Friday, December 31, 2010

Indigenous Peoples in Late-Twentieth Century Science Fiction Television: Is There a Place for ‘’Indians” in Our Visions of the Future?

The last of the research projects I worked on this semester!  :)

     I undertook this project because science fiction television in general and the shows analyzed specifically were formative influences in my life.  Watching the original Star Trek movie franchise or Star Trek: The Next Generation on television was a family activity and facilitated bonding between my father, my younger brother and I.  As I grew older, the X-Files encouraged me to think critically about the world around me and reinforced my suspicion of authority and those in power.  In particular I recall being fascinated by the episodes which dealt with Native American characters and themes; a fascination I have discovered since is echoed by many white fans, often in a way that echoes the worst of colonialist narratives.  In this way, investigating these portrayals in the television shows of my youth is a kind of personal exorcism; a bringing to light what I would rather keep in shadow (Jung 145).  But while my stakes in this project may be personal, the implications reach beyond me to the very function of science fiction in the social imaginary; as a space where we collectively consider and entertain ideas of what a better world might look like.  Misappropriated, this space instead aids the genocide of Indigenous people, a process which I must argue has been furthered by the texts examined herein.
     Science fiction stories are tales of the possible.  Fantasy operates in a similar space, but fantasy often presupposes the intervention of the fantastic or supernatural to facilitate its reimagining; whereas science fiction (especially in the case of Star Trek) more often looks to the future.  Science fiction stories also always operate within a uniquely constructed universe with well defined rules; necessitating conscious choices about the state of that universe (Johnson-Smith 19-20).  Whereas we (as audience) know that many of the elements of fantasy which make it so appealing do not really exist,[1] we know that the future will happen someday and that how the future will look is undetermined, leaving much room for creativity and possibility, and, perhaps, social justice.  This potential within science fiction for imaging the world as one would remake it subsequently makes the sexism, racism, heteronormativity and cisnormativity[2] (just to name a few common tropes) all the more glaring. 
     However, these tropes are glaring only if one is able to see them at all, which is not always the case.  Too often the bigotry disseminated through science fiction is invisible to the “mainstream”[3] audience because that bigotry echoes the webs of power the audience already considers normal.  That so often science fiction writers cannot think beyond these tropes (while simultaneously selling a product to their audience that is purportedly a utopian reimagining) and that these writers so often manage to succeed in maintaining this contradiction in the minds of the audience (and in the cases of the studied texts become wildly successful by doing so) is a testament to the power of hegemony, a power I hope this investigation will undermine.
     The potential for utopian reimagining was quite explicitly one of the aims of Star Trek’s creator Gene Roddenberry (Engel).  “The promise of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation is a world where social problems are no longer an impediment to individual and social development” (Pounds 171).  In Star Trek’s Earth people do not go hungry, men and women are equal, there is no racism, etc.; the freedom of the individual to reach their potential is a source of pride and cultural achievement.[4]  This reality is pointed out often throughout both Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation by crew members who happen to interact with aliens whose societies do not reflect this “terran” utopia.[5] 
     However, within this “utopia” there are rather distinct hierarchies.  All three Enterprise captains are white and male, two of the three first officers are also white males with the third being a white female.[6] While the non-Enterprise crews of Deep Space Nine and Voyager complicate this trend somewhat (with a black male captain and white female first officer and white female captain and indigenous male first officer respectively) one cannot help but note that the commanders of Starfleet’s flagship is always a body at the top of the U.S. hegemonic hierarchy.  In the particular investigation undertaken in this project, it is also of note that with a single exception there are absolutely no indigenous crew members in any of the five series (Johnson-Smith 84).[7] 
     In short, in a “utopian” vision of the future that renders people of color in general to second class status, the indigenous are quite simply invisible.  In exploring the common tropes of indigenous communities, this invisibility is rendered not terribly surprising as the “vanishing Indian” is a common narrative (Sky-McIlvain).  One of many legacies of colonization, the indigenous must disappear for Manifest Destiny to be achieved and ownership of the land that is the United States and Canada to be fully retained by the colonizing population.  In keeping with these logics of colonialism, the only interactions between the Enterprise crews of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation position the people of the Enterprise in the role of discoverer/colonizer and the indigenous characters in the role of (noble) savage and/or mystic, respectively.
