Native American Injustice in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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A majority of the Native Americans Junior’s reservation are alcoholics and are very rough to him and some others. Furthermore the conditions of the reservations are very poor including their housing and school. Arnold has to walk in fear the moment he departs his abode;  there are drunkards who will lick him in the streets and bullies at school who will beat him up. In most average middle to upper class american communities children don’t need to deal with these hardships and dangers. There are clearly a lot of adults in Junior’s community who lack emotional control, because of the abuse they were surrounded by and the collective social trauma of their community. Junior, however does have skills as he deals with so much but still remains calm and assertive.   

      Warfare between Europeans and Indians was common in the seventeenth century. In 1622, the Powhatan Confederacy nearly wiped out the struggling Jamestown colony. Frustrated at the continuing conflicts, Nathaniel Bacon and a group of vigilantes destroyed the Pamunkey Indians before leading an unsuccessful revolt against colonial authorities in 1676.  There are several instances in history in which American “citizens” treated Native Americans in a horrible manner.  The Indian Removal Act Passed by congress on March 28, 1830. It began forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans in what became known as the Trail of Tears in which over 46,000 Native Americans were forced to leave their homes and move to “Indian territory”. More than 4,000 Native Americans passed away of disease, starvation, and exposure to extreme weather, on the way there. Congress passed the first Indian Reservation Act in 1851. The main goals of Indian reservations were to bring Native Americans under U.S. government control, minimize conflict between Indians and settlers and encourage Native Americans to take on the ways of the white man. But many Native Americans were forced onto reservations with catastrophic results and devastating, long-lasting effects.  In the book in Junior’s tribe the majority of adults are alcoholic. This is likely due to how they were treated by Americans throughout history. As shown in the book even today the conditions of the reservation are also extremely poor.

This book is a wonderful book to read and it had strong themes relating to government and Native American history. The reason I liked it is because it was easy to comprehend and well written. I would recommend it to people who struggle at reading for several reasons. Firstly it’s well written there are many books out there that have a lot of figurative language, old style dialogue,and  hard vocabulary. This book is easy to understand as it is written in a simple fashion with basic vocabulary. There is also very nice drawings throughout the book by an well known artist for those of you who like art.

Sources:

https://variety.com/2016/film/news/hugh-jackman-diary-of-a-part-time-indian-movie-1201931194/

https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act

https://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/american-indian-wars

 

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