The Impenetrability of the Native American Mind Analytical Essay by Nicky

The Impenetrability of the Native American Mind
An analysis of the Native American author, Donald Lee Fixico and the insight he hoped to offer other Native Americans through his book, "The American Indian Mind".
# 145461 | 1,126 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Nov 11, 2010 in Native-American Studies (General)

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The paper discusses the Native American author, Donald Lee Fixico, and how he intended to introduce and defend the Indian worldview to a nonwhite audience through his book "The American Indian Mind." The paper explores other intents that Donald Lee Fixico had when writing his book and explains that he wanted his book to enlighten Native Americans, such as himself, whose cultural worldview is integrally and profoundly different than whites. Additionally, the paper offers an overview of similar authors and books such as, Calvin Martin of the collection, "The American Indian" and "Problem of History." The paper discusses the way Calvin Martin, through his writing, captured the ways that Native American religions and cultures have been conceptualized by white culture.

From the Paper:

"It seems clear that Native American culture is never static. Ultimately, a true grappling with the complex interrelation of cultures that occurred, as embodied in Mary Young's essay, for example, is much more fruitful and edifying. Calvin Martin's view seems paradoxical, to some degree--even self-hating. He is a white historian arguing the impossibility of 'doing' native history by whites, writing from a post at a university outside of the tribal nations. Even Fixico's position to some degree is paradoxical, as he argues the separateness of the Indian worldview, even though he is bicultural individual. If one accepts Martin's argument that native cultures are biologically oriented, these cultures must have differed, based upon their geographical locations in the Americas, and much as Martin may dislike the impact of European and Christian culture, native religion and ritual undeniably changed, through the exchange of new material goods as well as cultures. The way that natives saw themselves, saw the world around them, and ultimately perceived their history changed as their material environment changed. Martin tries to make himself more of an apologist and a defender of Native culture as 'pure' than even many a Native American, and his attitude ignores those individuals, like in the Young essay who have adopted Christian concepts and rituals in a synergistic but ultimately creative fashion."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Fixico, Donald Lee. The American Indian Mind. New York: Routledge, 2003.
  • Martin, Calvin, editor. The American Indian and the Problem of History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Impenetrability of the Native American Mind (2010, November 11) Retrieved September 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Impenetrability of the Native American Mind" 11 November 2010. Web. 24 September. 2023. <>