We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident
American Indian Culture


Type your answers for the questions below into the answer template (download and open file "ansind.txt" with any word processor or text editor).

Read The School Days of an Indian Girl and answer the following questions:

  1. How did Zitkala-Sa's experience having her hair cut change her? What feelings did she have? What does she mean at the end of this section when she writes, "... now I was only one of many little animals driven by a herder."?
  2. Think about the episode with the turnips. How do you think the missionary (paleface) interpreted Zitkala-Sa's behavior? Why? What parallels might be made to contemporary interpretations of student behavior made by teachers unfamiliar with their students' culture/s?
  3. Why do you think religion is often used to frighten people into behaving certain ways? Is it effective? What is it teaching Zitkala-Sa about the Christian religion?
  4. In the section entitled, Iron Routine, what does Zikala-Sa mean by the 'civilizing machine'? Why would she use the word 'machine'?

Read Lakota Methods of Learning:

  1. We cannot assume, of course, that all Native Americans have the same methods of learning or, for that matter, that every member of the Lakota Tribe learns the same way. But, we can begin to build our knowledge and sensitivity about learning styles by gathering information. From this brief piece on Lakota Method of Learning, select 3-4 pieces of information and discuss what implications this knowledge might have for you as you plan and implement instruction.

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Written by Dr. Carla Mathison (cmathiso@mail.sdsu.edu) and Dr.Cathy Pohan
URL: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/cmathison/truths/truths.html
Last Update November 2002
WebQuest concept by Dr. Bernie Dodge