility takes the form of stereotyping. How can Native Americans ever be a distinct people if they are supposed to act in a preconceived way?

"I mean, if someone forced me to live somewhere just because of who I am Id want to get out as soon as I could and prove that I deserved to be free, just like everyone else. I understand the concepts that you mentioned, respect for each other and dignity, but claiming sovereignty would probably be the last thing on my mind in that situation. I would think it would only be strengthening the assumption that I didnt want to be treated equally. That I didnt mind being segregated. To me it all just seems backwards!"

You can't possibly understand Native Americans and Native American culture with statements like that. You have to project yourself into the heart of being Native American. Not just a WASP that 'oh so' suddenly is put on a rez and would just leave because it's an 'oh so' bad place constructed by their white captors. And who says Native American aren't "free"? You can control a place or an environment to some extent, but you can never control the minds of a people entirely. You can't just stand outside of 'brand x' rez, look at the poverty, suicide and despair and say, "That's just awful how can THEY live like that?"

You're asking why Native American just don't completely assimilate into American society. As Alexie said in one of his poems, if they were to do that, there would be no real Indians left, but ghosts-think about that.

If you really want to know what it's like living on a rez, then contact a tribal coordinator on a rez out west, hope that somebody would listen to your wishes and actually live with a Native American family for a period of time (that is, if they should be inclined to show more kindness to you than has been shown to them). It's the ONLY way you are going to really knowthis is something you just can't be "told".





Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Oh for goodness sake, FINE!!! I SURRENDER! YOU WIN!!! i'll stop trying to ask Native Americans about their lives, since it's such a CRIME!! Gezz, you try to ask a simple question

but before i go, i'd just like to clear up a few things:

first off, i'd just like to say that i just lost a lot of respect for YOU as a person for saying this:

"You might also find it 'boring' or disgusting to be a 'homosexual' if you are not. Or worse yet, to be a Native American homosexual-see "The Business of Fancydancing""

i am NOT against homosexuality, OK! I AM NOT! it just so happens i have good friends and fasmily members who are gya and i happen to think it is the stupidest thing anyone can be against! and i get mad as hell what anyone excuses me of being against something i am not to that degree, and i think you own me an apology for just assuming that.

second of all, from above quote "worst yet"?!?!?! correct me if i'm wrong, but you're still making the assumtion that i'm a racist. I AM NOT A RACIST, OK?!?!?! I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH NATIVE AMERCIANS, AFRICAN AMERICANS OR ANYONE BASED ON THEIR RACE!! IS IT SO HARD FOR YOU TO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE SOME POEPLE OUT THERE WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT WHEN JUDGING PEOPLE?!?!?!

and speaking of that, you seem to be making a lot more unkind judgments than i am in this thread

"You have no exposure to Native AmericansPerhaps if you lived out west here, you would hate them, how could you say at this point? I knew people growing up who thought they hated African Americans, but never actually knew any and so it goes-ignorance and biotry often needs no living examples, just images."

first of all, how do you know i have no exposer to Native Americans? i could know quite a few Native Americans who live on the east coast, but i can't ask them these questions becuase they don't live on a rez. and if youre going to say that no Native Americans live on the east coast, then that's just BS becuase you can't possible know every Native Amercian in the world to prove that none of them live over here.

also, you're getting the whole stereotyping thing backwards, you're saying that people realize they AREN'T racist after meting people of different races. going back to my first point I AM NOT A RACIST, so this argument isn't even vaild!

if it was, by your method, if i didn't know any Native American now and then met some, i would then decide i was a racist. i don't quite think that's now it would work.

look, what you said is true; ignorance often doesn't need living examples. but here's a little concept for you; neither does acceptance!

but you did manage to answer one of my questions:

"American society is still incredibly hostile towards Native Americans and that is precisely my point why they tend to stay on the rez."

so thank you for that.

Chef13

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"Oh for goodness sake, FINE!!! I SURRENDER! YOU WIN!!! i'll stop trying to ask Native Americans about their lives, since it's such a CRIME!! Gezz, you try to ask a simple question"

This isn't a game show or a sports contest, there are no "winners"my hope was to give you some brutal facts about Native Americans to test your 'metal' and I can see where that went.

"i am NOT against homosexuality, OK! I AM NOT! it just so happens i have good friends and family members who are ggay and i happen to think it is the stupidest thing anyone can be against! and i get mad as hell what anyone excuses me of being against something i am not to that degree, and i think you own me an apology for just assuming that."

