According to Carol Geddes article, “Growing up Native”, there were and still are many hardships faced by the Natives in Canada. In this intriguing first person account by Geddes, she talks about the racial profiling and racism endured by the Natives through their life in school and throughout their battle in life to find equality. Carol describes her time growing up in the Tlingit family, which provides a better reflection of her childhood experiences. In addition to this, she also tells personal stories about moving around Canada and the experiences of trying to be assimilated through residential schools. Geddes uses descriptive words and scenes to fully convey emotion through her story, from being a young child in the Yukon bush to being mistreated in residential school. The wide range of words and emotions help put meaning to Geddes’ experiences. To fully understand the article, we must define the term of racism, in which Merriam-Webster refers to it as the racial differences that produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Carol Geddes’ experience represents the story of a true survivor. Geddes portrays a message through her story to never stop believing in yourself and your culture and to never change who you are. One scene that really described racism in her school involved an older boy who was asked to read a passage, but he refused and then the teacher ask Geddes to read the passage instead. In fear of being yelled at, Geddes recounts her experience: “I wet my pants, as I stood there fighting my tears of shame”. Geddes stuck to her culture by not reading the passage and embarrassing the older boy, but ended up feeling humiliated. Another example of hardship that Geddes faced from her culture, was when she was in Ottawa and her friend handed her the reading list for her textbooks where she explains, “I was feeling vaguely envious of her and, once again, inferior”. In growing up, Geddes believed that University was only meant for white people and she never believed that the books she knew and loved were being taught.
Unfortunately, racism still exists in our society today. As explained by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “First Ministers condemn all forms of racism, discrimination, intolerance, and bigotry”. Racism is still very much alive in society and nobody should have to deal with it anymore. The story of Geddes takes readers through the early stages of her life and of when she got into University and her experiences afterwards. It is demonstrated through her story that she has respect for both herself and her community. Staying true to oneself and believing in your core values is the greatest gift you can give.