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Task 1

Aufgaben
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1.
Portray both the setting of the concert event and the two protagonists.
2.
Examine Daniel's experiences at the event and the means the author employs to present them.
3.
You are a student at Oak Park High School in Manitoba. Your class has dealt with the topic "Canada's Aboriginal youth then and now". Taking Daniel's success in 1960 as a starting point, you are asked to write an article for your school magazine in which you asses to what extent the situation of young First Nations has developed.
Write the article including your background knowledge.
#pointout#article
Text 1

Tomson Highway, "Hearts and Flowers"

$\;$
Introductory Note
The short story “Hearts and Flowers” deals with eight-year-old Daniel Daylight who cannot take piano lessons at his Residential School. Therefore, his teacher Mr. Tipper drives him to weekly piano lessons in Prince William[1]. In 1960, on the day Parliament grants the right to vote to the First Nations in Manitoba, Daniel gets to play the duet called “Hearts and Flowers” in a music competition with Jenny Dean, a white girl.
[…] Daniel Daylight marches down the aisle that separates the Indian section of the huge auditorium from the white section. Jenny Dean joins him from the other side. Two hundred and fifty human people look at them as with the eyes of alligators, Daniel Daylight thinks, for he can feel them on his back, cold and wet and gooey. He shudders, then climbs the steps that lead to the stage and the upright piano, following the
5
eight-year-old white girl Jenny Dean in her fluffy pink cotton dress with the white lace collar and shoulders that puff out like popcorn. They reach the piano. They sit down. From where he sits, Daniel Daylight can see Mr. Tipper looking up at him with eyes, he is sure of it, that say, “Go on, you can do it.” Only twenty-five or so Indian people, mostly women, sit scattered around him, also looking up at him but with dark eyes that say nothing. On the room’s other side, he can see the eyes that, to him, are screaming, “No, you can’t; you
10
can’t do it. You can’t do it at all.” Feeling Jenny Dean’s naked left arm pressing up against his own black-suited, white-shirted arm, he takes his right hand off his lap, raises it above the keyboard of the Heintzman[2] upright. He can hear a gasp from the audience. Then he is sure he can hear the white side whispering to one another, “What’s he doing there, little Indian boy, brown-skinned boy? His people cannot vote; therefore they are not human. Non-human boys do not play the piano, not in public, and not with
15
human girls.” Daniel Daylight, however, will have none of it. Instead, gentle as snow on spruce boughs at night, he lets fall his right hand right on the C-major chord.
Water-like, limpid, calm as silence, the chords for “Hearts and Flowers” begin their journey. Placed with care, every note of them, on the keyboard by Daniel Daylight, they float, float like mist. The bass sneaks in, the melody begins. Playing octaves, Jenny Dean’s hands begin at the two Cs above middle C, arc up to the
20
G in a curve smooth and graceful […]. The melody pauses, Daniel Daylight’s series of major chords billow out to fill the silence, Jenny Dean’s elegant melody resumes its journey. In love with the god sound[3], Daniel Daylight sends his waves, as prayer from the depths of his heart, the depths of his being, right across the vast auditorium, right through the flesh and bone and blood of some three hundred people, through the walls of the room, beyond them, north across the Moostoos River, through Waskeechoos[4], north to the
25
Watson Lake Indian Residential School and thus through the lives of the two hundred Indian children who live there, then northward and northward and northward until the sound waves wash up on the shores, and the islands, of vast Minstik Lake. And there, deep inside the blood of Daniel Daylight, where lives Minstik Lake and all her people, Daniel Daylight sees his parents, Cheechup Daylight and his wife, Adelaide, walking up the hill to the little voting booth at the little wooden church that overlooks the northern extremity
30
of beautiful, extraordinary Minstik Lake with its ten thousand islands. And Daniel Daylight, with the magic that he weaves like a tiny little master, wills his parents to walk right past Father Roy[5] in his great black cassock and into the booth with their worn yellow pencils. And there they vote. Frozen into place by the prayer of Daniel Daylight and his “flower”, Jenny Dean, Father Roy can do nothing, least of all stop Cheechup Daylight and his wife, Adelaide, from becoming human.