Absolutely NOWHERE did I accuse you of being against homosexualityI was giving you and EXAMPLE for Christ's sake. Chill outand I owe you no apology because I have NO idea if you hate gays or not! And the movie I recommended is a poignant look into the life of a homosexual Native American

"first of all, how do you know i have no exposer to Native Americans? i could know quite a few Native Americans who live on the east coast, but i can't ask them these questions becuase they don't live on a rez. and if youre going to say that no Native Americans live on the east coast, then that's just BS becuase you can't possible know every Native Amercian in the world to prove that none of them live over here."

I gave you a clear, good suggestion on how to do just that. Short of what I suggested, read everything written by Alexie and other NA writers who are on or from the rez. Be wary though (as Alexie pointed out in a Time article) that some people claim to be NA and are actually not and never lived on a rez, or who are just part NA.

"also, you're getting the whole stereotyping thing backwards, you're saying that people realize they AREN'T racist after meting people of different races. going back to my first point I AM NOT A RACIST, so this argument isn't even vaild! If it was, by your method, if i didn't know any Native American now and then met some, i would then decide i was a racist. i don't quite think that's now it would work. "

I'm not getting anything backwards and NEVER called you a "racist". I said you were a WASP and you view NAs from a total WASP perspective. And if you gave a sh*t at all, which you protest you do, I also gave you some ideas on how to test your preconceived notions about NAs (if you have any). From your original posting, I think you do and since you clearly state that you are not a racist-give yourself the opportunity to immerse into present NA culture if you are so curious as to "what's it like to live on a rez?".

Here's the point in all this, it's not a comforting or casual thing what the US government did to Native Americans. If you're looking for a happy ending or a rainbow at the end of your search, look elsewhere because its pretty horrific and to some extent, remains so to this day. My feeling from your strong reaction to what I posted so far is that you probably couldnt handle real life interactions with people on a rez.you could prove me wrong on this though. If you are angry with me now, youre never gonna go the distance there. My sense is that you just wanna know in passing what its like on a rez so you have a topic of conversation in your friends circle, right?










Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"My sense is that you just wanna know in passing what its like on a rez so you have a topic of conversation in your friends circle, right? "

not really; i'm just interested in the topic. you can be interested in something without wanting to experience it, you know. for example; i'm interested in knowing what it's like to live in space, but i have absolutly no interest in going up to one of the stations.

in that area, i'm fine with just reading about what it's like or talking to someone who has experienced it. and it's the same with this matter as well, which i WHY i posted on the board instead of doing what you suggested in the first place.

Chef13

PS- BTW, thanks for the info on that other movie my other post. as i said there, that's really all i wanted to know.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

I would just like to let you know that being white is not the same thing as being WASP, literally or figuratively.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"I would just like to let you know that being white is not the same thing as being WASP, literally or figuratively."

Yeah, no kidding but since she didn't deny being 'white/Anglo-Saxton/Protestant' in heritage, I assumed she was. For simplicitys sake, she is white.or Caucasian better said. Does that make it more PC for you?.





Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

That reminds me, i've been meaning to ask you, what exactly IS a WASP? i figured out it was a white person, but i assume there's more to it than that now, given hottymchotterson3's post:

"I would just like to let you know that being white is not the same thing as being WASP"

So what does WASP mean?

Chef13

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

of white Anglo-Saxton Protestant heritage.not a derogatory term, usually replaced these days by Caucasian or 'Caucasoid'.









Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Ahhhh. i see.

Thanks

Chef13

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

First off, the statement about being wary of reading authors who identify as being American Indian or Native American needs a bit more clarifcation. Alexie, as well as mnay other authors do say be wary because there are many published authors who claim being American Indian or Native American but in fact are not. But the statement of being wary of authors who are part American Indian or Native American is off. For one, most authors are only part Indian, such as Alexie who isn't full blooded. Neither were M. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, etc. But that doesn't mean that they are incapable of writing what it means to live on the rez. In fact, there are many "Native American" writers who are less than half but half grown up on the reservation, which wouldn't exclude them from writing half decent portrayals of reservation life. Also, there are some scholars and others who are capable of writing about reservation life simply due to either spending many years on a reservation in an extensive research effort or having grown up on one, even if it wasn't their own respective tribal rez.