     In the original Star Trek episode “The Paradise Syndrome” the three stars (Captain Kirk, Commander Spock and Doctor McCoy) transport to a planet which is “exactly like…Earth.” Here, they find a population who Spock’s tricorder tells him are “a mixture of Navajo, Mohegan and Delaware…all among the more advanced and peaceful tribes” (Armen 02:50).  Spock’s choice of words here invokes the “noble savage” trope.  This community is largely “uncivilized” but living “in harmony with nature.”  The interchangeability of “Indian” peoples also on display in this scene is an extremely common Hollywood trope when representing Indigenous people and is bolstered by the way this fictional community is depicted on screen. 
     The literal blending of different tribes into one community done here is simply a rationalized excuse for the lazy research and resultant culturally incorrect mistakes by the writer and producers which are epidemic in non-Native representations of Indigenous people: the so-called “all-purpose Hollywood Indian” trope.  Within this trope the clothing, housing and lifestyle of the “Indians” depicted bear little to no resemblance to the tribal affiliation they are said to embody which subsequently feeds into the dehumanizing colonialist belief that all “Indians” are the same (Adare 40 - 41).  Contributing to this idea on a more unconscious level is the music used throughout the episode.  For example, the flute music which accompanied the opening shots of the episode is repeated later with added rattle and drum; instruments used so often to invoke a sense of Indigenous people that sometimes it can even stand in for them (Thompson).
     In addition, though living in the 23rd century (and said to be composed of “the more advanced” Indigenous peoples), this group has not progressed technologically past where some of their alleged ancestors were in the 16th century, quite in contrast to our Enterprise crew members (Adare 40).  This is another common trope which in part originates from these words by United States historian Francis Parkman, “[Indigenous people] will not learn the arts of civilization, and he and his forest must perish together” (Adare 40).  For those wishing to fulfill the promise of Manifest Destiny, there is a vested interest in depicting the “Indian” as permanently and inherently “savage” and unable to assimilate into the “civilized” or “modern” world.  Extending this belief/portrayal into the 23rd century Spock declares: “too primitive to grasp the concept of spaceflight…our appearance here would only serve to confuse and frighten them,” (Armen 03:20).  
     Yet, if these are, as Spock’s tricorder readings indicate, a community of Indigenous people from three North American tribes, how else could they have arrived on this planet but through space flight (Adare)?  Despite its absurdity this remark goes unchallenged.  On the contrary the sentiment is reiterated by one of the “Indian” characters; he asks Kirk nervously if the people “have not improved as quickly as the Wise Ones wish” (Armen 21:58).  Apparently, the writer/producer’s simply could not think of a way to bring “Indians” into the future without leaving them in the past; or did not want to, as some of Roddenberry’s own writings indicate (Bernardi 45 - 46).
     Through a series of events while on this planet, Kirk’s memory is temporarily erased.  When he is found emerging from the alien artifact he had been exploring, he is taken for a god; an assumption seen as validated when he uses CPR (unknown to this community) to revive a young boy who had drowned.  In short order Kirk has a prominent position in tribal life and even an “Indian Princess”[8] of his own that quickly becomes pregnant.  Kirk quite literally “goes Native;” he adopts the dress and lives by the customs of the village while he tries to recover his memory.  Eventually, Kirk’s memory is returned to him and he and the Enterprise crew manage to save the day,[9] but not before he is revealed to be a fraudulent god and his wife is killed by her own people while trying to protect him in a very dramatic and classic Pocahontas-like scene.
     This portrayal of Indigenous womanhood is perfectly in line with what Rayna Green names “the Pocahontas Perplex” wherein Indigenous women are reduced to one of two roles, either as the “Princess” (such Pocahontas or in this case Miramanee, willing to sacrifice herself for the White man) or her “darker, negatively viewed sister, the Squaw”  (Green 701). The “realized sexuality” of the Squaw results in the “sin of miscegenation:” a mixed-race child, anathema to the Anglo-Saxon social order of the United States which demands separation between races (Adare 40).  This discourse around miscegenation is articulated in part by the man who was, before Kirk usurped his position within the tribe, engaged to be married to Miramanee when he asks her: “if you could choose, would you choose me?” (Armen 19:30).  This is the “choice” placed before too many Indigenous women; even when they have little or no choice in bearing mixed race children they are held responsible as betrayers of the people, of the Indigenous Man/nation (Anzaldua).[10] 
     In sum, this episode perpetuates many damaging stereotypes of Indigenous cultures, ironically, in a purported attempt to represent Indigenous cultures as worthy of respect and to work against narratives of needed assimilation (Adare).  Yet what the audience is left with is little more than a precious few “positive” stereotypes to the detriment of any kind of character complexity (Rojas).  To make matters worse, popular culture has – well over forty years later – not come very far in this respect.  There are still common representations of “Indians” with halting speech, played by tanned-up White people[11] in short buckskin skirts and feather headdresses; when not on television or in the movies, at least every Halloween (K.), or in many local sporting events (via school and team mascots).  That these representations have continued is even more inexcusable when but sixteen years ago it seemed they had improved significantly.
