American Indian Culture: South Dakota And The Sioux Nation

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The United States of America has a long American Indian history. These people were the first people to inhabit the new world or the Western Hemisphere of the Earth. South Dakota is the current home of the Sioux Nation tribe. South Dakota has ten reservations located in our state, one that covers part of Nebraska (Johnston, n.d., para. 4). South Dakota is one of the many states where American Indian traditions are still celebrated. Through all the struggles and the triumphant Sioux pride has remained. Luther Standing Bear wrote the book My People the Sioux to show how his life was changed through assimilation. Although American Indian’s way of life has changed over the years, their spirit has not been broken. The largest change in American …show more content…
Luther Standing Bear attended the Carlisle Indian school in Pennsylvania (Standing Bear, 1975, p. V). This institution was ran like a military school with the goal of making the American Indians assimilate to white culture (Standing Bear, 1975, p. V). The American Indians were forced to cut their hair, change their name, speak English, and learn a trade (Standing Bear, 1975, p. V). Moving to the boarding school was a big change for the American Indians, but over time they adjusted. Luther picked out his new name from a list of white peoples names on the board (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 137). The names were not explained to the students, so they were forced to choose a name by pointing (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 137). It took awhile for the students to adjust to their new names and the teacher had a lot of patience when it came to learning to write their new names (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 138). When the American Indian children were forced to cut their hair it really changed their frame of mind. Luther’s original name was Ota Kte otherwise known as Plenty Kill and his father had always told him “be brave and get killed” (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 141). Luther planned to do something brave before he returned home (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 141). Luther did not feel brave with his haircut off, he felt like an imitation of a white man (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 141). At school the students were …show more content…
American Indians leave the reservations and go to school and they come back feeling like they don’t truly fit into their own culture anymore. Some American Indians came out of boarding school with an acculturated feeling with one foot in both worlds, but most people decided to choose one world over the other (Standing Bear, 1975, p. VI). Luther was treated like a white person when he came home from school. For example his family tried to set a white man’s table, but they ate on the floor, while Luther sat at the table (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 195). He began teaching school and got married to a girl named Nellie (Standing Bear, 1975, p. 192, 199-200). Luther lived a civilized life much different from his

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