And while I agree that the "reservation experience" can't accurately described to someone, explaining to a certain extent isn't unheard of nor is it impossible. Surely, there were points in Smoke Signals that ring true to folks who live on reservations and explaining why those parts were funny, sad, or whatever could provide for some insight into the original poster's questions.

And to claim to not be racist is ignorant. The sad fact is, we all live in a very racialized society. A society with a history that underscores it's own exhaustive efforts of segregating people on the color of one's skin. To understand this better, i suggest you read "White Like Me" by Tim Wise, or any number of his essays which can be found online at Znet magazine, or something to that effect. His writings are crucial to understanding white privilege and everyone's personal racism, either latent, sybconsious, or overt.

And lastly, while I absolutely love Sherman Alexie, he also isn't the only Native American author. There are so many more and I suggest that you read them, even if they are "mixed bloods" or don't necessarily write about current Native American issues. Off the top of my head: M. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, Louise Erdrich, James Welch, Simon Ortiz, Ray Young Bear, Vine Deloria, Jr., Joy Harjo, Linda Hogan, Louis Owens, Luci Tapahonso, Leslie Marmon SilkoThere are so many, but I can't think of any more at this moment.

And lastly, the idea that folks can just leave the reservation is naive. In many instances, the income levels for tribes are well below surrounding areas. Not to mention, sometimes surrounding yourself with indivduals or share common experiences such as racism or even cultural expereinces makes it harder for people to leave. There also many other contributing factors, but I don't feel like getting in depth.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"But the statement of being wary of authors who are part American Indian or Native American is off. For one, most authors are only part Indian, such as Alexie who isn't full blooded. Neither were M. Scott Momaday, Gerald Vizenor, etc. But that doesn't mean that they are incapable of writing what it means to live on the rez. In fact, there are many "Native American" writers who are less than half but half grown up on the reservation, which wouldn't exclude them from writing half decent portrayals of reservation life."

I don't think I wrote that exactly, not did I mean it that way. Quite simply I was talking about authors who claim to be part Native American, have never lived on a rez and therefore are devoid of the entire experience and rob it from others who have really lived there. Yes, I knew Alexie isn't full blood, but he was raised on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He also makes a great point about how the 'half breeds' get all the attention and sympathy in literature, because few care or are sympathetic to full-bloods. Putting the part white in there it seems, makes all the difference in the world of literature.

"Also, there are some scholars and others who are capable of writing about reservation life simply due to either spending many years on a reservation in an extensive research effort or having grown up on one, even if it wasn't their own respective tribal rez."

They might be capable through imagination, observation, wit and using others' experiences, but it's not the same thing as living it. As a comparison, lots of authors can write accurately about living the life of a GBLT person, but having not lived it themselves, then can only go so far. I resent on may levels, hetero researchers and hetero novelists lecturing about what it's like to be gay, or why we are gay-just as many Native Americans resent some white researchers writing about reservation life.

The rest of your post I agree with completely and I never said that Alexie was the "only" Native American writer out there of merit-I was trying to immerse the other poster into Native American writing slowly with him as a starting base. But thanx for the mention of the other authors.






Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

SO, I'm full Native American, I grew up on the Puyallup Reservation, just to let everyone know, don't mistake ignorance for racism. Many people do not know anything about Native Americans besides the institutionalized stereotypes, which are only hurtful to my people. What is it like growing up on a reservation? It is like a town, but the health/education facilities are very horrible, reservation life, at least the one my father grew up on, was very hard and sad. I'm not saying they are all the same way, I grew up on the Puyallup rez and it was totally different. I'm not talking about racism on a person to person level, rather an institutionalized level, the government has treated my people horrible, and if anyone wants to have a political debate on the issue of racism, write your governor, fight for better funding to reservations, fight for funding more native americans to go onto higher education. So we can sit here on this website and argue with one another, or we could educate those who don't know about us. You choose. What I mean by saying many are ignorant is the fact that most of what is taught in schools (elementary, highschools)are that we lived here first and "lost" our land to Colombus. They don't go into depth about who we are as a people, our history, basically the only history on us started with the colonization, which isn't much. They don't teach how 96% of all the native americans here before Colombus died as a direct result of the colonization, whether it be because we had no immunities against all those disgusting diseases (small pox, influenza, etc), or natives were brutally murdered, the Spaniards played "games" with their man eating dogs, how many they could eat, or how many men could kill natives with only one swipe of their knife. Our government did this. the land of the "free," let "freedom ring," "this land is your land, this land is my land.." sound familiar? If you don't believe what I say about the brutalality the Natives endured, read a book called "American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World" by David E. Stannard. I will not argue with one ignorant person, rather, try to inform people about my people, my peoples history. The Native still struggle today, with the sterilization of Native Americans, in 1975-1977 an estimated 700,000 women and some men were sterilized without their knowledge, and this was decided by the United States government. Obviously this country is for white, middle class, heterosexual males. If you still don't get my point, open the very next newspaper you see, and most of the pictures are of white people, most of the stories are about white people, we can't sit here and fight with each other, go out and say something about it, talk about institutionalized racism with your friends, say something! But don't fight, that gets us absolutely nowhere.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"Many people do not know anything about Native Americans besides the institutionalized stereotypes, which are only hurtful to my people."

