Opinion: One youth's perspective on 'Dances with Wolves'

"This weekend I spent some down time re-watching a movie I watched last year. I watched the movie for my American History class with Dr. Stotts. The movie is called Dances with Wolves. I suggest anyone who has not seen it should. As one student in my class put it, “it makes you feel bad for being white”. I am not saying that we should actively be ashamed of ourselves for being one race or another. However, I do believe that perspective and understanding is always necessary.

The film tells the tale of a Civil War Union Lieutenant who wishes to travel west and become part of the frontier. During the course of his short stay at his new post, he meets a band of Sioux Indians and becomes friends with them. Soon after this friendship is made, he witnesses the destruction of a people and their land by white immigration and the conquest of American Indian lands.

We witness two different bands of American Indians in the film. The Sioux and the Pawnee, the two different tribes held different views and different polices on handling White immigration. The Pawnee at the beginning of the movie are seen killing the guide that was sent to take Costner`s Character, John J. Dunbar, to his new post. Later Dunbar comes to know the Sioux through a careful game of translation and trading. Dunbar soon meets a white woman who was been taken in by the Sioux People. He learns that this came to be after members of the Pawnee tribe murdered her family when she was a small child."

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Jace: Dances with Wolves; Offers different perspective... (The Devils Lake Journal 2/26)

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