Nothing but the Truth: The Aboriginal Stereotype and Racism that is objectified Throughout In Search of April Raintree
“You say that we are drunkards, that we live for drinking. But drinking is a way of dying. Dying without enjoying life” (Mosionier 154), April Raintree, main character of the novel In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, wished she could change her Métis heritage or the spelling of her last name, Raintree, so it would seem less native. Why? Racism and family history, but mostly because of the judgement of a character trait that is carried throughout native woman called, “native girl syndrome”: drinking, doing drugs, having promiscuous sex, and even getting involved in crime. April discovered that the stereotype is in fact true, but there is no shame in fighting for change.
As a child, the dynamic character, April Raintree discovered early of how her parents were alcoholics. She called it a “sickness” and how her parent’s took their “medicine.” The circumstances she was raised in brought both disrespect for the Native culture and the trait of racism which April learnt while playing in the playground with her sister, Cheryl. “There were two different groups of children that went to the park. One group was the brown- skinned children who looked like Cheryl in most ways. Some of them even came over to our house with their parents. But they were dirty looking and they dressed in real raggedy clothes. I didn’t care to play with them at all. The other group was white- skinned, and I used to envy them especially the girls with blond hair and blue eyes. They seemed so clean and reminded me of flowers I had seen,” (Mosionier 16) instantaneously April disestablished herself from her Métis heritage and culture to the point that she uses materialism and white culture as a coping mechanism. It helped her to ease the association through heritage and kept her away from the problems that plagued the native...
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