Among the most valued societal processions that tradition passes from one generation to the other, is culture. Culture is one of the most essential processions that every society should have and that defines and gives identity to the society. At the same time, it is necessary, since it assists the society in identifying itself, and standing up uniquely, compared to other cultures. In this case, therefore, culture makes it possible for the corporation to establish it uniquely from other societies, and draw pride and identity for its organization and authenticity. By definition, therefore, culture is the societal quality, drawn from its success with regards to art, traditions, perceptions, pursuits and traditional organization. In multinational countries and regions, whereby more than one culture lives within the same area of common jurisdiction, ‘culture competition’ normally takes place, whereby every cultural group seeks to stand out in reference and comparison to the others. As a result, each and every culture ends up predominantly standing out and clearly establishing itself. This is the case in multinational and multiracial regions, such as the United States of America, Canada, China and Britain among other regions. Reel Injun, a 2009 documentary set in Canada, is a perfect example of a movie that portrays culture in a multiracial region in a deep and elaborate perspective (Hall 13).
This Canadian documentary, released in 2009 and directed by Catherine Bainbridge, Neil Diamond and Jeremiah Hayes, is a perfect example and illustration of a documentary that effectively portrays the different and diverse settings of native American cultures, as well as the radical nature of the cultures in which these societies and communities involved themselves. Consequently, it has effectively drawn out the difference in these cultures, which is mainly based on the different origin of each of these cultures and communities. At the same time, the documentary movie has also focused on the origin of various monumental settings and events in America, such as the American film industry.
Native Americans in the United States
In order to fully understand the organization of North America and the people living in the region in the present day, Reel Injun has provided a rich background about the region, and the movement of various communities and groups into the United States and the entire Canadian region. In order to address this, Reel Injun has focused on several areas, which have played a major role in assisting to understand the organization and the basic arrangement of the northern American region. For example, the movie documentary has laid focus on North America by breaking it down into America and Alaska, since these two regions had different communities residing in them. At the same time, different societies had different cultures, which defined who they were. Firstly, it is necessary to note the fact that the religion is one of the aspects that made the different societies and communities living in the northern regions of the American continent to have distinct and differentiated cultures. This, according to Reel Injun, is due to the fact that the religions to which these communities pledged allegiance were differently organized, and set different expectations on the groups, as well. This, therefore, defined their practices, outlooks towards life, as well as other aspects that defined and developed their culture, such as attitude, perception towards given groups, as well as their traditional practices (Walker 330).
According to the documentary Reel Injun, the first Native Americans to move into the American Indians, and they first moved into the American continent approximately 12,000 years ago. At the same time, they established themselves in other areas, especially, around Alaska and Canada. Over years, however, other communities moved into the continents, and these became the American Spanish and the American Europeans. The United States was first referred to as the Newfoundland, since many communities moved into this continent, from different other states, in search of settlement areas, as well as movement in the course of their activities, such as exploring. According to Reel Injun, the documentary expounds the fact that most of the American Spanish group did not immediately settle in the northern parts of the continent. However, they moved southwards, as well as towards the Central American region. Most of these speakers are, consequently, found in Mexico, and towards the southern regions such as Brazil. However, the American Indians and most of the American Europeans continued to around the northern parts of the continents, which is currently the United States, Canada and Alaska. However, some of the American Indians and American Europeans proceeded to the southern regions of the continent, towards the Central and South America.
Another essential thing to note concerning the Native American groups and their culture is the fact that the thirteenth century recorded various changes in the American continent’s setting, whereby slave trade, particularly by the European farmers, introduced cultures, through the Asians and African slaves who were introduced in the continent, to work in the plantations and industries. Considering the fact that a lot of slave trade activities were taking place during this period (and the 17th century during which period the agrarian revolution and the consequent growth in the industrial sector demanded for the increase in the number of slaves working in the industries, factories and farms), the number of immigrants from Asia and Africa significantly increased, particularly in America and Canada, and this led to the consequent introduction of new traditions and culture, particularly from Africa. Most of the industrial activities that took place in the American continent, according to Reel Injun, took place in the eight southern states, around the east coast. This is not only due to the fact that this is the route that the slaves, normally from Africa, followed in their coming to America, but also, due to the fact that there was vast and plenty of land for agriculture and development in the region. At the same time, investing in these regions on the same was easier, for easier transportation of the raw material and finished products back to Britain, through the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, there was profound cultural interaction and exchange, particularly, in the southern states of America. This is the reason why there was a lot of cultural interaction in the southern regions compared to the northern states. At the same time, the Spanish American community had established its settlement in the region, and also, based on the fact that the Italian American and American European communities had established settlement in the southern states, particularly for entrepreneurship and farming, social interaction, cultural exchange and profound cultural establishment took place more in the southern states, compared to other regions, such as the northern states and Canada, at large. This led to profound cultural establishment and interaction, in various areas, such as the foods, lifestyle, religious and even other traditional exchange and establishment in these regions (Reel Injun 78).
Religions is yet another essential area to look at in each and every culture in the United States and Canada, since Reel Injun has closely looked at the same, and laid its main focus on the different cultural set ups in the ancient America, and the religion that each of these groups adopted. At the same time, having looked at the fact that there was cultural interaction between he different groups, particularly in the southern states, the same case happened even with religion, and the documentary proceeds to look at how these cultures influenced each other into adopting each other’s religion. Firstly, it is necessary to note the fact that each of these groups had their own religions. However, the most profound religions were Christianity, Hinduism and traditional religions, by the European Americans, American Indians and African immigrants, respectively. However, the American European group was more established, and was influential in many areas, since they were mainly the masters to the plantations, factories and industries that were established in northern America, particularly during the agrarian revolution. As a result, they effectively had more influence on the other immigrants and groups in the American continent, making Christianity a profound and well established religion in America.
According to the documentary, however, Christianity did not effectively become as stabilized as the American Europeans hoped, since Christianity was differently divided into various groups, such as the Native American Church, the Roman Catholic, the Russian Orthodox and the protestant churches. This is one of the reasons why it was difficult for Christianity to fully take over the American continent. At the same time, the African immigrants continued adopting their traditional African practices of worship and religion. However, most of these practices were gradually assimilated by the Christian religion, since some of the slaves were forced to join their masters’ religion. At the same time, evangelization and missionary work played a role in developing and the consequent adoption of the same. With the practice being slowly assimilated, especially towards the end of the nineteenth century, some of the African traditions and cultures, especially those associated with their ways of worship, were slowly diluted and assimilated into the American culture.
In conclusion, Reel Injun has focused on the cultural, as well as the tribal aspect that has been experienced in America, since tribes and races have been found to be the main aspects and building blocks of the established cultures in America (Reel Injun 67). In the modern day America, for example, the same cultures that were initially established during the settlement and immigration phases are the same that exist to date, and have grown to be strongly profound and defined cultures. Reel Injun, therefore, observes the fact that the different cultures in America have been drawn and established along the tribal, racial and traditional lines.
Reel Injun. “Reel Injun the movie.” Retrieved from http://www.reelinjunthemovie.com/site/ on April 23rd 2013. Web.
Hall, Peter. The Organization of American Culture, 1700-1900: Private Institutions, Elites, and the Origins of American Nationality. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
Walker, Felicia. Understanding Organization Through Culture and Structure: Relational and Other Lessons From the African American. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. Print.