35
Receiving, on stage, his trophy beside Jenny Dean from a human man in black suit, shirt, and tie – Mayor Bill Hicks of Prince William, has explained Mr. Tipper – Daniel Daylight beams at the crowd that fills, for the most part, the Kiwanis Auditorium in downtown Prince William, Manitoba. Both sides are standing, the Indian side with its two dozen people, the white side with its 250. And they are clapping. And clapping and clapping. Some of them, in fact, are crying, white and Indian, human and … well, they don’t look non-human
40
any more, not from where stands exulting – and weeping – the Cree Indian, human pianist Daniel Daylight. […]
Tomson Highway, “Hearts and Flowers”, in: Thomas King, Tantoo Cardinal, Tomson Highway: Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past, Anchor Canada edition 2005, pp. 196-198 (spelling adjusted)

Annotations
[1] Prince William: (here) town in Manitoba
[2] Heintzman: Canadian piano manufacturer
[3] god sound: (here) divine sound
[4] Waskeechoos: Indian Reserve
[5] Father Roy: missionary priest from Minstik Lake
#firstnations
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$\blacktriangleright$  1. Portray setting and protagonists
  • short story takes place in an auditorium separated in a white section and an Indian section
  • music competition between eight-year-old Indian boy Daniel Daylight and eight-year-old white girl Jenny Dean
  • 250 "human" people on the white section, 25 Indian people, mostly women, watch him
  • teacher Mr. Tipper assures him, whereas Daniel is rather affected by the white people
    $\rightarrow$ imagines that they don't believe in him, that they wonder what he is doing up there
  • Daniel considers himself "non-human" since that is what people suggest
  • proves them and himself wrong with his playing the piano
  • his music is like a prayer that resounds up northwards until it reaches Minstik Lake where his parents live
  • his music as a catalysator to motivate Indian people to vote and defy Father Roy, the missionary priest from Minstik Lake
  • Daniel sees the right to vote as the right to being human
  • Jenny Dean as a facilitator or enhancer of the musical call to vote
  • after concert, both sides are standing, clapping, crying
  • Indians don't look non-human to Daniel anymore
  • wins the trophy of the competition
  • Daniel both exults and weeps - happy that he has won the trophy, relieved that his music made his people vote
  • Daniel knows that his transcendent piano performance changes history
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Examine Daniel's experiences and means
Legende:
  • Means: "Evidence"
    $\rightarrow$ Interpretation
Daniel's experiences:
  • simile: "as with the eyes of alligators" (l. 3)
    $\rightarrow$ feels people's stares on his back, is uncomfortable
  • polysyndeton: "cold and wet and gooey" (l. 3-4)
    $\rightarrow$ intensification of feeling of awkwardness
  • personification: "eyes […] that say, 'Go on, you can do it.'" (l. 7)
    $\rightarrow$ reassuring, but not spoken out loud and hence not as precious
  • personification: "dark eyes that say nothing" (l. 9)
    $\rightarrow$ Indian women don't believe in him yet
  • personification: "eyes that […] are screaming" (l. 9-10)
    $\rightarrow$ white people have more power over him and his thoughts, screaming is more violent than saying
  • climax: "No, you can't; you can't do it. You can't do it at all" (l. 9-10)
    $\rightarrow$ Daniel thinks that people white people are judging him, deem him unworthy of an art
  • monologue: "What's he doing there, little Indian boy, brown-skinned boy? […]" (l. 13ff)
    $\rightarrow$ Daniel has a very low sense self-worth, is persuaded by white people that he is incapable of anything and that he is abomination that should not be allowed to sit next to a white girl
    $\rightarrow$ thinks of himself as inhuman
  • simile: "as snow on spruce boughs at night" (l. 15-16)
    $\rightarrow$ his piano skills are compared to the soft touch of snow falling on twigs
  • simile / personification: "Water-like, limpid, calm as silence, the chords for 'Hearts and Flowers' begin their journey" (l. 17)
    $\rightarrow$ music starts flowing and elevating into something of higher relevance
  • metaphor: "In love with the god sound" (l.21-22)
    $\rightarrow$ Daniel deems his music as divine, as given by god, and thus holds himself above the feared audience
  • simile: "his waves, as prayer from the depths of his heart" (l. 22)
    $\rightarrow$ his music transforms into a deep wish the reader does not know of yet
  • climax: "right across […], right through […], through[…], beyond […], north […]" (l. 31)
    $\rightarrow$ his music has the power to deeply touch people everywhere, has no boundaries, and he is aware of that
  • personification / simile: "magic that he weaves like a tiny little master" (l. 53-54)
    $\rightarrow$ enhances fact that he is a master of what he is doing and that he has power
    $\rightarrow$ even wills his parents to go voting
    $\rightarrow$ he is responsible for his parents becoming human in his eyes
  • repetition: "[…] clapping. And clapping and clapping." (l. 38-39)
    $\rightarrow$ Daniel realizes the extent of his doing, not only did he bring his parents to vote, but white people are actually applauding him
  • italics: "human" (l. 40)
    $\rightarrow$ Daniel thinks of himself as human now
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Write an article
Possible information for Introduction:
  • what is the youth like in Germany?
