Assimilation of American Indians Paula Gunn Allen and Vine Deloria, Jr., have differing perspectives on the concept of assimilation as it pertains to American Indians. Gunn Allen’s approach is decidedly feminist, almost vehemently so, in her belief that assimilation necessarily began with the destruction of gynocentric tribal societies. Deloria’s perspective, on the other hand, is more fatalistic and defeatist. Whatever their approach to the concept of American Indian assimilation into white society, Deloria and Gunn Allen agree the consequences of assimilation have been devastating to Indian culture, livelihood, and sense of identity. The contextually-appropriate meaning of the verb “assimilate,” as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “a : to...The end:
.....than Deloria. She made a case that male American Indians became the pawns of the white settlers in bringing about the ultimate destruction of Indian society. Unlike Deloria, she sees assimilation as a dark period in the larger history of American Indian culture, and that as long as there are Indians to remember and practice it, American Indian culture will endure. In places, Gunn Allen’s anger eclipses that of Deloria, yet her overall tone and broader perspective makes her seem more optimistic about the “plight” of American Indians. References Deloria, Jr., V. (1969). Custer died for your sins. New York: Simon & Schuster. Gunn Allen, P. (1992). The sacred hoop: Recovering the feminine in American Indian traditions. Boston: Beacon Press.