AMIN 1003

AMIN 1003

Take Home Essay Exam



The Take Home Essay Exam is due on Thursday, December 10, 2013. This paper must be four to five pages long; papers less than four pages long will fail (earn zero points).[1]


As you recall from early in the semester the giving of gifts from one person (or group) to another person (or group) incurred obligations. Your question to respond to in this paper (of four to five pages, remember) is this:


In coming to know about American Indian peoples in Minnesota, what obligations and responsibilities do we accept so that we do not end up betraying that knowledge? What is our responsibility in receiving the gift of this knowledge? How does this knowledge help us consider questions of what justice for Native people in Minnesota might look like? Why do you think it is important to reflect on these questions?

·         Your paper should explore these questions with reference to at least three of our course readings. (These questions do not need to be answered mechanically; they are prompts to begin the process of thinking about what we’ve learned in broad terms.)

·         Of the three readings, one must be either Waziyatawin’s What Does Justice Look Like? or One Road’s Being Dakota, or Diane Wilson’s Spirit Car (and you may, of course, use all three).

·         You may also refer to any of the videos we watched, but a video cannot be substituted for a reading.

·         Paper must be fully and completely cited in MLA style.


Notice I asked you to explore these questions, as opposed to offering an argument about them. Exploring questions and ideas to learn about them is like exploring an unfamiliar place to learn about it: you enter it with an open mind, thinking about the new (and sometimes strange) things you encounter, without trying to impose rigid expectations on it. You listen to what it tells you and try to make sense of it in the terms it offers.


As you explore these questions, certain key terms will be of great use to you in your writing. Good writing defines key terms and then uses them to discuss the territory it is exploring.

·         Your paper should define what it means to be responsible to the gift of knowledge and should do so with reference to course readings.

·         Your paper should also define what justice means in a general way (perhaps through a discussion of what injustice is), as well as exploring what justice for Native people means and what it might look like.

·         You may want to reflect on how colonialism generates injustice for Native people in Minnesota; you may want to think about how the process of decolonization (for Natives and non-Natives) redresses those injustices.

·         Your paper should bring in lots of support from our readings to illustrate and advance your ideas on these questions. Be sure to explain the connections between your ideas and the citations from the sources that you use. Critical writing is the process of taking the implicit connections within and between your sources and making them explicit (clearly explaining what you see and mean to your readers).



The Take Home Essay Exam is worth 100 points, which will be assessed on the following rubric. The numbers in each box represent the number of points you can earn on each component of the paper, with 4 being not so good and 25 being excellent. The numbers you earn on each component will then be added up and the total will be the number of points you earn on this exam.

[1] Writing Format: The written work you turn in must be word-processed and double-spaced with 1” margins on the top/bottom and 1.25” margins on the sides.  Use a simple straight-ahead 12-point font (like Times, Times New Roman, or Garamond).  Papers with wider margins, bizarre fonts, and more than double-spaced will not be accepted and will not earn any points. Papers with an extra space between paragraphs will lose ten points from their final point total.