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An Indian Remembers

This paper is an attempt to discuss the biography of Mary Englunds An Indian Remembers based on her childhood experiences in a Christian European convent. Her story starts from the day she is taken away from her family to be civilized in a distant residential school. Englunds experience in the school could be described as European way of civilizing the young native people that includes compulsory assimilation, segregation, control and racism. The concept of civilization is perceived to be for the best interest of the Indian community, or at least this is what it seems to appear like. Thus, this paper will tackle the issues of methods used to civilize the Natives and its effects on Englunds personality and mentality as well as the real purpose behind civilization. Is it really for the best interest of the Indian people or is it a form of exploitation of the Natives to benefit the European colonialists?Assimilation is one form used to civilize the native children. This seems to put Englund to a lot of curiosity eventually to confusions. On her first day in Mission, Englund learns about the assimilation policy implemented by the convent which draws out her curiosity about its purpose. In her experience, she learns that boys and girls live in separate buildings and wonders why. She appears curious and thus questions a lot but she gets no decent answer to satisfy her curiosity. Englund also observes girls being divided in groups to certain tables during meals and girls are assigned to different jobs, some goes to the dormitory while others to kitchen or classrooms. Again, she does not seem to understand the purpose of these procedures. This explains her ignorance about the system of a Christian convent. Anyhow, she seems to let go of her curiosity and simply accept it as a form of instruction she ought to follow with no question asked. With all these curiosities, she has possibly developed a sense of confusion on why things are done in the...

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