From white vs. native to white and native - going Indian, playing Indian and identifying with first nations values

Source document: The Central European journal of Canadian studies. 2011, vol. 7, iss. [1], pp. 77-86
  • ISSN
    1213-7715 (print)
    2336-4556 (online)
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The present paper explores an interesting aspect of trans-Atlantic and cross-cultural studies: the Native vs. white disparity in some stories of indigenization and its alleged replacement with the Native and white paradigm symbolically signifi ed by ethno-cultural hybrids. However, unlike captives and other involuntary shift ers, who create a genuine hybrid identity with authentic ethno-cultural markers, the Indian "wannabes" sustain the opposition between the two cultures, the barriers, and consequently the racial divides they intend to diminish. The overall implication is that since only the selected features of Native culture are seen as worth copying and assuming as part of one's identity, evidently "white" is still better; it just needs embellishment with a few "added Indian traits." Thus many artists continue to demonstrate the Native vs. white paradigm. More critical attention should be devoted to notions and nature of whiteness in order to further a subtle understanding of the cultural strongholds of colonialism and to acquire cultural sensitivity possessed by more authentic shifters.
La présente étude traite d'un aspect intéressant des études transatlantiques et multiculturelles, c'est-à-dire la disparité blanche vs. autochtone dans quelques histoires du devenir indien et son remplaçant présumé avec le paradigme autochtone et blanc symboliquement signifié par des hybrides ethnoculturels. Cependant, à la différence des captifs et d'autres transmutations involontaires qui créent une identité hybride véritable avec des marqueurs ethnoculturels authentiques, les prétendus connaisseurs des Indiens supportent l'opposition entre les deux cultures, les barrières et, par conséquent, les fossés raciaux qui sont enclins à diminuer. L'implication complète est que, puisqu'on voit les caractéristiques choisies de la culture autochtone comme valant la reproduction, et l'imitation comme la partie de son identité, évidemment le "blanc" est toujours meilleur, il a juste besoin de l'embellissement avec quelques-uns "des traits indiens supplémentaires." Ainsi, beaucoup d'artistes continuent à démontrer le paradigme blanc vs. autochtone. L'attention plus critique devrait être consacrée aux notions de blancheur pour une compréhension plus subtile des bastions culturels du colonialisme et acquérir la sensibilité culturelle possédée par des sujets de transmutation plus authentiques.
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