     In “Journey’s End” of Star Trek: The Next Generation we are presented with a tale familiar to anyone acquainted with the history of the United States and its interactions with Indigenous people.  Governments (empires, really, though a democratic one in the case of the Federation of Planets) have made a decision about the land of a group of “Indians” (seemingly a Pueblo people) without the input of the effected community, and military operatives are assigned to see the land is vacated in accordance with the new treaty.  In this version of the story the land is a planet, recently ceded to a hostile nation (along with other planets and territories) in the pursuit of preventing war.  As is typical in Hollywood depictions of a story involving indigenous people the characters the audience is meant to identify with are White; not the “Indian” characters.
Other familiar tropes run through this story as well, such as the “mystical” flute music used to invoke “Indianness” as discussed previously, and a White character that “goes Native.”  While less literal in this latter representation than the previously discussed Star Trek episode “The Paradise Syndrome,” “Journey’s End” includes a “wise Indian” who is actually a white-skinned alien who can shape shift[12] (called “The Traveler”) as well as the somewhat conversion of a White character to Indigenous ways in the episode’s evolution of semi-regular character Wesley Crusher.  Like in many “gone Native” stories, the culmination of Wesley’s journey occurs when he eventually sides with the indigenous characters against his Enterprise family.  Similarly, the Traveler and Wesley are also split aspects of another Hollywood trope: the White man who is accepted by an Indigenous community and becomes the very best “Indian” of the whole group.[13]  In this case, it is through Wesley’s eyes that the audience comes to sympathize with the Indigenous characters, and it is The Traveler who has so well mastered the spiritual practices of the “Indians” that he is able to in turn teach Wesley about them.
     However, seemingly aware that this storyline had the potential to render the lead characters of the series in a less than sympathetic light, in addition to positioning our heroes against a known and ruthless enemy (the Cardassians) objections from the officers of the Enterprise are aired about the nature of their mission.  The treatment of “North American Indians”[14] by the government of the United States[15] is recalled and the “very disturbing historical parallels” between the Enterprise’s orders and those actions which occurred “centuries ago” are voiced immediately (and more than once) by Captain Picard[16] to his superior officer (Moore 06:24).  Picard declares, “once more they are being asked to leave their homes because of a political decision that has been taken by a distant government” (Moore 06:45).  Yet, these objections are ultimately impotent in the face of higher authority.
     It is no accident that the Admiral who brings this news to the Enterprise is one who from previous encounters the dedicated audience (and the crew) does not like.  This perception is reinforced when she is dismissive towards the “small village” the colonists have established and points out brusquely that an “Indian” representative[17] was included in the treaty negotiations and that “his objections were noted, discussed, but ultimately rejected” (Moore 06:54).  The (White) audience is then able to side guilt-free with Captain Picard’s objections while not feeling particularly incensed that he begrudgingly goes along with his orders; that is after all, what a disciplined military man does.  
     In addition, the Admiral articulates her bottom line with “they never should have gone there in the first place” (Moore 07:08) comforting the (White) audience with the knowledge that, really, these “Indians” brought their fate on themselves.  Thus from the very beginning of the episode the audience’s experience is filtered through the lens of a powerful White male and a sympathetic foundation is laid for his actions throughout the episode.  This portrayal prevents the possibility that the audience might have otherwise come to “side” with the First Nations colonists and looked with disdain on not just the semi-villain Admiral Nechayev, but on the hero Captain Picard as well for his complicity.
