2 April 2003
In the novel, Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog showcases a typical Indian childhood, a more unique adulthood, and the many struggles found within Native American life. One might find that these experiences are still very typical in the lives of young children, teenagers, adults, and the grandmothers and grandfathers. When reading a novel such as this, many view it as "the past," something that "we've taken care of." This is furthest from the truth! Among all tribes - now all are united - there are those who are still being persecuted, discriminated against, and forced, or at least persuaded to be whitmanized.
As a six year old child, my parents where expected to undo my braids, put shoes on my feet, and send me to catholic school. Although there were no social workers ripping me from their arms, society was enough. Nuns were brutal and still insist and hitting children with rulers, paddles, and anything they can reach for in a moment of anger.
Not only are Indians whitened here, but also the Mexicans and any breed in between. We were not allowed to speak in Spanish, Dine', or any other language that was not English. No, these things have not changed.
In middle school things were different. I chose to go to public schools with the rest of the heathens, but still felt a pressure to be an "all American girl." Something I learned was that one could not escape the white pressures, they were found everywhere - in what you wore, in your religion, in what you ate, in who you lived with, in your blood. No matter what you did, you would never be good enough, smart enough, or white enough to suit them.
Mary Crow Dog was born a Brave Bird,