“The Last Lecture on the Edge”: American Indians are not Invented for Public Consumption

Abstract

“The Last Lecture on the Edge” is a chapter from American Indian writer Gerald Vizenor’s novel The Trickster of Liberty. The chapter tells a story which happened on the edge of the White Earth Reservation where anyone who wanted to drop over the edge can deliver a last lecture. This article mainly analyzes the lectures delivered by the first three lecturers Marie Gee Hailme, Coke De Fountain and Homer Yellow Snow. This article explores how the chapter satirizes those who utilize Indianness and Indian identity for public consumption. It is argued that Marie Gee Hailme overemphasizes the purity of Indianness and Indian values in Indian school education. She is stubborn to stick to her opinions towards education and tries to consume the education of the Indian kids. Coke De Fountain is considered in this article as a selfish mixblood who consumes Indian kids by selling drugs to them for his own interests. It is also pointed out that Homer Yellow Snow is a a pretend Indian author who consumes his spurious identity and readers’ trust.