I say "nations" instead of "tribes," because that is what the original treaties with the U. Government say. But the government has revised its interpretation of those treaties so they can forget that each tribe is a recognized sovereign nation; that their lands are likewise sovereign; and that American Indians should have the same opportunities for prosperity and happiness that you and I have. The result for American Indians is, "recognition" does not include basic human rights. The first Indian reservations were concentration camps. While conditions on the reservations are somewhat different today, they are not better.
Reservation life remains unhealthy and unsafe. The average American Indian man on the reservation lives just 46 years.
My film work has given me an unusual opportunity to learn what our text books do not teach us about American Indian history and culture. I have felt outrage, dismay and finally deep compassion for the plight of my people.
But my feelings don't feed hungry stomachs or warm cold bodies. I intend to make a difference by doing something real! I searched hard for a place that I could do this and I found Adopt a Native Elder , a philanthropic organization that is very dear to me.
She asked if anyone would give her a rug to sell. She would, she promised, bring the money back to them. Just imagine how the Navajo elders must have looked at this white girl asking them to trust her. But one elder stepped up and was eventually proven wise. Linda sold the rug, returning all the money to the elder. My project at Adopt a Native Elder, Warming Hearts, raises much needed money for fire wood essential to the Navajo elders during the harsh winters. Today I finish with this urgent news. They are dealing with a horrific problem -- teens who are killing themselves in greater numbers than ever before.
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In evocative prose laced with political savvy, she forces new thinking about the perceptions, assumptions, and customs of both Sioux and white cultures and raises issues of assimilation, identity, and race relations that remain compelling today. Writer, teacher, and activist, she was editor of American Indian Magazine and founder of the National Council of American Indians, the tribaladvocacy group that she led until her… More about Zitkala-Sa. Read An Excerpt.
Davidson and Ada Norris Best Seller. Paperback —. Add to Cart. About American Indian Stories, Legends, and Other Writings A thought-provoking collection of searing prose from a Sioux woman that covers race, identity, assimilation, and perceptions of Native American culture Zitkala-Sa wrestled with the conflicting influences of American Indian and white culture throughout her life.