I think it also hurts others in the long run, because they aren't able to see for themselves how wonderful American Indian cultures are - the level of spirituality, the innate understanding of ecology, the fascinating arts

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

WASP means White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Sure w/e you know it doesn't actually matter but it seemed to me that placing all white people in the WASP category was just dumb. Most white people I know actually aren't snobby WASPS anyway.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"Sure w/e you know it doesn't actually matter but it seemed to me that placing all white people in the WASP category was just dumb. Most white people I know actually aren't snobby WASPS anyway."

First of all, you're just being "dumb". Most white people in this country at one time were categorized as WASPSnow they are called Caucasian or Caucasoid. It's just more PC these days and doesn't rule out that the majority are still WASPS. And it was just a term.you're adding inference to it by using other words like "snobby"show me where that was written in here before you said it?



Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

The term "WASP" is often used in a very negative way. I think she was reacting to that.

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Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"The term "WASP" is often used in a very negative way. I think she was reacting to that."

Technically, it was a term used to describe the dominant majority of whites in America. Because some chose to use it in a negative way, does not belittle its proper usage. The use of the term "snobbish" connected to WASP, is an oxymoron as it describes one's ethnic background alone and nothing to do with ones socioeconomic status.




Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"Technically, it was a term used to describe the dominant majority of whites in America. Because some chose to use it in a negative way, does not belittle its proper usage.'

The term WASP was originally used by Irish Catholics to describe English Protestants. So, if we want to be really nit picky, calling all white people WASPs is incorrect. Some people use it to describe all whites, but this is a modern usage of the term as is using it as an insult/derogatory term.

Also, an oxymoron is the joining of two contradictory terms, like cruel kindness. So, snobbish Wasp is not an oxymoron.

I'm not trying to be a jerk. Just trying to further the discussion.


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Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

" So, if we want to be really nit picky, calling all white people WASPs is incorrect. Some people use it to describe all whites, but this is a modern usage of the term as is using it as an insult/derogatory term."

You are incorrect, as it was the pejorative term used to describe the dominant white majority in America. It was even on job applications and paper work to describe ones ethnic background. It was replaced with Caucasian or 'white'.

"Also, an oxymoron is the joining of two contradictory terms, like cruel kindness. So, snobbish Wasp is not an oxymoron."

Actually, I was being a bit sarcastic with the use of 'oxymoron' to emphasize a point. So, "snobbish WASP" is really in fact, a misnomer. Thank you for the reprimand in Eng 101, teacher.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

It may have been used that way, but that is not the origin. Also, I am an English teacher.

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Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"It may have been used that way, but that is not the origin. Also, I am an English teacher."

I suspected as much, although you didn't comment on 'misnomer'. The correct origins of terms and words are not always used accurately in everyday speak, as you know. The best example I can give you of this (as a psychology major) is the use of the word schizophrenic. 95% of people use it to mean Multiple Personality Disorder, which it is definitely not.

And I was giving you accurate history with regards to the word WASP appearing on job applications and such in the past.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

I get what you are saying. I wanted to express how WASP is often (when I hear it used) used negativly. I personally hate to be described this way.

jump7.gif Are we there yet? jump9.gif

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"I get what you are saying. I wanted to express how WASP is often (when I hear it used) used negativly. I personally hate to be described this way."

Well, I hate to be described as "queer", "fudge packer", "abomination", "sexual deviant", "pervert" and a "f*ggot", so by comparison, WASP is pretty mild even in the negative usage.






Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Ouch, harsh words. I manage to avoid such adjectives by basically hiding myself from most others. I am not yet brave enough to wear my heart on my sleeve.

