There is another subplot in “Journey’s End” that points to a second narrative function Native Americans serve in Star Trek’s contemporary multicultural economy. When the Enterprise becomes involved in the business of re-locating the tribe, Wesley Crusher, the son of the ship’s doctor, happens to be on board. Currently training to become a Starfleet officer, Wesley is in a deep personal crisis concerning what he wants to do with his life, a crisis that manifests itself in rebellious behavior against authorities as well as against his friends. A member of the Native American tribe takes interest in him, who later turns out to be the alien “the traveler” who had predicted for Wesley an extraordinary future several years ago and who had now returned to take Wesley with him on a search for new levels of existence. Significantly, then, this alien, who represents one of Star Trek’s most esoteric storylines, chooses a Native American identity to motivate the discontent White teenager Wesley Crusher to pay attention to his spiritual self. Even more so, once Wesley has made the decision to join the traveler in search for places “where thought and energy meet,” the alien instructs Wesley to begin his studies in the Native American community because they supposedly have special insights that could lead him on the right path.
For more on the subject, see The Indian-Star Trek Connection.