Lionel, Wounded Knee, And Intertextuality . Characteristic Of Character In Thomas Kings "Running Water"

726 words - 3 pages

Lionel Red Dog, one of Thomas King's characters in his novel Green Grass,Running Water, was an employee of the government. He worked in Indian Affairs,and his job took him all over North America. It was in South Dakota that Lionel hadhis last assignment.Lionel was sent to Utah to deliver a speech on 'The History of CulturalPluralism in Canada's Boarding Schools.' While there, he runs into a band of nativesthat coheres him into going to Wounded Knee for a peaceful rally. Along the way, thevehicle that Lionel is riding in is pulled over by the police. He steps from the car, andtrips over a gun that was lying in the back. Hit by a policewoman, he is taken to jailand, while there, he loses his job.This, in a way, is very similar to what happened to AIM (American IndianMovement) some years back. The natives were upset about the Government's neglectof treaties and grants. The natives held a peaceful rally in a town, then they all packedup, and moved it to Wounded Knee.Wounded Knee was the sight of a terrible massacre in the late 1800's. TheNatives were traveling to a neighboring camp, when soldiers came upon them, and'captured' the natives. The natives were asked to give up all weapons, and amisunderstanding led the soldiers to believe there was a resistance. The soldiersopened fire on the Natives, and over three quarters of the natives were killed.There, at Wounded Knee, The natives set up road blocks meant to keeptourists out. They did this so that the government would take notice of their plight.But things went horribly wrong. The FBI intervened, and set up their own roadblocks. They stopped all traffic and it soon became a stand off. The natives wereconfused that such an action should be taken, and many left. Of those who stayed, allwere members of AIM.The FBI claimed that the AIM members were holding hostages, even thoughthe hostages told the FBI that they stayed because that was their home. The wholething escalated until the army was moved in. Eventually, the FBI apprehended themembers of AIM and the truth of the situation was suppressed for many years. TheAmerican Indian Movement lost much of it's credibility and support. This allhappened in...

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