We need to give out portrayal of ourselves. Every non-Indian writer writes about 1860 to 1890 pretty much, and there is no non-Indian writer that can write movies about contemporary Indians. Only Indians can. Indians are usually romanticized. Non-Indians are totally irrepsonsible with the appropriation of Indians, because any time tou have an Indian in a movie, it's political. They're not used as people, they're used as points.
Catholic missionaries labored earnestly to convert indians. They fervently believed that God expected them to save the Indians' souls by convincing them to abandon their old sinful beliefs and to embrace the one true Christian faith. But after baptizing tens of thousands of Indians, the missionaries learned that many Indians continued to worship their own gods. Most priests came to believe that the Indians were lesser beings inherently incapable of fully understanding Christianity.
James L. Roark
All I try to do is portray Indians as we are, in creative ways. With imagination and poetry. I think a lot of Native American literature is stuck in one idea: sort of spiritual, environmentalist Indians. And I want to portray everyday lives. I think by doing that, by portraying the ordinary lives of Indians, perhaps people learn something new.
The turn of the century was the lowest point for the devastation of Indian culture by disease and persecution, and it's a wonder to me that they survived it and have not only maintained their identity, but are actually growing stronger in some ways. The situation is still very bad, especially in certain geographical areas, but there are more Indians going to school, more Indians becoming professional people, more Indians assuming full responsibility in our society. We have a long way to go, but we're making great strides.
N. Scott Momaday
We know from our recent history that English did not come to replace U.S. Indian languages merely because English sounded musical to Indians' ears. Instead, the replacement entailed English-speaking immigrants' killing most Indians by war, murder, and introduced diseases, and the surviving Indians' being pressured into adopting English, the new majority language.
There may be something in the fact that when I was a little kid I'd been told growing up that we had some degree of native American blood in us, I always found that a point of pride. So, when it came to cowboys and Indians I most certainly did not want to be John Wayne. I wanted to be one of the Indians.
The white men despise the Indians, and drive them from their homes. But the Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian, and look at him spitefully. But the Indian does not tell lies; Indians do not steal. An Indian, who is as bad as the white men, could not live in our nation; he would be put to death, and eat up by the wolves.
The American public has difficulty believing ... [that] injustice continues to be inflicted upon Indian people because Americans assume that the sympathy and tolerance they feel toward Indians is somehow 'felt' or transferred to the government policy that deals with Indians. This is not the case.
Leslie Marmon Silko
The most dangerous people in the world are not the tiny minority instigating evil acts, but those who do the acts for them. For example, when the British invaded India, many Indians accepted to work for the British to kill off Indians who resisted their occupation. So in other words, many Indians were hired to kill other Indians on behalf of the enemy for a paycheck. Today, we have mercenaries in Africa, corporate armies from the western world, and unemployed men throughout the Middle East killing their own people - and people of other nations - for a paycheck. To act without a conscience, but for a paycheck, makes anyone a dangerous animal. The devil would be powerless if he couldn't entice people to do his work. So as long as money continues to seduce the hungry, the hopeless, the broken, the greedy, and the needy, there will always be war between brothers.
A regular council was held with the Indians, who had come in on their ponies, and speeches were made on both sides through an interpreter, quite in the described mode,--the Indians, as usual, having the advantage in point of truth and earnestness, and therefore of eloquence. The most prominent chief was named Little Crow. They were quite dissatisfied with the white man's treatment of them, and probably have reason to be so.
Henry David Thoreau
The Indians, keeping to themselves, laughed at your superior methods and lived from the land more abundantly and with less labor than you did... And when your own people started deserting in order to live with them, it was too much... So you killed the Indians, tortured them, burned their villages, burned their cornfields... But you still did not grow much corn.
Edmund S. Morgan
A trip to a Central American jungle to watch how Indians behave near a bridge won't make you see either the jungle or the bridge or the Indians if you believe that the civilization you were born into is the only one that counts. Go and look around with the idea that everything you learned in school and college is wrong.
The Indians on board said that thence to Cuba was a voyage in their canoes of a day and a half; these being small dug-outs without a sail. Such are their canoes. I departed thence for Cuba, for by the signs the Indians made of its greatness, and of its gold and pearls, I thought that it must be Cipango.
Wayne: I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them ..... the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. .... I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation .... seems to be what the socialists are working for now -- to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave ..... But you can't whine and bellyache 'cause somebody else got a break and you didn't, like those Indians are. We'll all be on a reservation soon if the socialists keep subsidizing groups like them with our tax money.
Last night I missed two free throws which would have won the game against the best team in the state. The farm town high school I play for is nicknamed the "Indians, " and I'm probably the only actual Indian ever to play for a team with such a mascot. This morning I pick up the sports page and read the headline: INDIANS LOSE AGAIN. Go ahead and tell me none of this is supposed to hurt me very much.
