Tall Paul mixes English and Ojibwe lyrics to reflect pride in his native heritage. Growing up in the inner city, Tall Paul wasn’t always proud of being Native American.
Write about your roots and how you’ve worked to understand the history of your family and your people. Is there a language your grandparents speak that you don’t? Is it always easy to embrace your roots, or do you struggle with it? Do you encounter any daily reminders of your culture?
Tall Paul references the latent effect of assimilation in his rap “Prayers in a Song.” Perform some research on the cultural assimilation of Native Americans then discuss in groups:
- Although assimilation was non-violent, was it damaging in other ways?
- What happens when you take away a group of people’s culture and language?
- Is cultural assimilation still affecting native populations today, dozens of years later?
- Is there a connection between assimilation and Tall Paul’s struggle to embrace his culture?
- How does Tall Paul’s work help young Native Americans today?