  • comparison youth in Germany with Aboriginal youth in Canada
Main Part - Positive Development
  • language learning First Nation language is important to youth
    $\rightarrow$ number of semi-fluent speakers constantly rises
    $\rightarrow$ want to be rooteed in their culture
    $\rightarrow$ want to part of new culture with social media/rap
    $\rightarrow$ demand for more funding for language revitalization and the establishment of a National Language Institute
  • indigenous activism: identification with culture
    $\rightarrow$ flash mobs of Idle No More movement
    $\rightarrow$ electronic powwow music of A Tribute Called Red
    $\rightarrow$ Ashley Callingbull first Aboriginal woman to be crowned Mrs Universe, calling on First Nation people to vote a Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper out of office
  • policy of forced assimilation: reversed now
    $\rightarrow$ people were punished for speaking their own language but were then unable to communicate with their elders or pass on language
  • Indian Residential School system: beginning of closure in 1970
    $\rightarrow$ brutal attempt to assimilate native children
    $\rightarrow$ physical and sexual abuse resulted in youth committing suicide
    $\rightarrow$ 6000 children died in residential institutions
    $\rightarrow$ 2008 apology by prime minister Stephen Harper, yet denial of genocide
    $\rightarrow$ 2015 Canada faced dark chapter: admitted this period of cultural genocide
Negative Development
  • insufficient education: funds are low
    $\rightarrow$ youth population growing at three times the national average
    $\rightarrow$ Aboriginal youth least likely to graduate from high school
    $\rightarrow$ federal funding for Aboriginal post-secondary education too low and should be increased due to dempgraphic change
  • repercussions of Residential Schools: suicide rate extremely high
    $\rightarrow$ vicious circle in which the survivors of Residential School are caught
    $\rightarrow$ transferred to their children / family
    $\rightarrow$ social workers, educators, doctors are overchallenged with situation
    $\rightarrow$ youth drifts into crime and drugs
  • Bill C-31 : Indian status of women and their children
    $\rightarrow$ women who had lost their Indian status and their children who had been excluded of Indian status were able to register and gain official Indian status
    $\rightarrow$ only for the following generation: grandchildren would not have Indian status
Possible Conclusion:
  • government is not doing enough
  • positive that activism is going on
  • desireable that youth would be able to escape vicous circle like Ashley Callingbull
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$\blacktriangleright$  1. Portray setting and protagonists
The short story "Hearts and Flowers" by Tomson Highway takes place in an auditorium separated in a white section and an Indian section. It revolves around a music competition between the eight-year-old Indian boy Daniel Daylight and the eight-year-old white girl Jenny Dean.
Introduction
Clearly, the short story focuses on displaying a conflict between white and Indian people. There are 250 "human" (l. 2) people on the white section, but only 25 Indian people, mostly women, who watch him. The teacher of Daniel Daylight, Mr. Tipper, assures him, yet Daniel is rather confused by the white people. He imagines that they don't believe in him and that they might wonder what he might be doing up there. Daniel even considers himself "non-human" (l. 14), since that is what the people suggest (l. 13-15).
