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An Indian in White America by Mark Monroe

By Mark Monroe

This autobiography of Mark Monroe, a Lokota Sioux Indian, describes his lifelong confrontations with racism, violence, own hardships together with alcoholism, unemployment and ailment in addition to his founding of the yank Indian Council in 1973.

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Everyone present was asked if this name was agreeable and if they thought it was good enough to honor me. Everyone decided yes. So I became Mato Yamni for fighting for my country, for being an American soldier, for being an Indian. This was a great, great honor. I felt so proud, so good that I was able to do this and make my Indian community, my mother, father, brothers, and sisters so proud of me. I forgot about the hardships, all about the freezing nights and days! " I don't think they really understood the significance of Indians' not being allowed to have any alcohol, that we couldn't even go into a liquor store, or consume alcohol unless we did it hiding in a back alley some place or in a car.

Kills Crow Indian took me to the center of the living room where we were to have our ceremony. He told everyone I had gone to Korea, fought for my country, and had earned a warrior's name. Then he decided that I would be called Mato Yamni ("Three Bears"). Everyone present was asked if this name was agreeable and if they thought it was good enough to honor me. Everyone decided yes. So I became Mato Yamni for fighting for my country, for being an American soldier, for being an Indian. This was a great, great honor.

III felt the same way I did, and I saw tears in a lot of the guys' eyes. Most of the soldiers who got on the plane were about my age, maybe some of them eighteen or nineteen years old. They were very young men; no one was any older than twenty-one. We all knew that we were going directly to Japan and Korea for combat and were fearful that we would never see our families again. Our first stop was at Anchorage, Alaska, where we got off and went to eat supper. You could feel the cold as soon as you got off the plane.

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