According to Crapo, Acculturation is what happens when members of one culture adopt the beliefs and/or behaviors of another group. Our textbook states ”Although both societies may change as a result of prolonged contact, the politically or economically less powerful of the two is likely to experience the most dramatic acculturative changes as they adopt the language and certain other cultural traits of the dominant culture” (Crapo, 2013). My heart felt so heavy when watching this 40 minute film.
I could not help but feel a rush of emotions and for what those children and their parents went through. As a mother, I could not imagine someone taking my child from me and shipping them away to a boarding school. Those children were tortured, beat, and worked to death, and the girls were even sexually assaulted. Once the children were released they had no self-worth. They felt like they were unable to fit in amongst society, and most importantly with their tribe.
The film never mentioned the actual reason the American Government decided to acculturate the Native Americans into Western culture. There could be several reasons they chose to do so. The first one that comes to mind is power. They also may have done this to use them for cheap labor. Another possibility as to why the American Government could have acculturated the Native Americans is because they feared what they were capable of. Acculturating others into another culture is justifiable as long as they aren’t being forced to do so against their own will.
When someone is forced into acculturating it effects them badly, in a negative way. Also, it is unfair that individuals are punished for acculturating, especially when it was against their own will to begin with. References Crapo, R. H. (2013). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. Givens, S. F. (Producer). (2011). Indian school: Stories of survival [Video]. Lincoln Park, MI: American Indian Services, Inc. Retrieved from the Films On Demand database.