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A 5 Pages Term Paper on Strategies Used By Tenskwatawa, Crazy Horse, And Mary Crow
Dog In Response To Threat Of American Culture


Tenskwatawa, Crazy Horse and Mary Crow Dog, each lived a heroic life under the pressure of losing their identity and culture. Each of these native Indians chose a different path to overcome the dangers faced by white men in an attempt to save their tribes and cultures.

In 1805, Lalawethika received a vision after which he changed his name to Tenskwatawa (Open Door). He proclaimed the ways of the white men, to be an evil that corrupted all they touched. He resented the fact that whites continue to devour Indian lands and their presence brought spiritual decay. Indian people were losing their soul owing to these White men.

Tenskwatawa called for a total rejection of white culture - its clothing and technology, its alcohol, and its religion. He also denounced the selling of land. No one really owned the land, he reminded his listeners, since by ancient tradition it belonged to everyone in common as a gift from the Great Spirit. He stressed on intertribal confederacy that would embrace all Indians everywhere.

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Crazy horse on the other hand attained his majority at the crisis of the difficulties between the United States and the Sioux. Crazy Horse was seen as an able and diligent leader. His influence was purely a matter of personality. He had never fought the whites up to this time, and indeed no "coup" was counted for killing or scalping a white man.

Like Tecumseh he was always impatient for battle; like Pontiac, he fought on while his allies were suing for peace, and like Grant, he was a man of deeds and not of words.

He spent his entire life fighting the White men upfront, and on several occasions won battles owing to his courage and able leadership. Even when he was captured by the English troops, he begged them to let him die fighting but was fatally wounded by a soldier and was buried in the badlands.

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Thus died one of the ablest and truest American Indians. His life was ideal; his record clean. He was never involved in any of the numerous massacres on the trail, but was a leader in practically every open fight.

Mary Crow Dog chose the strategy of intelligence as compared to strength. In her book, Lakota Woman, she quotes a report from the Department of the Interior in 1801, stating its intent to force civilization upon the Native American people and destroy their native practices. Crow Dog uses this reference in an attempt to connect the actions of the early government Native American education to the actions that took place in Boarding Schools around the 1920's. In doing this, she ignores the reformers intentions', and their impact in changing the early government's policy, of complete extermination to one of gentle immersion of Native Americans into mainstream society. The education reformers use the Training School to combat the government's policy of extermination. Its goal was to remove the responsibility of education from the hands of religious groups, so that the focus of the education sifted from theological teaching to practical survival skills necessary for success in the White man's world. The intentions and actions of the education reformers were nothing like the actions of later educators

Such characters as those of Crazy Horse and Tenskwatawa are not easily found among so-called civilized people their strategies remained affective till their lives after which no native Indians could be as able and valiant as them. Crow dog was successful in making the world aware of the misfortunes that had befallen the Indians in their own homelands and how they were struggling to save their identities. One cannot blame Crow Dog for her anger at the United States government and its repeated betrayal of the Native Americans, unfortunately books such as Crow Dog' create a false view of Native American treatment for the general public. Though in their specific times, each of them faced accusations either in the form of witchcraft or unnecessary liberation, but they survived and continue to live on, as one of the treasured persons of Indian history.

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Bibliography:

  • The Shawnee prophet and Tecumseh
    http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Cove/8286/prophet.html
  • Crazy Horse, as Remembered by Ohiyesa (Charles A. Eastman)
    http://www4.gvsu.edu/books/archive/lakota/gale.htm
  • Indian History
    http://www.tolatsga.org/dela.html
  • Mary Crow Dog
    http://www4.gvsu.edu/books/archive/lakota/gale.htm

 
 


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