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little house on somebody else's prairie

Here is something I bet you didn't know: while living "on the prairie" Laura Ingalls Wilder's family was actually squatting Osage land.

the rest of the site is very enlightening as well. click around.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
Not surprised at all.
Feb. 28th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
given the historical context, it isn't surprising at all. I'd guess most anglo americans haven't given it a second first thought, though.

I watched the "little house on the prairie" tv series when I was a young teenager and at the time I had no decent historical grounding and so didn't make the connection. I don't recall any episodes written about the Osage people at all.

I hadn't thought about it for a long time but seeing it on Oyate's list of books to avoid made me curious as to exactly what was going on "behind the scenes"--although apparently there's plenty of explicit defamation in the book itself, which I never have read.
Feb. 28th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
I read the books as a kid, but I was too young to understand the Native American dynamic.
Feb. 28th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC)
I've never read the book and watched that show maybe twice. I think it was too corny for me. I never thought about the Indian aspect, and I don't really remember any. But, again, I was not really watching.

I am not surprised, although it is so intense to read about this stuff. There is so much of this history that has been buried, but it is still there, beneath the surface. Thanks for posting.
Feb. 28th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
Oh, and thanks for pointing out this site. It is pretty interesting and sounds as though they are doing some good work.
Feb. 28th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
yeah and they're just over in Berkeley. I'm going to buy a couple of their books I think, although they tell me just to order by mail as they ship the books from Sonoma.
Feb. 28th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
yeah it's definitely not what the history books tell us, or at least not what they told me when I was growing up. whenever I watched "cowboy and Indian" movies I always intuited that the Indians were getting screwed, but it wasn't really until I read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee as a young adult that I began to understand the magnitude of US imperial/colonial misdeeds. and it's just the tip of the iceberg.

anyway I watched the LHotP show with my mom when it was on. it's one of those things about which I am deeply ashamed. :) in fact I'll admit to liking John Denver before I'll mention that I watched this show. I still like John Denver. the show was schlock.
Feb. 28th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)

Actually, it even says so in the LH on the Prarie book. Some of us with activist parents made sure we were fully aware of that. (And the class bias in Little Women?)

I like this site, tho...
Feb. 28th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
ah! good parents! I never read the book so I didn't get the whole narrative. I've never read Little Women either! now I feel like I should read both of them just to be appalled.
Feb. 28th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. You should. Just delightful...one of my family's favorite quotes from the Little House series is "Never trust a half-breed."

Of course, you'd have to keep in mind that I come from a "half-breed" family (Ft. Sill Apache/Chicano/Canadian Metis/Euro-American) and we all had the sickest sense of humor...

Sometimes--as you know--that is all you can do in the face of oppression is laugh at the oppressor while confronting them...
Feb. 28th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
yes it's good you could laugh. sometimes it's the only thing you can do to keep from crying. it's necessary to have a good sense of humor if one is not a straight white bioboy.

reminds me of all the Cleveland Indians caps I saw people wearing in the Navajo Nation. clearly they were making fun of the ridiculous lengths that white folks will go to to justify blatant, public-sponsored racism.
Feb. 28th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)

Those Cleveland hats are really popular...I have seen more than a few Native folk wear them with pleasurable sense of irony...
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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