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My name is Seepeetza
Sterling, Shirley.
Children's Fiction STERLIN

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Avatar for KaliO KaliO said:
It’s no secret that the United States has a troubled history with its native populations. American Indians/ Native Americans were prejudiced against, warred with, rounded up, stripped of their cultural heritage, and generally given a very raw deal. Sadly, this is not a history specific to this country. A similar story unfolded in Canada at the same time, and My Name is Seepeetza is a tale about the results of that history. Beginning in the 1940s, the Canadian government forced its native people to send their children to residential boarding schools. The goal was to teach these children how to become “civilized” members of “white society.” They were forbidden to practice their cultural traditions, speak in their native languages, or use their own names. The means to enforce this “civilization” were not gentle. Seepeetza, our young narrator, is renamed Martha at her school in British Columbia in the 1950s. Beaten if she speaks “Indian,” absued and looked down upon by her teachers, picked on by older students, and only allowed to return home for a few months in the summer, Seepeetza’s childhood is a decidedly difficult one. Her story is highly autobiographical; author Shirley Sterling is a member of the Nlakapamux First Nation of the Interior Salish tribal group in British Columbia and spent her own formative years at a residential school. The Canadian government closer the last of these schools in the 1990s and has since made reconciliation efforts with the country’s Native American population, but it’s a chapter in history that any country would be loathe to dwell on (the United States used similar schools to “reform” Native Americans). The strength of My Name is Seepeetza lies in its childish voice. Seepeetza is bewildered and afraid; she longs for home but also has a desire to please her superiors at the school. It’s a difficult conflict with no easy solution, and that makes it a history well worth learning.
posted Dec 24, 2009 at 1:32PM
parys said:
ya I fell so bad for seepeetza
posted Mar 22, 2012 at 8:23AM
welll said:
well i have to disagree because the book my name is SEEPEETZA was a story about a Canadian girl not no americano okay
posted Jun 4, 2012 at 4:49PM
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