Language prejudice sounds pretty bad on paper, how could you judge someone on how they speak? In reality it’s something everyone does, maybe not in a maliciously negative way. But in very surface level ways, as the HuffPost artical mentioned even by someones accent our brain goes on to make an assumption on who they are, and how we feel about them. Which is where the whole “make a good first impression” kinda came from. Because this is something everyone does unintentionally, we have a our own bias on what we like to hear and what we don’t. And because we are human we need to share our opinion which can impact the ways others think. For me personally I’ve had this listening to podcasts, for example when a host shares they may hate the sound of a Bostonian accent. At first I’ll think “eh its’s alright” but then they will follow with a bias impression of the accent which then makes me think “yea they’re right, that is annoying”. So yes, my own language bias has been impacted by someones else’s opinion.
The sports world is full of terminology and slang that is used by its viewers and players of the game. Every sport has its own specific slang that references the sport its self, but I’m talking about basketball words that can be heard throughout world from lovers of the game. With that said words like “nasty” and “crossed” are used heavily all over the league (NBA). This is amplified when viewing on social media and networking platforms because words like those are littered in the captions of game highlights. For example “House of Highlights” a well known page on Instagram will post basketball highlights and under them may read along the lines of “_____ might have just done the nastiest play in sports!!”. Game commentators have used them when commentating but most tend to mock in a joking way due to their age, I would say all of them are over 40 but the basketball culture is so strong to where it makes it’s way to the past generation. When you hear someone using basketball specific slang you automatically have a base of relativity. Because it shows you care and have immersed yourself enough in ball culture to where you know you can talk anything to do with the league with them.
Reading Moon of the Crusted Snow was a suspenseful experience for me, and genuinely had me unable to put the book down at times. But that’s not what I found so intriguing about the novel, what played a big part in me not being able to put down the book was how the setting made me feel.
This story takes place on an isolated reserve up north, small and overall a tight knit community, as well as it being outdated on some everyday essentials people south are used to. Such as satellite signal and electric heating which Evan (the protagonist) mentioned is relatively new to them. Though they still rely on wood stoves, hunting, and other methods of living that the modern world would view as outdated. This resonated with me so well due to my family connection on my mother’s side who live in Pikangikum First Nation, a fly in reserve that is around 300km southeast of Winnipeg, a second home I visit annually. Having lived there till I was about five years old, it helped me visualize the setting to a point to where I was fully immersed. References to “The Northern” an all-purpose everyday store really drove home where it takes place for me, since the store is exclusive to communities such as the one in the story, and my own. Another point Evan had made is that they have banned alcohol use making it a “dry reserve”, but still people smuggled it in. A issue that occurs regularly in Pik to where they have screened vehicles coming in on Friday’s in an attempt to keep booze off the land. So I would say things are pretty similar.
With that said I enjoyed the story that much more since I found it so relatable, and for a far northern reserve it lived up to my expectations.
My first impressions of this book were confused, I missed the briefing on what to expect with this book because not ever would I hear a character say something like “ever sick you”. But once I realized what a theme of the book was it felt familiar, that I could picture the characters and where they lived more clearly. Hearing them say that they are just getting satellite and cell services, though I didn’t live in Pikangikum my whole life I still call it home. And that’s the kind of life it is out there, very remote and isolated so it takes time for these things to blossom, for example many homes still don’t have running water but, they just got a new school. What the protagonist does in the first two chapters is very relevant to me, because my grandpa still does the same. So much so, that his job at the school, is to show the youth how to go about these hunting practices. That is what makes this book so unique in the same sense, you don’t find book that share what “rez life” is unless it’s a biography of someone who’s “made it out”. From what’s happened so far, I can sense a horrible storm is coming. From hints in conversation and by looking at the cover. Nevertheless I am curious for what’s next.
I believe that power emerges when we hear a kids perspective, he said something that didn’t ring true until you broke it down and thought about it. The idea of the man who didn’t want help, wanting to be alone, and willing to endure the homeless life knowing firsthand how brutal it is. From the quote I feel that the connection between language and power is revealed when Julia says we all have power, it just relies on how we utilize to better our everyday life. Which supports my thinking behind the kid, you think because of his age that he isn’t capable of being powerful. But through his words and deeper thinking he is able to move us with a simple comparison, between an island and a secluded man floating in the water.