can i hear more about the class you hijacked? (this doesnt have to be private)
I actually got out of bed just so I could go full rant about this on my computer, so y’all buckle up (thank you for giving me this opportunity lololol)
Okay, so this happened about a year, maybe a year and a half ago. I’m gonna go ahead and make this one public for the benefit of those that didn’t follow me back then, if that’s cool.
Let me preface this by saying that I had taken literally every one of the professor’s classes before then. Partly because they were the only anthropology style class the uni offered, and partly because halfway through the second class I realized that literally everything was the same, except the books, which we never used. Even the assignments were the same, and I had perfected a system of how to do those quickly, easily, and last-minute, lol. So it was pretty much the definition of an easy A, and the prof liked me bc I was nice, actually listened to her even though I’d heard it all before, and didn’t rat her ass out for not actually teaching what she was supposed to, lol.
I should’ve known right there.
So when there was an opportunity to take a Native Americans in North America class with her, I jumped on it. I needed the hours, I obviously knew a lot on the subject already, and it would be another easy a, if history was anything to go by.
It became one of the most frustrating classes I have ever taken.
As always, the class started the same as the others. We started out learning about vocab and models. NBD, we’d get to specifics eventually, right?
Now there are about 16 to 18 weeks in your average semester.
By week 6 we had yet to learn anything about Native history. She’d assigned some reading about the moundbuilder’s archeological sites, but nothing about the modern day. Maybe she was just taking it slow, I thought, though I was bothered by her only talking about Natives in the past tense. But she’d told me in the first class I’d taken with her (years ago by now) that she was enrolled Native, so I didn’t call it out immediately.
We get to week 8, halfway through the semester, she hadn’t covered anything. No mention of treaties, modern movements for civil rights, AIM (American Indian Movement), the illegal overthrow of Hawai’i, buffalo kill offs, smallpox blankets, Chicago museum’s bullshit, NAGPRA (a law protecting grave sites and demanding the return of remains to their Nation by museums and sites, if the Nation will accept them (sometimes they allow the remains to be housed by the museum bc they’re typically more secure there, but that’s very rare)) beyond how it affected archeologists, the different regions, the language families, ghost dance, the flooding of lands by companies illegally, human zoos, RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, THE FUCKING TRAIL OF TEARS, NOTHING.
Like your 4th grade history segment, as racist as it probably was, probably was more informative than this bitch was being, okay? And I was getting mad. Y’all know me. Native activism is a huge part of my life, and has been for years. Students were being allowed to say really racist shit unchecked. The prof wasn’t teaching jack. Misinformation was being spread, even by the prof.
It felt like even in a class dedicated to us, we didn’t matter. Our history didn’t matter.
I was fed up.
Then, she pissed me the absolute fuck off. She proceeded to spend the rest of the class talking about South America.
Now, our Indigenous family below the equator absolutely deserve to be discussed. They have so many issues that really, really need to be boosted and respected. We do not raise their voices often enough. But this was a class specifically about North America, and her reasoning for making it otherwise was racist in so many ways.
First, she changed the curriculum outside of its scope because she was “MORE INTERESTED IN SOUTH AMERICA, AND WOULD HAVE TO DO RESEARCH TO TALK ABOUT” the issues I was publicly demanding to know when she would cover. As if her personal interest and ignorance were more important than our lives.
(side note, it turns out she was lying about being enrolled and Native. Her white supremacist brother (not even kidding) had said that a Cherokee woman chief in Minnesota or some shit had enrolled them. I asked her if she meant Wilma Mankiller, the first modern female Cherokee chief. She said no, it was someone else, and in the late nineties, after Wilma would’ve no longer been Chief. I publicly called her out, and even another student jumped in to help, because there was no other woman Chief then, and there was no recognized Nation that far North. Her white supremacist brother had lied bc he felt othered while working near the Din’e on a job site, bc they didn’t include his racist ass, lol. So she’d lied her way into being allowed to teach a class she didn’t even know or care about. So at this point, I was fucking done with her, lol)
She also was showing us old propaganda films, and literally every group she discussed was being painted as ignorant, warlike savages by her and the materials. She even defended a man that intentionally exposed Indigenous peoples with no immunity to certain diseases to said diseases ‘just to see what would happen.’ She recommended his books, including ‘Noble Savages’ to us. I shouldn’t have to explain why that’s racist, lmao.
All of this is to say that I was VERY fed up, she (and the class) was VERY racist, and she was going down.
Then her foolish self decided to assign a massive project where we were supposed to ‘teach the class’ about a Native subject (y i k e s, esp. since the class was full of non-Natives). Since I was Fed Up, I decided to skip the usual schooling on cultural appropriation to instead teach everyone (including her) about just a smattering of the important things she hadn’t even mentioned in passing. :)
What followed was a 33 page powerpoint.
Apologies for any inaccuracies, and blanket tw for slurs, racism, death, csa, torture, child abuse, etc etc etc
(I added all the regalia pics bc they made me happy and calmed me down, which I was gonna need. I set the presentation up as “Man, I sure had trouble deciding what to make my presentation about. Should I talk about X? Y? Z? This? That? This? And so on until I reached residential schools and Reconciliation as my discussion topic.)
I hope those gifs work. If not, they should be under my “Oka Crisis” tag, or “n i fn a history” and “n i fn a protests” tags. I also had decided early to use the Nations actual names where possible.
Oh look, a quick and easy way to make people realize THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T FUCKING REFER TO US AS SLURS, and here’s how to discuss the issue without being additionally harmful.
OH LOOK, SOURCES
Getting progressively angrier at this point. The class is smart enough to stay silent.
#MMIW #NoMoreStolenSisters. Please bring them home. Whatever it takes.
Stayed on this slide juuust long enough to stare each person in class down.
Oh look, we’re finally hitting my actual topic. Again, shit’s about to get very heavy. Please read only if you can. I will not be glancing over these to check them rn, bc I can’t. I’m sharing just for y’all to see, and hopefully reblog to educate people.
I honestly wept as I worked on this part. I can’t read it again.
Calling it out.
AYUP. Canadians are so nice and their government isn’t problematic at all
There are survivors that are my age, and younger.
Not letting them forget that this isn’t just in the past. It still wounds us.
It still hurts. We’re still recovering.
I included resources for them, including the prof, to actually educate themselves, since our school sure as shit wasn’t going to do it.
A handful of my sources.
Anyways. I was done. So fucking done. She (the prof) still tried to guide the class back and pretend that it was acceptable that she hadn’t taught them anything. I didn’t let her. I reminded them all that the only reason that this was Canada focused was bc they’d just had the Truth and Reconciliation reports, whereas the US government hasn’t put any effort into assembling data on their atrocities. Go figure.
Black history lessons in classrooms shouldn’t be limited to the names of men and only a few women. Especially when there are countless women who’ve made enormous strides for the black community, too.
The revolutionary words Angela Davis spoke, the record-breaking feats of Wilma Rudolph and the glass ceiling-shattering efforts of Shirley Chisolm paved the way for black women and girls across the country to dream big and act courageously.
Here are 28 phenomenal women everyone should acquaint themselves with this black history month.
Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. A liberal member of the Democratic Party, she served as principal chief for ten years from 1985 to 1995. She is the author of a national-bestselling autobiography, Mankiller: A Chief and Her People and co-authored Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women.
Mankiller’s administration founded the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department and saw a population increase of Cherokee Nation citizens from 55,000 to 156,000