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In accordance with my training, I asked few questions, although many arose in my mind. I simply tried silently to fit the new ideas like so many blocks into the pattern of my philosophy, while according to my untutored logic some did not seem to have straight sides or square corners to fit in with the cardinal principles of eternal justice. My father had been converted by Protestant missionaries, and he gave me a totally new vision of the white man as a religious man and kindly. But when he related how he had set apart every seventh day for religious duties and the worship of God, laying aside every other occupation on that day, I could not forbear explaining, “Father! And does he then forget God during the six days and do as he pleases?” 

— “The Way Opens,” From the Deep Woods to Civilization.


Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa) (1858–1939) was a Native-American writer of the Santee Sioux nation, a physician, and reformer who helped found the Boy Scouts of America. He was a pioneer in defending Native-American rights, serving in various capacities dealing with Native-American affairs under Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge.
From the Deep Woods to Civilization is both ­Eastman’s autobiography and a record of the challenges of cultural ­assimilation.

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