Native American Essay BY smi9596 A minority is a group differing, especially in race, religion, or ethnic background, from the majority of a population. Native Americans are seen as a minority in the United States because they have a different ethnic background than the majority of the population. Present day Native Americans face the hardships of poverty, and difficulties of financial stability. Numerous reservations are treated unfairly, and don’t meet educational requirements nor housing. The poverty filled environment on
Indian reservations had a powerful influence on the Native Americans’ expectations of their future, giving them hope ofa better life after childhood. In Sherman Alexie’s “Superman and Me” it illustrates the harsh living conditions and lifestyle the Native Americans faced on a daily basis. as a young child Sherman Alexie very well knew the economic difficulties his parents were up against. “We were poor by most standards, but one of my parents usually managed to find a minimum-wage Job… we lived on a combination of irregular paychecks, hope, fear and the government surplus ood” (Alexie).
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Although Alexie lived an uneasy life full of discouragement, he still managed to find hope in the future. One example of this is shown in Alexie’s childhood when he exceeded the expectations of a three year old Indian boy by learning how to read. The young whites made sure that they told the Native American boys that they were expected to be unintelligent; non-lndians rarely expected a clever idea to come from an Indians mouth. in the final paragraph Alexie addresses his new profound life, without poverty. “These days I write novels, short stories, and poems.
I visit schools and teach creative writing to Indian kids” (Alexie). This quote shows that even growing up in poverty, he still managed to be successful with his life and bring hope to others on the reservation by educating them. The example of Sherman Alexie’s success is one of the many stories of successful people having a rough childhood and making something better of it. Anything is possible in the world whether they are a Native American, white, or African American. Regardless of Alexie’s inspiring story, many Native Americans still face poverty every ingle day without faith, setting themselves up for failure.
The Lakota tribe, found in South Dakota also came across the difficulties on a reservation that the Alexie family did. However, the Lakota tribe lived on much more tight budget with scarce food and there homes took place in disastrous slums. Aaron Huey is well acquainted with the tribe and is treated like family and known as their “brother. ” “l will always be what is called “wasichu,” and “wasichu” is a Lakota word that means “non-lndian,” but nother version of this word means “the one who takes the best meat for himself” (Huey).
This exemplifies how the whites are greedy and always take the best part of everything for themselves, and save the lousy scraps for the minorities of America, the Lakota tribe included. The Lakota tribe is constantly being forced to give up the little that they have to Americans even though they had been promised their share in the past. The reservation the Lakota’s live on is deeper in poverty than Detroit or Flint, Michigan. Alexie makes sure to address this, “Unemployment on the omes on Pine Ridge have no electricity.
At least 60 percent of the homes on the reservation are infested with black mold. More than 90 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty line… School dropout rate is up to 70 percent” (Huey). These statistics obviously show how hazardous the Lakota’s housing is. The houses are minuet and discombobulated with their possessions scattered amongst the rooms. Although, they live in dangerous houses and are left little to nothing to their name they still take pride in the Lakota name.
The obstacles they face daily influenced them to be grateful for what they have, even if it is only the “scraps. ” Hard times bring them closer together, cherishing the days they get to spend with their family. Over decades the Native Americans still continue to have their homes and money taken away from them. Americans are constantly being greedy, taking more than they deserve. However, Americans can take as many materialistic things as they want, but they can never take the Lakota’s and Alexie’s pride, hope, and love for one another.