As a side note, I must say that you are quite possibly the most intelligent poster I've seen here, shoeihell.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Why thank you.that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me yet this week. Bravery is not always about dueling pistols, yelling, fighting or shouting, but what lies in your heart and how you treat others.

"and don't call on Him to save you from your social graces and the sins you wish to waive"

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

You're very welcome. And yeah, that's very true. People are always praising me for being so kind and caring and stuff like that, but those people never drive with me, but really, I'm just as angry, bitter, and selfish as the next guy. I try to be good, but I don't know if I really am.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

The way it was used in one of your previous posts had a negative tone, but this could have just been the way I read it, and as it it usually used in a deregatory way it made sense as an insult. If it wasn't meant in a bad way then disregaurd anything I said before.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"The way it was used in one of your previous posts had a negative tone, but this could have just been the way I read it, and as it it usually used in a deregatory way it made sense as an insult. If it wasn't meant in a bad way then disregaurd anything I said before."

No, you posters here made the use of the term "WASP" negative and modified it with words like "snobbish". To me it has absolutely no negative connotation, although not PC today, I suppose. Furthermore, I just guessed that the original poster was indeed a WASP..

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

WASP stands for "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant".

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

[WASP stands for "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant".}

Yes, I defined it (when asked) way up at the beginning of the thread. We're not lacking a def. here, but the 'connotation' of the word itself and I also gave a little history on how it was used in the past with regards to job applications and personal forms to fill out.



Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

I visited one when I was in Phoenix on business.
A very proud people. They really hate the U.S. government for what they've done to them.
They live very poor, but are proud. They don't have subdivisions. You find a house here and there, and maybe clustered together in some places. Yes, more like a town, than a city.
It's embarrasing to see what they've been subjugated to. They deserve every penny the government gives them and more.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"I can't imagine what it would be like to live with JUST white people all the time."

Not everyone who lives on a reservation is Native American. I am white and have lived on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation for four years. I live here because I teach at the local High school (I live is school housing). The majority of people are obviously Native American, but there are other nationalities as well. Currently, our school has Indian (that is how the students and community members refer to themselves-they never say Native American), white, hispanic, and black students. So, there is divdersity here.

I agree and disagree with categorizing reservation life as like living in a small town. I live in Fort Yates, ND. It is the epitome of a small town. But the reservation itself has a large number of small communities on it. I would catogorize this reservation as more of a state than a small town. In fact, the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is larger that the state of Rhode Island and is located in both North and South Dakota.

It is impossible to really explain what life on a reservation is like because every reservation is different. There are constants, but there are also many variations because of the cultural heritage of different tribes. There are also both state and federal run reservations. The rules govering them can be very different.

The Standing Rock Indian Reservation has the highest rate of suicide in the United States. There is a high rate of poverty and very few available jobs. There is an air of hoplessness, but there is also hope.

Family is the most important thing. I think many times people do not leave the reservation because they do not want to separate from their family and the strong bond and support system that unity brings.

Prejudice against Indians is very prevalent in this area. I have been on trips with my students and have seen security follow them through stores when they are doing nothing wrong. I've heard demeaning comments directed at my students. When I tell people where I teach, their first question is always, "How bad is it teaching there." They assume because it is a reservation school that it is chaos. It angers me. I don't take it lightly either. I often confront people about their prejudice and they seem genuinly shocked. It is so aggravating.

There is also a lot of prejudice directed toward white people. I get glared at and hear people talk about me and make derogatory comments. I frequently hear students sneer "That's just because you're *beep* (white). It is meant as an insult. What really annoys me are the students who believe that every white person is a huge racist, but Indians are incapable of being racist (I personally believe everyone is prejudiced in one way or another).

Well, that's my two cents. Respond away. bounce.gif
jump7.gif Are we there yet? jump9.gif

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Thanks for giving a balanced response.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

haha, I just read the 1st like 4 replys and messages, and dang it cracks me up. Im a 15 year old native american. Im Kiowa.I never grew up on a rez. I grew up in Anadarko, OKlahoma.

*Oh, yes, there will be blood.*

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"haha, I just read the 1st like 4 replys and messages, and dang it cracks me up. Im a 15 year old native american. Im Kiowa.I never grew up on a rez. I grew up in Anadarko, OKlahoma."

