Native American Studies

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By Diana Meyers Bahr

The existence tale of Viola Martinez, an Owens Valley Paiute Indian of jap California, extends over 9 a long time of the 20th century. Viola skilled pressured assimilation in an Indian boarding institution, overcame racial stereotypes to pursue a school measure, and spent numerous years operating at a eastern American internment camp in the course of international battle II. discovering herself poised uncertainly among Indian and white worlds, Viola was resolute to show her marginalized lifestyles into a chance for private empowerment. In Viola Martinez, California Paiute, Diana Meyers Bahr recounts Viola’s remarkable lifestyles tale and examines her options for facing acculturation.

Bahr permits Viola to inform her tale in her personal phrases, starting along with her early years in Owens Valley, the place she discovered conventional lifeways, comparable to collecting piñons, from her aunt. within the summers, she traveled through horse and buggy into the excessive Sierras the place her aunt traded with Basque sheepherders. Viola used to be despatched to the Sherman Institute, a federal boarding university with a mandate to assimilate American Indians into U.S. mainstream tradition. Punished for conversing Paiute on the boarding university, Viola and her cousin climbed fifty-foot palm timber to talk their local language secretly.

Realizing that, regardless of her efforts, she used to be wasting her language, Viola resolved not only to benefit English yet to grasp it. She earned a level from Santa Barbara country collage and pursued a occupation as social employee. in the course of international battle II, Viola labored as an employment counselor for eastern American internees on the Manzanar struggle Relocation Authority camp. Later in existence, she grew to become a instructor and labored tirelessly as a founding member of the l. a. American Indian schooling Commission.

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