     Captain Picard’s complicity becomes a central focus later in the episode as it is discovered by the “leader of the tribal council” (named Anthwara) that one of the Captain’s ancestors was involved in re-conquering the ancestors of this tribe after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.  Picard’s presence as the Federation’s ambassador/operative is said by Anthwara to be an opportunity for Picard to wipe away “a very old stain of blood carried by [his] family”; so long as he finds a way around the orders he has been given (which, naturally, he does by the end of the episode).  This significance of the past, the way it can affect the present and the importance of being open to possibilities which present themselves is echoed somewhat in a lesson “Lakanta” gives Wesley. 
     In preparing Wesley for a ceremony[18] which shifts his path in this episode entirely, “Lakanta” (The Traveler’s “Indian” name) tells Wesley that “our [Indigenous] culture is rooted in the past, but it is not limited to the past” (Moore 24:20).  This single line explains well what this episode does which “The Paradise Syndrome” failed to do: bring Indigenous people into the future.  As we have traced thus far, this is, again, not a perfect representation, but it is certainly a more respectful effort, being called by Indigenous participants in Sierra Adare’s study to be “the pinnacle of decent treatment of First Nations religious beliefs in the Star Trek universe and beyond” (Adare 90).
     The same opinion was not bestowed upon my final text, separated from “Journey’s End” by only one year, The X-Files three episode “Anasazi” story arc.  Spanning the season two finale “Anasazi,” season three premiere “The Blessing Way,” and then “Paper Clip,” this arc takes place in part on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico where Mulder and Scully are pursuing a lead which requires the involvement of a World War II Navajo code-talker.[19]  On the surface, this episode seems to repeat many of the same stereotypes as Star Trek: The Next Generation’s “Journey’s End,” especially with regards to the “mystic and mysterious” trope which “Lakanta” of “Journey’s End” and Albert Hosteen of “Anasazi” at times embody.  However, this trope produces a different result in the character construction of Hosteen due to the nature of X-Files “reality.” 
     To turn to Foucault, the discourse through which meaning is produced for the audience is totally different on The Next Generation and The X-Files (Hall 45).  While TNG[20] is a straight forward utopian imaginary of the future, The X-Files is a postmodern dystopian imaginary of the present.  The postmodern nature of The X-Files lends “openness” to the text that facilitates multiple understandings of the stories told through it (Hersey 4).  Meanings in this series are always convoluted and require more interpretation (even when one has a solid grasp of their unique discursive framework) than do the stories of The Next Generation
     One of the fundamental discourses which separate “Journey’s End” from “Anasazi”[21] surrounds government and military power.  In TNG the heroes are government and military operatives, as well as scientists and “explorers.”[22]  In The X-Files the protagonists are also government agents, but their allegiance to government and power is far more complicated than on TNG.  Whereas on TNG rebellion against authority is a rare occurrence, on The X-Files subversion of those in power is foundational and portrayed as heroic (Hersey 1).  Mulder and Scully would not be Mulder and Scully if they were not undermining the corrupt power structure that also happened to provide them with their job in the first place; this more convoluted subtext is what made The X-Files unique when it hit the airwaves. 
     So, while the portrayal of Indigenous people in the “Anasazi” arc is Othering, the discourse of the “Other” on The X-Files is a rather different one and our analysis of Indigenous portrayal must be adjusted accordingly.  On The X-Files our protagonists are “Other,” to see truth and justice in a world where strings are pulled by a “shadowy syndicate” is to be “Other;” to be “Other” is to be the “us” instead of the “them.”  Thus the tactics used within the white supremacist colonial hegemony of the United States to degrade Indigenous people are used in “Anasazi” to draw the Navajo characters as heroic.
     In addition, it is exceedingly rare to find an Indigenous character who is not one dimensional.  Star Trek: Voyager’s producers decided to include an Indigenous character on its bridge crew and yet even he lacked three dimensions and was instead reduced to whatever stereotype was most convenient for that weeks’ storyline (Adare).  While I cannot argue that the Navajo men central to the “Anasazi” arc completely reverses this trend the complexity of the character of Albert Hosteen is notable (Hersey).  Hosteen can be characterized as a playing the part of a “Trickster” archetype (as can Agent Mulder (Delasara)); he consistently both helps and frustrates the Agents’ investigation, thwarting Mulder’s (and the audience’s) “desire for a simple explanation” (Hersey 2).  This is in contrast to more common stereotypes which align Native characters with the Hero only in those moments where the Native character is explicitly helpful to that Hero.  This is in keeping with Rayna Green’s observation that “the only good Indian…rescues and helps white men” (Green 703).  While Hosteen is certainly helpful towards both Agents Mulder and Scully, he also complicates their investigation.
