Native American author tells CSU-Pueblo crowd about overcoming obstacles
By Gayle Perez
He said on the first day, he was terrified of the "white kids" and they were terrified of him.
"They literally thought I was going to pull out a bow and arrow," he said. "We weren't human beings, we were Indians."
Now looking back on that experience, Alexie said crossing the road to get to that high school was his ticket to a better life.
"What I realize now is that road, that street was my Atlantic Ocean and that little white farm town school was my Ellis Island," he said.
"I was a first-generation immigrant into the United States, which is pretty funny because I am indigenous. I was an indigenous immigrant, which was pretty ironic," he said. "So I was an ironic, indigenous immigrant and that is what I still am."
Imagine how much worse it would be for a kid who wasn't as smart and funny as Alexie. Who couldn't handle himself in tense situations as Alexie probably did. This is one reason why Native kids give up and drop out of the system.
For more on the subject, see Stereotypes Teach Natives They're Inferior and Stereotypical Thinking Causes Racist Results.
Below: "Author Sherman Alexie talks to a large audience Monday at Colorado State University-Puebloas part of the school's Distinguished Speakers Series." (Chieftain Photo/Chris McLean)