A) Before You Read
B) READ: Chapter 2
What visual image comes to mind when you hear the labels “Indian”, “Native” or “Indigenous”?
What has influenced this image?
In a recent CBC interview, author Thomas King shared that he spent a chapter in this book on how Native people have been portrayed in film, popular culture and popular imagination because this is where many Canadians got/get their first exposure to “Indians.” In this chapter, King highlights many stereotypes often held about Native people and outlines how they became stereotypes, perpetuated through artists, Wild West shows, Hollywood, advertising and other media.
Laura Eggerston, an Ottawa-based freelance journalist, reviewed King’s book and wrote: “King debunks other matters of historical record and describes the way the White propaganda machine mythologized White heroes and romanticized or demonized Redskins, from George Custer to Louis Riel, in films, in paintings, in media of every kind.”
- a) What are the typical depictions of Native people in the media that continue today?
How do they reinforce an incomplete history of Aboriginal in North America?
b) Do you think they discriminate against or preserve Native culture?
In the Doctrine of Discovery, other papal bulls and early laws that governed Canada, Native people were described as “savages” and as being “uncivilized”. King describes how Native people were viewed as subhuman.
- Stop for a moment and meditate on these two labels- “savages” and “uncivilized”. How could using these labels wrongly justify oppression and domination?
In Daniel Hill’s book White Awake, he tackles the topic of white supremacy, “White culture tends to “win” when it comes into contact with other cultures.” p. 4
- a) Do you see this played out in Native and non-Native relationships?
b) How do you see this supremacy playing out in your own day-to-day experience?
D) Comment on the Facebook Page
Creator of all people,
in our amazing diversity of size,shape, colour and giftedness:
guide us, by your grace, to recognize the beauty and fitness of all whom you have made in Your own image.
Give us gifts of humility and generosity of spirit to recognize in all people, the face of our Saviour, Jesus,
and to practice His commandment to “love one another,”
toward the end of bringing harmony and peace among persons of all colours, origins, and abilities,
for the sake of your Kingdom.
– Sisters of Mercy