     Sierra Adare argues that Hosteen’s cryptic answers and performance of the “Blessing Way Chant” (which facilitates Mulder’s decision to let his body die or to continue fighting) reduces Hosteen only to the “medicine man/mystic” stereotype (Adare 103).  However, I would argue that this does not take the discourse of The X-Files into account.  When viewed through a discourse-oriented lens it must be noted that the cryptic way in which Hosteen deals with the Agents has at least as much in common with the way all “informants” share their information with Mulder and Scully throughout the series as with the “mystic” stereotype.  I also would argue that Hosteen’s actions serve as a point of resistance against the hegemonic powers that seek to silence his memory and thwart the survival of the Navajo (and, conveniently, Mulder) (Hersey 4).  In addition, Hosteen appears to have some first-hand knowledge of and involvement with the overarching conspiracy at the base of this story[23] imbuing him with far more layers than any of the Indigenous characters we have discussed so far (Hersey 7). This is not to suggest that the representations of the Navajo characters in “Anasazi” are unproblematic, simply that they are more complicated than a surface reading might suggest. 
     It must also be noted that while The X-Files is surely a space of cultural imagination, unlike the Star Trek texts it does not take place in the future.  As such, the presence of Indigenous Americans within The X-Files universe serves as a reminder that First Nations people are still here, today; a different, and important if imperfect intervention in the colonial narrative of the “vanishing Indian.”  This intervention is imperfect; because a prominent fact of the X-Files discourse/framework is that the good guys don’t win.  After nine years chasing “the truth” the only truths revealed to our Agents remain personal.  There are no revelations on a widespread scale, the shadowy syndicate is never brought to justice, no institutional reforms put in place; none of the elements required for change in the current cultural status of Indigenous peoples are shown to be possible.  Thus this discourse, while providing a more nuanced and complicated portrayal of Navajo characters also limits how much effect those portrayals can have on larger social narratives.
     In addition, this story arc – along with “Journey’s End” – lacks a very noticeable element: women.  In fact the only episode discussed that includes a prominent Indigenous female character is “The Paradise Syndrome.”  Even then, Miramanee is a caricature, the “Indian Princess;” yet, at least she is there.  In the tribal council meetings of “Journey’s End” there are absolutely no women present (Moore 17:20), and none in the episode as a whole save a random extra in the crowd.  In “Anasazi” Scully interacts with one Navajo woman, Mulder however, never speaks to any women despite spending a significant amount of time on a New Mexican reservation.  This solitary Indigenous female character in the “Anasazi” story arc is an unnamed secretary in the Washington D.C. Navajo Nation office.  She is able to identify only a few words from the encrypted Department of Justice file Scully is trying to translate (Carter and Duchovny 19:25) and ultimately aids Scully by connecting her to Albert Hosteen.  But her obvious positioning as cultural outsider through a limited knowledge of the tribal language and physical absence from the reservation (with the reservation space being a focus for so much of this story) does not instill an image of female leadership or importance within the tribe (Hersey 8)
     This portrayal is, of course, positively absurd.  Not because it depicts an Indigenous woman outside the reservation and working in a professional setting, but because this marginal role is the only function for an Indigenous woman in the narrative at all.  In contrast, women have held and continue to hold prominent positions in many First Nations societies (Fox and Nicholas 178), though colonization has “required in part undermining the position of Native American women” (Rojas 53).  This legacy of colonization has been so effective that women can be completely left out of storylines about or including First Nations people without the wider audience batting an eye.  This absence is echoed even more starkly throughout our texts by the lack of any gay, lesbian, bi/pansexual and transsexual or transgender people in all episodes (and series).  In the particular lens applied in this essay it is especially notable that this absence is despite the fact that several Indigenous communities have legacies of multiple sexual and/or gender roles.  Apparently, if the role of Indigenous people in the U.S. science fiction imagination is largely limited to old colonialist tropes, there is no role at all for those outside of the heteronormative and cisnormative expectations of the same. 
