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ENGL the Removing of the Indian Final

ENGL the Removing of the Indian Final

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Published by Samantha McPadden

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Published by: Samantha McPadden on Dec 07, 2010
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Sam McPaddenMcPadden1Professor Jan RiemanEnglish 1103December 4, 2010
For this piece I used a lot of background knowledge from amission trip that I took the summer of 2010. I learned a ton about thecurrent lives of Native American people and took a lot of interest in thereservation in general. As I researched the problem Native Americanshave with literacy, I became increasingly concerned. In this paper Itake time to reflect on these current problems taking place within our own borders.
 The Removing of The IndianWe know hardly anything about the country that we live in. Thisis because in general, our own lives are too difficult to overlook.Relatively, we have everything easy; huge problems to us are verysmall elsewhere. What is hard to believe is that there are people whoare living in our borders who live life nothing like the “typical”American. The Sioux tribe in South Dakota lives every day with theirnatural amenities dwindling including their native language andliterature. If nothing is done to stop this, the Lakota tribe will lose what
 
they have always thought of as their identity.Many people don’t know that there are tons of languages nativeto the US besides English. One of the most incredible of these is calledLakota. It is the language spoken by the Sioux people of the Pine RidgeIndian Reservation in South Dakota. Unfortunately, itMcPadden 2is the greatest amenity the people have, but it is increasinglybecoming extinct. What is so wonderful and different about thelanguage is how each word really speaks to the earth. Every word orphrase tells a story which explains a phenomenon (Gahagan). Thisshows you what type of people the Lakota actually are. They findpleasure in the natural things around them and they worshipeverything that is free, or at least those who know it do.What really separates Lakota from English? The difference inwords in general is a big part but the real separation comes in usages. The Lakota people see Language as a tool for speaking. They are themasters of the “oral literacy” and use spoken word more than anyother type of literacy life reading or writing (White-Kaulaity 560).Speaking is most important for telling stories from memory, whichentails the majority of their literacy. Stories are how they keep track of the history of their ancestors and the world and also how they accountfor different phenomena that arise in nature. English is not a suitablespoken language for the usages in Lakota literacy. In fact, they don’t
 
even want a language for use other than speaking. The Lakota language is a main component that separates theirtribe from all of the others. Language in general is something thatdefines a group of people, no matter what it is. The linguistic diversityamong the different tribes of the US is what creates the culturaldiversity among them as well (Biava 46). Their certain language is theclearest way to show the differences among them. Tribes use their ownlanguage to display culture through prayers, stories, values,philosophy, and beliefs. All of these things differMcPadden 3throughout groups, thus the importance of diversity of language. If nothing is done to stop the loss of Lakota, the tribe will be threatenedwith a loss of identity. You may be wondering what is stopping them from reading andwriting. English speakers take some pride in stories but WE have astrong written language. There are many reasons the Lakota peopleand many other Indian tribes only have accounts of their language inspoken form. Literacy other than speaking is seen as negative. It isalso viewed as inconvenient and unnecessary to the future. In fact,“Native American culture demands that people be involved in activitieswith tangible, practical, and visible results. Reading and writing are notconsidered to be such activities” thus, the lack of interest (White-

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