Professor Barbara Morris
Times were very rough for the Native American Indians during the early 1900’s. Author Mary Crow Dog; a native American, tried to paint a vivid picture of some of the trials and tribulations that she underwent or heard about while she attended boarding school. Ms. Crow Dog tries to help readers better understand what she and many generations of Native Americans endured while attending St. Francis boarding school; which is located in South Dakota. She clearly stated that her mother and grandmother were not exempt from the harsh punishments given by the boarding school. Some of the same things that were going on at the school when Crow Dog was attending happened when her mother sister and grandmother went there. Whenever a group of people moves from one place to another or is surrounded by another culture geographically, they all face a choice. They all must chose to either attempt to preserve their own culture or adopt another. Culture arises from the dominant philosophy that the culture has already consciously or unconsciously chosen. When two neighboring cultures disagree on how knowledge is gained, or even if knowledge is useful or any number of basic assumptions conflict is guaranteed. Assimilation is easy, desirable, and good when the fundamental paradigm of the two cultures is similar, but very difficult when one culture is clearly more successful at coping with life on Earth. In the selection Civilize them with a Stick by Mary Crow Dog, she writes about a group of people who feel they have the right to tell others what to do. The oppressors in her story believe their ways to be superior and do not care how to achieve the end result, as long as it is achieved. The Catholic nuns in the story believe themselves to be qualified to rule over and change the Native Americans sent to their school. Mary Crow Dog writes about her experiences in a Catholic school. She...