Like the countless Native women who came before he…

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Like the countless Native women who came before he…


Mutant Journalism







POINT (-8047154.63121512, 5419474.78154322)

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Like the countless Native women who came before her, Melanie Daniels is a fighter. As the only girl of color at an elementary school in Salt Lake, Utah, her mother endured years of racism from parents who were upset that a native student received better grades than their own, brilliant children. When President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, her great-grandmother made the perilous trek with the Navajo tribe to the west and back. Her ancestors made it. They're survivors. // These are the stories Melanie heard throughout her childhood when her mother told her that as a woman of color and Native American heritage, she's at the bottom of the food chain in a white, elitist and male-dominated society. She knew what she was up against and was taught never to be scared of a fight.// Still, she wasn't prepared for the backlash she received from her high school classmates when the sealed envelope from Dartmouth College came in the mail and all but announced her fate as a future student at an Ivy League college. The comments she received from her peers about how she got in only because she was Native startled her. "Oh, you're going to Dartmouth? Don't they have a huge Native American population there?" Melanie said yes. She ignored the desire to say she had to work hard to get into Dartmouth like all the other students admitted. She didn't want to cause trouble with people who just didn't think past skin color and culture and determination. She was thinking of New Hampshire and Dartmouth and about the Native community she would find there. The Native community she has found and the acceptance she feels with others who identify with her. Others who are like her mother and great-grandmother and now, herself: who are fighters. @kourtneykawano




Mutant Journalism, “Like the countless Native women who came before he…,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed October 1, 2020,