The rulership that takes place within “This is what it means…” is known as a tribal government or sovereignty. These governments are ruled by the culture or tribe that exists in the space. In this case, the Native American tribes would choose their own people to be in charge, as seen when Victor visits the council. The council offers him money for his trip to pick up his father’s ashes, most likely funded by the outside government. The problem is that this enforces a culture only seen on the reservation. The Native Americans become accustomed to living under these conditions of colonization and make decisions that help them collectively, such as the small funding they provided to Victor, showing that they themselves are forced into their current living conditions because of a lack of money. These issues present themselves to Thomas, and his life on the reservation exists as the “Lone Storyteller”. He is separated from most of the group and lives his life trying to express his true identity relating to his culture.

One thought on “Alexie

  1. I agree that the tribal government was most likely chosen by the people. I would say that because the government portrayed in Alexie’s poem is influenced by their culture they are very close to their community as well. They are also barely funded.

Leave a Reply