Read Suzan Shown Harjo’s “Last Rites for Indian Dead” and answer ALL OF the following questions.
- What is the issue Harjo identifies? How extensive does she show it to be?
- What is Harjo’s position on the issue? Where does she first state her position?
- Broadly speaking, is Harjo’s argument a claim of fact, a claim of value, or a claim of policy?(Most arguments have aspects of more than one type of claim, but which one best represents Harjo’s main argument? HINT: Look at the conclusion!)
- What evidence does Harjo present to refute the claim that housing skeletal remains of Native Americans in museums is necessary for medical research and may benefit living Indians?
- What types of evidence does Harjo use to support her argument? (Examples? Facts? Analogies? Etc.)
- How does Harjo use her status as a Native American to enhance her position? What kind of rhetorical strategy is this? (Pathos, Ethos, or Logos?) And, do you think Harjo’s argument would be as credible if it were written by someone of another background?
- How does Harjo appeal to the emotions of readers in the essay? What kind of rhetorical strategy is this? (Pathos, Ethos, or Logos?) In what ways do these strategies strengthen her logical reasons?
Last Rites For Indian Dead