There aren't a lot of alternative roles for Indian actors. I think we've fallen short of portraying Indians in the media. We don't need to make another Dances With Wolves, because it's not an Indian movie. When Indians portray themselves, then we have a different perspective. I've been asked about making period pieces but I've never read one that wasn't about guilt, and I'm not trying to make a guilt film.
Once he gets to the fort the colonel turns to John Wayne and says, "I did see a few Indians on the way over here." And John Wayne, with this really cool look on his face, replies, 'Don't worry. If you were able to spot some Indians, that means there weren't any there.' I don't remember the actual lines, but it went something like that. Do you get what he means?
The parochial snobbery of these people was partly responsible for their failure to convert the Indians. Probably they also preferred to take land from heathens rather than from fellow Christians. At any rate, very few Indians were converted, and the Salem folk believed that the virgin forest was the Devil's last preserve, his home base and the citadel of his final stand. To the best of their knowledge the American forest was the last place on earth that was not paying homage to God.
In the end the British will walk out because 100, 000 British cannot control 350 million Indians if those Indians refuse to cooperate.' A small minority cannot control an uncooperative majority, so they must be distracted, divided, tyrannized, or anesthetized into compliance. Gandhi dealt with the colonization of nations by nations; we deal now with the colonization of consciousness by corporations.
For more than a century-and-a-half, Europeans had been killing North American Indians with firewater... Now, in the first decades of the nineteenth century, Canada's pioneer settlers were killing themselves with their own medicine. About Canada. Toronto: Civil Sector Press, November, 2012. Alcohol, North American Indians, Settlers, Canada
Me and the folks who buy my food are like the Indians - we just want to opt out. That's all the Indians ever wanted - to keep their tepees, to give their kids herbs instead of patent medicines and leeches. They didn't care if there was a Washington, D.C., or a Custer or a USDA; just leave us alone. But the Western mind can't bear an opt-out option. We're going to have to refight the Battle of the Little Big Horn to preserve the right to opt out, or your grandchildren and mine will have no choice but to eat amalgamated, irradiated, genetically prostituted, barcoded, adulterated fecal spam from the centralized processing conglomerate.
Josephy visited several leading Manhattan bookstores and sadly discovered the explanation [from his agent] to be generally correct; books about Indians were shelved in the back of the stores alongside books about natural history, dinosaurs, plants, birds, and animals rather than being placed alongside biographies and histories of Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans, and other great world cultures. Puzzled, Josephy began asking bookstore managers for a justification of this marketing tactic and was informed that Indian books had 'just always been placed there.' The longer he pondered booksellers' indifference toward Indians, the more annoyed Josephy became with the realization that bookstore marketing tactics were simply a reflection of the pervasive thinking throughout the United States in 1961: Americans believed Indians to be a vanished people. 'Thinking about it made me angry, ' Josephy wrote in his autobiography, 'and I vowed that someday, some way, I would do something about this ignorant insult.
Before AIM, Indians were dispirited, defeated, and culturally dissolving. People were ashamed to be Indian. You didn't see the young people wearing braids or chokers or ribbon shirts in those days. Hell, I didn't wear 'em. People didn't Sun Dance, they didn't Sweat, they were losing their languages. Then there was that spark at Alcatraz, and we took off. Man, we took a ride across this country. We put Indians and Indian rights smack dab in the middle of the public consciousness for the first time since the so-called Indian wars.
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.
India had a very long independence movement. It started in 1886, [with] the first generation of Western-educated Indians. They were all liberals. They followed the Liberal Party in Britain, and they were very proud of their knowledge of parliamentary systems, parliamentary manners. They were big debaters. They [had], as it were, a long apprenticeship in training for being in power. Even when Gandhi made it a mass movement, the idea of elective representatives, elected working committees, elected leadership, all that stayed because basically Indians wanted to impress the British that they were going to be as good as the British were at running a parliamentary democracy. And that helped quite a lot.
Coyote, who is the creator of all of us, was sitting on his cloud the day after he created Indians. Now, he liked the Indians, liked what they were doing. This is good, he kept saying to himself. But he was bored. He thought and thought about what he should make next in the world. But he couldn't think of anything so he decided to clip his toenails... He looked around and around his cloud for somewhere to throw away his clippings. But he couldn't find anywhere and he got mad. He started jumping up and down because he was so mad. Then he accidentally dropped his toenail clippings over the side of the cloud and they fell to the earth. They clippings burrowed into teh ground like seeds and grew up to be white man. Coyote, he looked down at his newest creation and said, "Oh, shit.
Mick had once come across one of Wilson't books and was surprised to see his face on the back cover. Mick was even more surprised when he read the book. It was pretty good, although Mick was kind of tired of hearing about Indians. Still, Mick thought, Aristotle Little Hawk was a good Indian, even if he was just some character in a book. He wished more Indians like Little Hawk hung out in the bar. He knew Wilson claimed he had some Indian blood, said so inside the book. But Mick did not buy that shit. Mick's great-grandmother was a little bit Indian, but that did not make him Indian. Besides, who the hell would want to be Indian when you could just as easily be white?