Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance

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Prison Writings Book Review|
Dr. Hansen|
Dillon Ekmalian|

The United States is home of the brave, the free, and the land of opportunity. People from countries all around the world come to the United States to better themselves, or to give their children a chance at a better life. Countries of all races and skin colors have come since the land of the Americas was “discovered,” white, black, brown, and yellow. However, there is a key color missing; the color that has been her longer than any other, red. How is it that the people who have lived off the land of America for centuries before the Europeans arrived are the one race that is given the least amount of respect? After the British defeat by the Colonies in the Revolutionary War the Natives lost the last of hold on their old ways. It eliminated the Proclamation of 1763 and opened the doors to westward expansion. Now 230 years after the war Natives are forced to live in secluded “reservations” that the American government has chosen as “Indian Country.”

Throughout those 230 years there have been many conflicts between the two nations. General Custer’s epic Final Stand, both Wounded Knees, and the life of Leonard Peltier. The two former mentioned are discussed in history classes all around the country as great stories in American History. Yet Leonard Peltier’s story, which may be the best piece of history in arguing the mistreatment of Native Americans in the United States, is left out. I personally had never heard of Leonard Peltier and I am a history major. The reason for this is because the United States government does not want their main police force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, seen as a bad guy. So stories like the Leonard Peltier’s go unnoticed. However, through dedication and hard work through the American Indian Movement, people like Leonard are able to tell their stories. Leonard expressed his voice through a book he wrote, Prison...
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