Saturday, April 2, 2016

B: 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' , Belle Isle in Detroit and Beaver Island in Lake Michigan

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is an Indian history of the American West, specifically that of the Sioux Indians after the Battle at Little Big Horn and the U.S. Army's defeat.  It is a very compelling story and it is also one of those books I always wanted to read again, but never did.  (There is always a new book to read.  More recently I read Empire of the Summer Moon about the Comanche Indians.)
I still remember looking at the dust jacket on this book years ago and deciding I needed to throw it away.  It was torn and worn.  It took me a long time to read the book as I would get so upset at what was happening to these people in our country that I would have to stop reading, which is probably why the jacket was so worn.  I find it embarrassing to read and hear what Americans did to people in their own country.  (I know someone who always brags that her ancestors came over on the Mayflower, but I don't think I would brag about it.)

I wish now that I hadn't relegated the dust cover to the trash, but who knew that after 45 years this book would still be on my shelf?


If you have any interest at all in the American Indians and the losses they suffered, I highly recommend either of these narratives.  If you prefer to watch instead of read, HBO did a docudrama several years ago of the book.  Here is the trailer, though I must admit even this clip is hard for me to watch.


Belle Isle Park, Detroit.  How cool was it when I worked downtown and could run over to Belle Isle on my lunch hour?  The conservatory was gorgeous, especially when they had their Easter displays of flowers.  Now it is run as a State Park in the aftermath of the Detroit bankruptcy.  The aquarium has been recently renovated and one of these days I may have to make another visit there.

Here is a photo from one such lunch hour back in the 70's with the mums in bloom and my friend Theresa.  That's the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon Clock in the background.

Here are a few of the books on Detroit gracing the bookcases:


Beaver Island:  When I was growing up, we had neighbors who had a home on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.  Every summer they would head up north for a visit.  I have never visited and it is still on my 'to go to' list.  Maybe someday for me, but if you are up north it is much closer than Belle Isle.


28 comments:

  1. When we lived in Montana, we went to the monument area for Battle of Little Bighorn. It was very sobering to see the markers where soldiers had died, where Custer had died, etc. Every where they do put on a presentation of the battle, we never did go to that (summer months, warm weather).

    My husband recently started a job at a Native American healthcare place down around Phoenix. As part of his orientation for the job, there were 3 days of cultural orientation with someone telling about the history of the tribe and why they perceive Caucasians the way they do. Fascinating stories he told (and N for my A/Z :) I can see why they have the attitudes they have based on what he shared with me.

    betty
    http://viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com/

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    1. Custer was from Michigan, so they make a big deal about him around here. I look forward to your future posts.

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  2. I read it a long time ago! Putting it back on my reading list.

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  3. Another classic that I haven't read. It was nominated one year in my book club, but didn't get voted in. Maybe I will nominate it again.

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  4. I read that book back when I was in college. I have visited the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota twice - the second time (2002) the museum was open and we were able to visit that, too. I'd like to go back out West some day to visit some of the historical sites. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  5. There are, sadly, so many terrible stories of what man can do to man. I have never read this book, but it sounds compelling.
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

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  6. I teach Native American culture and history as part of my Culture Studies class. It is hard to talk about, and also hard to make the students understand (some of them think Native Americans don't even exist anymore...)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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    1. I had a Native American in my HS graduation class. 1964. I really learned very little about them in school.

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  7. I too have never read this book. But it is very upsetting the way Europeans came into these parts of the world and treated the indigenous people so badly. Look what happened in South America too. Then all the dreadful things we did in the name of colonization in Africa and Australia. We thought because we were Christians it gave us a God given right. It makes one ashamed but nothing we can do about yesteryear unfortunately.

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    1. Reading books like this one make me even more upset. It's really disturbing. Treatment of the Cherokee Indians makes my blood pressure skyrocket.

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  8. I'm from Michigan so thanks for the trip down Memory lane. Been a long time since I've been to Belle Isle.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings during the #AtoZChallenge at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

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    1. I'll be all over the state this month.

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  9. Wow, that's a lot of Bs in one post! :)

    What happened to the First Nations people (as we refer to them in Canada) was--and still is--heartbreaking. We're still seeing the repercussions here...FN people fill our jails, go missing and are murdered on a regular basis, are homeless and begging for money. Of course, there are many exceptions and success stories, but it's sad to see the deck so stacked against them.

    Up north, there are communities living in third world conditions without clean drinking water. Unbelievable.

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    1. Here in Michigan they run casinos. Lots of them.

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  10. It is disgusting what happened and continues to happen to the Native American. Here, in Canada, they are forgotten and when a bad situation develops, they do not get the same treatment we do. It would be difficult to read this book. Detroit has so much and yet, it is so sad to see what has happened to that city.

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  11. Injustices to mankind have been documented throughout history from one end of the globe to the other. More often than not, the writing and reading of that history is difficult on many levels. Yet, it is important for...'history does not have to repeat it's self'. Trail of Tears is on my bookshelf with it's worn and tear stained cover.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. The Cherokee story is the most criminal in my mind.

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  12. Wow, that garden is beautiful. I've only been to Detroit once...on a business trip in the early 90s. I just remember it was a big city!

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  13. Books and travel, two of my favorite things in one post. Enjoying your A to Z.

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  14. Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. I'm Cherokee on my mother's side and I'm told I'm Atakapa on my father's side. What happened to the Native American's is one of the great tragedies in our country's history.

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER (www.donnalmartin.com) and my KICKS Kids Club blog (www.kickskidsclub.blogspot.com.

    If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

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  15. There are other stories like Wounded Knee. Sad, but true! And N.A. were here first too. It's disgraceful what happened.

    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

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  16. I love the old 70s picture of Belle Isle Park. It'd be fun to see the same shot in present day.

    Cheers - Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

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    1. I miss going there. It is nice to know that they are bringing it back to its former glory.

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  17. Yes, I also regret getting rid of torn and worn dust covers. My biggest regret would be selling Golden Books at a garage sale. I was being ruthless in decluttering......but won't do that again in a hurry!

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    1. On my list of regrets, Golden Books would be near the top. Not my kids books, MY books. My mother bought so many books for me.

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  18. I haven't read it but I bet it's a difficult one. I studied how the indigenous people in Canada were forced into English schools and it broke my heart. Important but difficult history. Good luck on the challenge! We're doing “I’ve Got The Music In Me” this year on The Road We’ve Shared. – looking at how important music is in the Down syndrome community. I hope you’ll stop by and see/hear! http://theroadweveshared.com/category/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2016

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  19. Bury My heart at Wounded Knee sounds like a very good book. It's always heart wrenching to read about atrocities committed on people.

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  20. This is a book I'd like to go back and re-read. I read it when I was in high school and I remember it really affecting me. Thanks for visiting my blog : ) Good luck with the alphabet!

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