Current Connection #3 ED253 – Ayanna Lyons

Ayanna Lyons

Dr. Shutkin

ED 253- Current Connection #3

April 11, 2022

The selected reading is called Native Americans: Deculturalization, Schooling, Globalization, and Inequality. One theme of this reading is the idea of globalization and deculturalization. Globalization is a global process of integration of governments, countries, people, cultures, ways of life, etc. Imperialism is one example used in the article to demonstrate globalization. The effects of globalization have been seen in the fact that indigenous people were forced to make cultural changes and their culture was completely removed. This leads to deculturalization, which is the destruction of a group’s culture that is then replaced by the dominating culture. Indigenous people in Canada, the US, South America, and Central America all have experienced deculturalization by the dominant group. A form of deculturalization of indigenous people occurred by forcing education upon them by the dominant group. This resulted in 1830 when The Indian removal act began. This act was Indians being forced to attend schools that destroyed their culture and language to ‘culturally transform’ them. There were children who were forced to leave their families to attend these schools, as schooling was seen as a way to ‘civilize’ Indians. According to the article it states, “McKenny considered the introduction of schools into Indian tribes as an ‘experiment’ in what I call ideological management” (spring2013deculturalization.pdf). To even think of forcing children to abandon their culture and families to ‘experiment’ on them is a very profound thing. Even thinking that sending them to schools to protect them from the evils in the world and to provide education and isolation to civilize them in one generation is very blue hearted. This assigned reading uses evidence such as citations in the notes section. Including a note section of the reading consisting of citations and references enhances the credibility of the author of this assigned reading. Also, the author makes a reference to Article 27 of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention where he says “1989 promises that education for indigenous peoples “shall be developed and implemented in cooperation with them to address their special needs, and shall incorporate their histories, their knowledge and technologies, their value systems and their further social, economic, and cultural aspirations” (spring2013deculturalization.pdf). Additionally, there was some numerical evidence that the author used such as “By 1838 only 2,000 of 17,000 Cherokees made the trip west. The remaining 15,000 did not seem to believe that they would be driven out of their country” (spring2013deculturalization.pdf). There was a cultural perspective in this assigned reading because the author clearly understands and acknowledges that what happened to Indigenous people was very wrong. In addition, the author shows a crystal clear emphatic feeling toward Indigenous people and their past. The specific part of this assigned reading that I decided to focus on is the idea of deculturalization of Indians. As mentioned previously, it stemmed from the 1830 Indian removal act where Indians were forced to leave their culture and families to attend boarding schools. The current article that I chose to make a direct connection to the assigned reading is called At University of Minnesota Morris campus, students demand search for Indian boarding school victims. In 2018, there was a sculpture that consisted of a mother and her son holding each other. The son looked like he was trying to hide behind his mother in fear and sadness due to the fact that he probably didn’t want to be taken away from his family. This sculpture was installed as a reminder of this site’s dark past. Before the Morris campus opened, a boarding school that separated Native American children from their families and forced them to assimilate into white culture took place in that very spot. An important quote from At University of Minnesota Morris campus, students demand search for Indian boarding school victims is, “Recent discoveries of mass graves at former boarding school sites in Canada have prompted Native American students at the Morris campus to demand a search at their school. More than 4,000 people signed a student-led petition this month in support of a Morris campus search, which they say is an essential step for the university to confront and heal from its history” (Faircloth, R). With the university taking the initiative to a potential search in association with tribal nations, this will lead to taking the emotional burden off Native American students because obviously, they are there for a degree but along with this, they probably are facing intergenerational trauma as well. After the closing of the boarding school in 1909 and the ownership that was switched to the state of Minnesota, there was a condition that Native Americans will be admitted to any future educational institutions tuition-free. In addition to this, this condition is still honored today by the university, the only university campus that offers tuition waivers to Native American students. In relation to the assigned reading, forcing a group of people to abandon their culture is deculturalization in its simplest form and its effects are still seen today with various native groups demanding justice for the forced abandonment of their culture that was thrust upon them. 

References

Faircloth, R. (2021, July 24). At University of Minnesota Morris campus, students demand search for Indian boarding school victims. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN).

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