Well, that's 'fortunate' and 'unfortunate', both. Some NAs will view you as an outsider and others will accept yousuch is life. White society on the other hand, doesn't distinguish the difference-you're just Indian. We can't help where we're raised, but we can try to make the best of it.

I'm fine now with the original poster, we're friendly-it's all good and she's cool.



Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Yea i agree with you. And man I gotta say you write alot! Plus that person who started with post er whatever. So you go off easy when a whyte person asks something about native americans? Thats harsh. But then again some whytes have no reason to be askin about a natives life. I hate that the whytes are kinda taking over. I mean I remember hearing on the news a while back about Some school here in oklahoma where theres alot of kiowas that go thee, and they would sing in kiowa and talk in kiowa. Well the whytes thought it was "cool" so the school is having a kiowa class. Kind of like how they have spanish classes. THATS NOT FAIR! its like theyre stealing our language. Whytes have no reason to be talking in our language anyways. That really got me pissed!

*Oh, yes, there will be blood.*

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Yeah, I write a lot because I'm passionate about a lot of things. As far as I'm concerned the Kiowas should be able to talk and learn freely in their own tongue and learn English as a second language. Even illegal aliens here from Mexico get that privilege.




Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Yea I agree with that to! Why has it changed so much. Its not right and its not fair. Whytes just walk all over us natives. Oh yea and its a good thing that ur very passionate about alot of things. You make great arguements! I respect that.

*Oh, yes, there will be blood.*

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"Yea I agree with that to! Why has it changed so much. Its not right and its not fair. Whytes just walk all over us natives. Oh yea and its a good thing that ur very passionate about alot of things. You make great arguements! I respect that."

Why thank you.there are so many things in the American consciousness that have to be put right. Whites have gone so far into the negative with Native Americans that I'm beginning to think they don't even know (or really care) how to make things just.




Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Agreed.

*Oh, yes, there will be blood.*

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Talk about stereotyping.

Not all "illegals" are Mexican, and not all Mexicans are undocumented. An awful lot of Mexicans ARE Native or Mestizos, though, whether in the U.S. or in Mexico. Natives in both countries were subjugated by Europeans and speak indigeneous languages, European languages or both. Many Meso-Americans living in the U.S. are now tri-lingual: speaking Nahuatl, Spanish and English.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with non-Kiowas learning the language and cultural appropriation won't necessarily follow. Wannabes generally don't have the perserverance to learn a language, they want the nick-nacks, costumes, and "wisdom" without actually going as deep as language acquisition or real experience of living like the people whose culture they're trying to appropriate.

As a Korean American, I see it all the time with people who have fetishes or feel "spiritual" and put chopsticks in their hair. People who do learn a language also learn the culture and actually become sensitive enough to not try to "be" that nationality.

Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

Talk about faux political consciousness.

I said specifically, "illegal immigrants from Mexico" as nobody said "all Mexicans were illegal" or anything about the Mexican/Americans or Mexican/Native mixes living here-I applaud the ones who do it the legal way. FYI, the economic 'experts' now admit that undocumented illegals have virtually gutted the US economy. The lie that's been told for generations now; that they only take the jobs nobody else wants-has proven to be just that, a lie. In my field for example (construction) they are illegally represented in every skilled trade out there and have been so the last thirty yrs of my work life. Many are totally off the grid, in other words, they don't pay any sort of state or Federal tax, have no insurance, nor are they licensed contractors and/or care about learning the language here. I wouldn't in my wildest dreams think of going down to Mexico (or any other country for that matter) and trying to pull that one off. It matters not one cent what I think of them personally as a people, because the truth of the matter is that it's not fair competition or 'free enterprise'. They have stolen jobs from Natives by the boatload along with everyone else in residence here. They can be especially brutal as bosses as they will often pay less than minimum wages to the other illegal Mexicans who work for them.



I wish to tread lightly upon my friends but love them deeply



Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

I know you didn't say that all Mexicans were illegal, but implied it.

In my job, teaching English to adults, I see more than 300 people every three months come in hoping to get a seat in class. We can only accomdate less than 60. Legal and illegal immigrants desperately want to learn English.

Also, undocumented immigrants in New York, as in other states, pay far, far more in taxes than they ever consume. Sales tax is one way. Another is income tax. Since many undocumented work using social security numbers that weren't assigned to them, withholding for FICA and federal and state income taxes are withheld, just as they are from your pay or mine. Undocumented people, however, do not generally file returns so they do not get the refunds that they generally deserve, nor the Earned Income Tax credit.

