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Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog: Some Gender Aspects in Case of Social Hostility

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In this chapter, we will explain Mary’ s troubled relationship with alcohol and drugs, as well as why she and other people on the reservation drink; also, it will be discussed what cured her. In a few words, alcohol and drugs were needed for Mary in times of Pine Ringe reservation, after Catholic boarding school, as ways of compensation for hostility and racial injustice. So, she and other common people on the reservation drank because they were growing up in poverty, without running water and electricity, without jobs and ways of compensation.

In other words, people drank because they had not another opportunity for their personal realizations in the society, which was predominantly white and racially unjustly. Therefore, in terms of Native Indians warrior memory, males from the reservation believed that only with an assistance of strong drinks they would find a glorious death; sometimes and very often indeed, Native Indian males felt like compensating in terms of their strict home conversations with their own females, and Native Indian females felt themselves like slaves in their own families when males came home being over-drunk after difficult jobs.

From the other side, Mary Crow Dog was cured by AIM, bringing new freedom and promises for the Native Indians.     But, from the other perspective, alcohol and drugs were not the only way for compensating, and Mary Crow Dog was also shoplifting during her after-Catholic boarding school period. Many Indians found their addictive way in alcohol and drugs, but author stated that that was a problem bringing up by ‘ white man. ’ (p. 143) According to these statements, only AIM was powerful enough to give some new opportunities for the Native Indians.

For such active people, alcohol and drugs were like weak ways, and they chose battles and struggle instead of passive lifestyle; that is why Wounded Knee, 1973, must be seen as a triumph over some passive strategies, like alcohol and drugs.

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