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Indian Cultural Revival In A Eurocentric World Essay

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American Indians and European Americans have had a hostile and tumultuous history for many years, and this led to the decimation of American Indian culture and existence. European exploration had brought widespread disease that made American Indians a post-apocalyptic society by the time Europeans began settling in large numbers. Settlers exacerbated the demise of American Indian life by stripping them of their cultural identity through legislated discrimination, relocation and “civilization”. In the present day, many American Indians are searching for a way to reclaim their lost cultural identity. Through Monroe’s restoration projects, Thomas King proposes in his novel Truth & Bright Water that American Indians can reclaim and restore…show more content…
The cast iron buffalo show us that American Indians can use technology obtained from Europeans to reclaim their history and restore their unique native identity. Another attempt Monroe makes at American Indian historical and cultural restoration is painting the church. The church stands as a symbol of European Christian missionaries that aimed to convert and civilize American Indians by proselytizing and imposing their religion on them. These churches did not preach in the languages of the people they were converting, and therefore they also are a symbol of a loss of the basic facets of American Indian culture like native languages. However, when Monroe purchases the church, he paints the exterior to match its surroundings. King writes “The entire east side of the church is gone. Or at least it looks gone. I don’t know how Monroe has done it, but he’s painted this side so that it blends in with the prairies and the sky, and he’s done such a good job that it looks as if a part of the church has been chewed off” (43). The chapel camouflaged with paintings of the great American plains is an attempt by Monroe and the author to “erase” the church from the landscape. King shows us that American Indians can use church of European origin to restore cultural identity and reclaim historical pride on the reservation. This is important because even though the church is a symbol of oppression by whites, American
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