However, he proves them and himself wrong with his piano skills. His music is like a prayer that resounds up northwards until it reaches Minstik Lake - apparently a reservation where Daniel's parents live. It also functions as a catalysator to motivate Indian people to vote and defy Father Roy, the missionary priest from Minstik Lake - hence, his music is not only a pastime but also lends strength and energy to the Indian people who are on the verge of emancipation. Daniel sees the right to vote as the right to being human, which is why his music turns into a much more important tool in the Indian's fight for equal rights.
Jenny Dean can here be seen as a facilitator or enhancer of the musical call to vote. Since Daniel is playing the piano with Jenny together, they are both equally responsible for the success and the trophy they win in the end. After the concert, both the white section and the Indian section are standing, clapping and crying. The music also left an effect on Daniel - the Indian's don't look non-human to Daniel anymore. As a result, Daniel both exults and weeps - he is happy that he has won the trophy and he is relieved that his music made his people go to vote. Daniel thus knows that his transcendent piano performance changes history.
Main Part
In conclusion, one could say that the setting changes throughout the short story. At first, Daniel feels that it is very hostile and that the white people judge him and think he would not deserve to take part in such a competition. But when Daniel finishes the piece of music, he realizes that his music has touched many souls and he even considers his people as human whereas he thought that they looked non-human before the performance.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Examine Daniel's experiences and means
The protagonist Daniel experiences different situations throughout the short story "Hearts and Flowers". Those experiences are presented by using various stylistic means.
Introduction
The short story can be divided into three different segments. The first part focuses on describing the scene and the setting through Daniel's eyes. The descriptions are rather negative which is made evident by various stylistic devices. The author Tomson Highway uses a simile to introduce Daniel's situation to the reader: He is really uncomfortable and feels the people's stares on his back and compares them to the stare of an alligator shortly before snapping ("as with the eyes of alligators" (l. 3)). This feeling of awkwardness is intensified through the polysyndeton "cold and wet and gooey" (l. 3-4) which matches the reference to the alligator. Apparently, eyes play an important role in that short story - they even are personified. Whereas only Mr. Tipper's eyes say "'Go on, you can do it.'" (l. 7) and hence reassure Daniel a little, there are also the Indian women's eyes "that say nothing" (l. 9), unsettling him, and there are also the eyes "that […] are screaming" (l. 9-10) belonging to the white people, thus having more power over him and his thoughts. This is made evident by the fact that the author uses the adjective screaming instead of saying. In that context, screaming is more violent than saying something.
Moreover, Daniel's feeling of not being able to perform properly reaches a climax: "No, you can't; you can't do it. You can't do it at all." (l. 9-10). Daniel thus firmly believes that the white people are judging him and would deem him unworthy of art. This results in Daniel imagining the white people talking about him "What's he doing there, little Indian boy, brown-skinned boy?" (l. 13). Due to that, it is clear that Daniel has very low sense of self-worth and is persuaded by white people that he is incapable of anything and that he is an abomination that should not be allowed to sit next to a white girl. He also thinks of himself as inhuman.
In the second segment, Daniel is much more influenced in his thinking about himself by his musical skills. The simile "as snow on spruce boughs at night" (l. 15-16) proves that since Daniel's piano skills are compared to the soft touch of snow falling on twigs. Also, his music starts flowing and elevating into something of higher relevance and is described as "water-like, limpid, calm as silence, the chords for 'Hearts and Flowers' begin their journey" (l. 17). Daniel even deems his music as divine, as "god sound" (l. 21-22), as given by God and thus, he holds himself above the feared audience. The sound of his music is compared to a prayer "from the depths of his heart" (l. 22), meaning that his music transforms into a deep wish the reader does not know of yet. It even has the power to deeply touch people everywhere and it has no boundaries which Daniel is well aware of through the climax "right across […], right through […], through […], beyond […], north […]" (l. 31). Daniel can also be seen as "a tiny little master [weaving magic]" (l. 53-54). This enhances the fact that he is a master of what he is doing and that he in fact has some kind of power since he even wills his parents into going to vote. He is thus also responsivle for his parents becoming human in his eyes.
