No Longer An Indian Essay, Research Paper
No Longer an Indian
by Freda McDonald
In the short autobiography “No Longer an Indian”, the author, Freda McDonald, was speaking of the strugles and conflicts she had to experience as Native Indian woman living in Canada. She married a non-Native man, which she describes as the beginning of losing her identity. Upon marriage the author recieved a Canadian government issued card, that stated “Not deemed to be an Indian within the law or any other statue” (69). It may seem ridiculous that government has any advantages or disadvantages of whether a person is Indian or not, but it serves its purpose, in consideration of the governmental point of view, since Native people in Canada are on a special welfare system. Therefore, an Indian person marring a non-Native, perceived as non-Indian also from that point on. Hence, that person may not receive monetory benefits any farther. “It has everything to do with history–the signing of treaties, the refusal of government to acknowledge and correct the illegal expropriation of prime lands in North America” (69). By Canadian law McDonald could no longer live or be among her own people. She was devasted, spiritually wounded. Her “roots”, which is one of the most important aspects of Indian culture, were severed. “I stood alone, once more, but this time naked–stripped of my identity and banished into a world of alienation and discrimination” (73). That, however, did not stop her to become educated, strong woman, highly respected in her community. The author emphasizes on her materially poor childhood but very wealthy in values and meaningfulness of life.
As a conclusion it would be more valuable to quote the author herself: “I have nothing against either religion or education. These have their place in serving people’s needs… It was the method used that I find most cruel and morally wrong. We are still living with the aftermath of this holocaust today” (73).