Unit 4: Exploring Native American Culture

Exploring Native American Culture assignments are opportunities provided in each unit to research and gain insight into Native American culture through non-literary cultural artifacts. For Unit 4, listen to “Trail of Tears” on This American Life, (transcript also available) then respond to the questions below in 1-2 pages.

“Compared to [John A], compared to the people we descend from, I am free of history. I’m so free of history I have to get in a car and drive seven states to find it.”

1. Reflect on the quote above from author Sarah Vowell, specifically on the idea of being “free of history”. What does she mean by this phrase? How does this idea of being freed of history affect various groups in our society? Are some more free than others?

2. Choose one quote or passage from the interview that stood out to you. Reflect on the message or information that was shared and how it connects to Native American literature and culture.

3. Reflect on your experiences in this course. What did you enjoy about the course? What challenges did you face? What can the instructor do to improve the course for future students?

Show works cited within paragraphs and at the end.

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