Wynema: A Child of the Forest

The illusion itself is a reasonable encapsulation of our fascination with Native Americans. And the unfortunate bigoted bullying that compels our childish attention to the sewer to and from which so much is presently flowing does also provide an opportunity to remind.
Despite even the earliest Experience of William Apess (1829) to reject the stereotyping of Indians, our wider ambivalence about native identity in the face of slaughter, genocide and Christianity (I know) has left most Americans on the wrong side of a deep divide. We need to learn so much more than our cartoon histories allow. So let’s do.

Creek writer Sophia Alice Callahan wrote the first novel written by a woman Native American called Wynema: A Child of the
Forest, which was published in 1891. The novel stresses how a white girl’s progressive adoption of an
identifiably Native American perspective enhances her relationship with a Native American girl named

By ensuring mutual comprehension and respect and, on a larger level, promoting intercultural
bonds they break down the barriers that their own cultures had enveloped them with. As the story
progresses, both the white girl named Genevieve and Wynema learn more about one another’s cultural
customs, and this cross-cultural appreciation fortifies their loving relationship.
While Wynema starts out as Genevieve’s student, she soon becomes her friend and her sister, which the novel suggests evolves not
simply with the passing of time but rather from Genevieve’s increasing understanding of and respect for Muscogee people. As
Genevieve becomes more assimilated into Muscogee life, she refers to Wynema specifically as “a friend” rather than as a pupil or
protege. Moreover, Genevieve’s acceptance of Wynema and Robin’s marriage and, thus, of Wynema as a sister coincides with a
profound shift in the way that Genevieve refers to the Muscogee. Whereas she once referred to them with the objectifying label of “this
people” (emphasis added), by the end of the story she tenderly deems them “my people” (emphasis added). The novel further
highlights that the Muscogee are “her people,” a sign of her acculturation, when they welcome her back after her return from a trip to
her mother’s home with all of the unbridled enthusiasm and “warmth” afforded to any member of the tribe, including Wynema.

Other Native American writers are listed at the link. A wonderful contemporary Native Canadian writer, Joseph Boyden, is the author of an amazing novel about World War I, Three Day Road.
Familiarize yourself. Don’t let a stupid bully hung up on a childish reference be the stand-in for anything in your consciousness. Reject the caricature, if not on behalf of its target than in solidarity with its origin.

Image of Sophia Alice Callahan via wikipedia.

Unsubstantiated Claims

It was an organic indictment, grown up naturally around the tendency to overstate positive benefits and cash in on the trend that forms the mutually inclusive, double-fisted appeal of green. No one noticed until they came for Cheerios, and even though the floodgates reopen every now and then, no one’s yet asking what’s in all those meds everyone’s taking.

Now, via, our own Federal Trade Commission has charged a couple of companies with making false claims about touting the biodegradable nature of their products. Imagine that; almost like there was a government watchdog with the power to regulate things under its control.

Just beneath the question as to whether Moist Wipes are, in fact, biodegradable, lies the question as to whether Moist Wipes can be biodegradable. They (said cleanliness delivery system) come out of a plastic bottle; they’re already moist; you can wipe (away) stuff with them, inferring, I guess, that 1) the stuff goes somewhere and 2) a residue of demonstrable cleanliness remains. How does any of this come about? In what time frame should we consider how long any of the cds might stick around or take to go away by itself? Bonus: where will it go?

Underlying the growing concept of sustainability and various definitions of what it is, the list of conditions by which people enter into what has always been (though we have ignored it) the social contract of buying stuff will begin to be shaped by how it arrived and where will it go after use. Really, this is basic stuff. The supermarket is not a magic warehouse – things don’t just appear there. The constituent parts come from some place, often far away, and require assembly and perhaps others embellishments we should find objectionable. But, importantly, we can leverage these predilections to change more-elemental factors that determine what we see on the shelves.

Paying the full price means just that, and as we tag our objections to what we buy, we can (by no means an inevitable turn) adjust upward what we consume. This means to you what it means; your freedom is intact, we’re just attaching the whole story to what it means to be free. The economics of sustainability will be as much about pricing in the real costs – and becoming aware of them – as it is about innovative design.