Monday, October 14, 2013

Continuing with my History Theme

I am becoming an ever increasing fan of the history pool on Netgalley. There are so many points of view in history. Now with so many ways to reach out to the world around us, we are hearing from more than just the "victor's" side. I'm saddened and enlightened by what I have been learning about the subjects I was taught. I don't think my school meant to be so in the dark about these cultures, but my-oh-my were they.

The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

"What do we do with the Indian problem?" I thought we didn't have an Indian problem anymore. This book didn't feel like a text book written by a PhD holder. There are plenty of facts to make you sit up and think about the history you learned, but not so many your head is reeling from too much information. King also inserts amusing anecdotes that really help the reader connect with the material. These are real stories with real tragedy for the Native people. Scientific fact can be so impersonal and separated from our spirituality. That is the beauty of King's book, fact with humanity.

I was greatly enlightened by this book and disturbed at how little I learned previously. There is this culture that shaped the land I grew up in for centuries before misguided Europeans stumbled upon them. Also, I was amazed out how many of the historical events King brought up had managed to completely remain obsolete from my textbooks. I learned grueling facts about those eras, which now I certainly cannot remember because they were so far removed from my teenage dystopia of angst and immaturity. But, I am quite clear that there was never any mention of the Native history.

I highly recommend this book to all educators. It should certainly be part of some curriculum change. To be in the 21st century and still have people who don't have rights to the very land they worship, live, and work on saddens me. Yet, I am not shocked because what we don't know doesn't hurt us, correct? As we find the need to expand, we can just take from the original landowners because they don't own it, correct? Read this book. Grow yourself intellectually and spiritually. Know that you are making decisions about your life with all the information.

Here is to some more brain food!