Open Letter to Harold Essay Instructions
At the beginning of the term, you read Yuuyaraq: The Way of the Human Being, by Harold Napoleon, a Yup’ik man from Alaska. I asked you to read his book to launch us into the concept of shared historical experience/trauma. This understanding is important in indigenous communities because it helps place contemporary realities into broad colonial context.
In concluding the term, I ask you to revisit Yuuyaraq in light of additional information, perspectives, and concepts you’ve learned. Harold wrote in OPEN LETTER form (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_letter); this assignment is an OPEN LETTER back to him. Your letter should be between 500 to 1000 words, and should include the actual numbered headings below, in roughly even amounts, in which you deliberately integrate class concepts and vocabulary, and use examples from our class.
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Part I. Respond to Harold (Yup’ik-scale).
Let him know you’ve understood his perspective and his argument. Make sure your response includes a Native perspective as well as discusses colonization.
Part II. Respond to Harold (American-scale to Global-scale).
Summarize for him what you are taking away from this class. What specific things have you learned about Native peoples? Let him know you grasp the complexity involved with “being Indian” in the United States (and perhaps even globally, for other colonized indigenous peoples) today.
Part III. Respond to Harold (Going Forward).
Respond to his specific goals for the future in light of some of the issues we’ve engaged in this class. Make sure your response includes a Native perspective as well as discusses sovereignty.