Most uninsured people are U.S. citizens, not undocumented immigrants. As for contractor's insurance, the people who hire them, should only hire insured contractors, right?

In so many places, indigineous languages are dying out. Deeper meaning in stories passed from one generation to the next is lost in translations. Even on a family level this happens due to the pressure to assimilate. I see it all the time with 2nd generation immigrants. I am sure you see it often with Native children, too.


Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

"I know you didn't say that all Mexicans were illegal, but implied it."

I didn't "imply" anything, I stated carefully what I stated, so dont put words in my mouth.


"Also, undocumented immigrants in New York, as in other states, pay far, far more in taxes than they ever consume. Sales tax is one way. Another is income tax. Since many undocumented work using social security numbers that weren't assigned to them, withholding for FICA and federal and state income taxes are withheld, just as they are from your pay or mine. Undocumented people, however, do not generally file returns so they do not get the refunds that they generally deserve, nor the Earned Income Tax credit."

Well, since they are trying to cheat the system here in the first place, one does not need to feel sympathy/empathy for them. They don't "deserve" the refunds/EITC if they are trying to beat the system in the first place-it's a calculated risk factor they take in being undocumented, illegal immigrants. They simply cannot have it all ways and it's destroying our economy for the jobs they displace.


"Most uninsured people are U.S. citizens, not undocumented immigrants. As for contractor's insurance, the people who hire them, should only hire insured contractors, right?"

Not even close in the real worldgiven the lure to 'save money', the majority of consumers will hire the cheaper contractor in most instances. Im powerless to convince them otherwise. And since the state governments don't have the resources to 'hunt down' illegal immigrants as contractors, they can be about as blatant with their services as they want to be. I was not talking about 'health insurance' at any time, I was only referring to contractors or business insurance-what I have to pay to do business in this state legally and surety bonds etc. Health care is a whole other can of worms, as Im not insured myself.


"In so many places, indigineous languages are dying out. Deeper meaning in stories passed from one generation to the next is lost in translations. Even on a family level this happens due to the pressure to assimilate. I see it all the time with 2nd generation immigrants. I am sure you see it often with Native children, too."

It's dying out with Natives because it was an oral tradition and the US government did its best to destroy all Native culture traditions during the early day of the 'reservation system'. As far as I know, Mexican culture (not their economy) is alive and thriving just across the border-less the effects of capitalism and industrialization like the rest of the world.



I wish to tread lightly upon my friends but love them deeply



Re: What's it like living on a reservation?

im 16 and i live on a rez in upstate NY. I'm mohawk and the rez i live on is like a town and there is about more than 10,000 natives. And no white people are supposed to live on the rez but there are a few that are married to some natives. I would have to say its probably like living anywhere else. Its maybe a little bit boring because its like in the boon-docks but we make the best of it. Its not a poor rez because when we were forced to live on this land they put it right on the border. Half of it is on the american side and the other half is on the canadian side. And the government really screwed themselves when they did that because a lot of people on the rez smuggle stuff over the border. Just like any other rez we are all sterotyped and seen as drug dealers and smugglers because some of the people on the rez do that kind of stuff.

And if u r smart you will never ask a native if they live in a tee-pee. because that is totally rediculous. We live in houses just like everyone else. (the mohawks never lived in tee-pee's, we lived in long houses)Some natives will laugh it off because its so stupid but some will take it personally. Don't ever call natives stupid or say "you dumb natives" or something along those lines.
its actually really fun sometimes living here. For example the last day of school a couple of years ago we had a lot of fun. The last day of school we had a subsitute bus driver and she drove us back to school because everyone was going crazy on the bus. So she was going to bring us back to school again because it was a little rowdy. When she pulled over on the side of the road we were near a gas station so someone pulled the lever of the emergency door and everyone just started to pour out of the door. Just my luck my aunt was driving by so like ten of us piled in the car and went home.
all the time we drive around on the road with our four-wheelers and have fun. ive been pulled over by state boys a couple of times but i always got away with it. maybe because im a girl and i wasn't driving reckless or anything.


whatever its like living anywhere else probably because most ethnic groups are discriminated against when they've never done anything to deserve it. like the african americans they were brought against their will to this country and treated like crap. they are very similar because the natives were slaughtered at wounded knee and then forced onto reservations.

well thats pretty much only covering a little bit of what its like to live on a rez.

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