The last segment explores the effects that Daniel's piano play has on the audience. Through the repition "[…] clapping. And clapping and clapping." (l. 38-39), Daniel realizes the extent of his doing, not only did he bring his parents to vote but he also made white people actually applauding him. The music also has an effect on Daniel himself - he feels "human" (l. 40) now which is emphasized by the word being written in italics.
Main Part
Throughout the story, a lot of stylistic devices are being used - they first describe the uncomfortable situation Daniel finds himself in in a very tangible manner. Then, they enhance the power that the music has both over Daniel, his audience, and his parents who aren't even attending the performance. In conclusion, those means make Daniel's situation more comprehensible and the reader can easily empathize with Daniel.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Write article
Canada's Aboriginal youth - developments & chances
Being a teenager is really hard - school sucks, the family is weird and your love interest doesn't care about you. This seems pretty normal, doesn't it? What typical teenagers would experience all over the world. But not so in Canada, at least that's not what Aboriginal teenagers experience there. The history of the First Nations has always been a troubled one, but how did this change for their teenagers?
Introduction
First of all, the policy of forced assimilation is reversed now. People used to be punished for speaking their own language but where then unable to communicate with their elders or pass on that language. Hence, it is very important to learn a First Nation language for the youth. The number of semi-fluent speakers constantly rises and the teenagers want to be rooted in their culture and they also want to be part of a new culture that also broadcasts itself via social media or rap for instance. There is also a demand for more funding for language revitalizationand the establishment of a National Language Insitute.
Furthermore, the teenagers identify with their culture much more and they do that bei participating in indigenous activism. Back then, people were forced to assimilate to Western culture and they were forced to abandon their own culture. So, it is essential that teenagers engage in flash mobs of the Idle No More movement that support the rights of Aboriginal people. Also, a lot of bands focus on electronic powwow music such as A Tribute Called Red. Ashley Callingbull is the first Aboriginal woman to be crowned Miss Universe and she used that power to call on First Nation people to vote Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper out of office. These actions in total can be seen as younger Aboriginal people avowing for their culture.
Another major positive development is the beginning of the closure of Indian Residential School systems in 1970. Those schools were a brutal attempt to assimilate native children, physical and sexual abuse there resulted in many teenagers committing suicide. Moeover, 6000 children died in those residential instituations. Only in 2008 did prime minister Stephen Harper give an official apology to the First Nations, yet the genocide that took place in the schools was denied. It took 7 more years until Canada faced this dark chapter and admitted to this period of cultural genocide.
Main Part
Pros
However, there have also been negative developments affecting the First Nation youth. Aboriginal families in Canada face insufficient education for instance. The youth population is growing at three times the national average but they are least likely to graduate from high school since the federal funding for Aboriginal post-secondary education is too low and should actually be increased due to the demographic change.
Moreover, the repercussions of the Residential Schools are still being felt by the Aboriginal population. The suicide rate of people who had to attend such a school is still extremely high and the victims are caught in a vicious circle. They transfer the experiences they have made to their children or family and thus, it also affects people who did not get in touch with a Residential School. Social workers, educators and doctors are overchallenged with that situation and it is also a reason, why the youth drifts into crime and drugs.
In addition, the Bill C-31 that considers the Indian status of women and their children was changed, but that is not directly an advantage. Women who had lost their Indian status and their children who had been excluded of Indian status were in fact able to register and gain official Indian status again, yet this only counted for one generation. Thus, the grandchildren would not have Indian status which can be considered as a loss of culture and heritage.
In conclusion, there have been negative as well as positive developments that affect the First Nation youth. It is quite remarkable that teenagers engage in activism and actually fight for their rights. It is also desireable that the youth will be able to escape the vicious circle that they are sometimes caught in and that they take Ashley Callingbull as a role model for instance. But still, the government is not doing enough - more funds should be made available for the needs and rights of the First Nation youth.
Conclusion
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