Genre: Native Americans in the United States Essay

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Winterkill Multi Genre Paper: Native Americans and their Culture+History
Yuliya Boyalskaya

Introduction This analyzes the Native American People’s culture and history. Through the selected works, the paper illustrates the culture of the people which centers around nature and respect for the spirits, along with the history of their persecution of their beliefs and their culture. Each work is transitioned with a relevant quote towards the work and the meaning of it. My thesis weaves in through the works and brings up new questions concerning the topics and issues presented in the work, along with relevant analysis around the book with proper connections.

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children." --Indian Proverb
"Once We Were One" (1998) by Peggy O’Neal

This work relates to Winterkill because of the mysticism and hunting culture of the characters in the book. When Red Shirt and Danny are hunting the moose, and Danny finds the tracks to the wolf and sees the wolf and shoots at it because he gets scared, Red Shirt believes his luck will go bad because you’re not supposed to shoot at the wolf because they are sacred spirits. He then scatters tobacco for the spirits, because that is the custom for respect towards the dead and the protectors. This image also shows the Native American walking with the animals, which shows interconnectedness and respect that the characters felt towards the animals when they were hunting them. They didn’t take more than they could eat and didn’t kill animals just for sport, they killed and ate them for sustenance.

"The white people, who are trying to make us over into their image, they want us to be what they call "assimilated," bringing the Indians into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented like those whose concept of happiness is materialistic and greedy, which is very different from our way.

We want freedom from the white man rather than to be integrated. We don't want any part of the establishment, we want to be free to raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able to hunt and fish and live in peace. We don't want power, we don't want to be congressmen, or bankers....we want to be ourselves. We want to have our heritage, because we are the owners of this land and because we belong here.

The white man says, there is freedom and justice for all. We have had "freedom and justice," and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this."--From the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians

I look to the long road behind
My heart is heavy with my people's sorrow
Tears of grief I weep - for all that we have lost
As we march ever farther from the land of our birth
On the Trail of Tears

Mile after mile and day after day
Our people are fewer with each rising sun
Disease and starvation they take their terrible toll
And though we suffer still we march on
On the Trail of Tears

I watch my beloved weaken and fall
Upon the road like so many before
With tears in my eyes I hold my wife to my breast
And in my arms she breathes her last
On the Trail of Tears

Mile after mile and day after day
We march to a land promised us for all time
But I know that I can no longer go on
I know that is a land that I shall never see
On the Trail of Tears

As my body - it falls to embrace the earth
My spirit - it soars to greet the sky
With my dying breath am I finally set free
To begin the very long journey towards home
On the Trail of Tears
By Brian Childers

This poem has the theme of Native American Culture in it because it talks about the persecution of Native Americans and how they