     Through the investigations undertaken in this paper I have analyzed how Indigenous people have often been reduced to stereotypes and portrayed through hegemonic norms which “white-washed” and flattened their cultures in popular science fiction television.  While representations of Indigenous people changed dramatically for the better between 1968 and the mid-1990s, many misrepresentations continued (and continue) to abound.  These misrepresentations and stereotypes only serve to reinforce the hegemonic codes of “mainstream” culture, at the expense of humanity of long dehumanized peoples.  What is worse is that since the mid-1990s this pattern of stereotyping and misrepresentation has only become more dramatic; when the “Indians” of science fiction television haven’t “vanished” entirely.  If those people – like myself – who were raised on these utopias and dystopias, aliens and spaceflight and searches for truth – if we are to truly tell “tales of the possible” without continuing narratives of genocide, we must exorcise these damaging patterns from the genre we love.  Hopefully, I have taken one small step towards doing just that.

[1] For example, while it could be argued that magic does exist in the real world, we know it does not exist in the way magic operates in Harry Potter, or The Wheel of Time, or even Star Wars (as the Force); the last example being an excellent one of the overlapping natures of science fiction and fantasy.
[2] Meaning the normalization of people who are assigned “male” or “female” at birth and feel comfortable with that designation (known as “cissexual” and/or “cisgender” or “genderqueer” in contrast to those who are “transsexual” and/or “transgender” who experience bodily dissonance); not to be taken to mean cissexual people are necessarily comfortable with the gender expectations or social role assigned to them along with their sex.
[3] A word I use here because it is so commonly used in dominant culture euphemistically to refer to the normalized body: white, middle class, male, cissexual, able-bodied, heterosexual, etc.
[4] Even to the point that in Deep Space Nine Captain Benjamin Sisko cannot understand why his father is “settling” for running his own restaurant on Earth.  Cooking to feed others is, apparently, too menial, or “low class” for a skilled and intelligent man like Mr. Sisko, suggesting that within a utopia like this one  a middle-class value system continues to rein supreme.
[5] For example: Next Generation episode “Code of Honor” (Season 1, Episode 4).
[6] If Gene Roddenberry had gotten his way on this point the first officer of the original Enterprise would also have been a white female. However, the character was rejected by the network and received with mixed feelings by test audiences and so was demoted to the position of nurse (Pounds 52).
[7] The solitary exception being the aforementioned first officer of Voyager, “Chakotay.”
[8] Named Miramanee she is the daughter of the “chief.”
[9] The planet is about to be hit by an asteroid which would wipe out all life.
[10] Such as Pocahontas, or even moreso, La Malinche, who is commonly degraded as the woman who “sold out her people” to Hernán Cortés through having a supposedly consensual sexual relationship with him that resulted in the first mestiza, or mixed, people of Mexico (Anzaldua 44).  This line, “would you choose me” is also incredibly loaded from a feminist perspective as women of color in general and certainly Indigenous or mestiza women who come to a feminist consciousness are often painted with the same “betrayer” brush.
[11] Or replaced by blue-skinned aliens ala James Cameron’s recent film Avatar.
[12] Perhaps something about shape shifting in indigenous myth?  Was this shape shifting by the Traveler an intended allusion or simply convenient?
[13] This trope can be seen most recently in the much discussed movie Avatar
[14] The language used throughout the episode to refer to these First Nations colonists.
[15] That of being “forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands” (Moore 06:24).
[16] Picard is visibly disturbed by his orders; such an obvious emotional reaction from a usually calm and stoic man is quite telling to the depth of his discomfort in this exchange.
[17] We never learn if this representative is actually from the village in question, however, since the Tribal council has not heard about the treaty until the arrival of the Enterprise it seems more likely
[18] Though it must be noted that the First Nations participants in Sierra Adare’s study note that the brief conversation between “Lakanta” and Wesley is an entirely unrealistic amount of preparation for a ceremony as taxing as a vision quest (Adare 80).
[19] During World War II Navajo was used as a code and Navajo men as the soldiers who could thus relay information between troops.  Neither the Germans nor Japanese were able to decipher this “code.”
[20] An abbreviation for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
[21] Used here to refer to the entire three part story, as I will throughout this portion of the essay unless specifically distinguishing one episode from another.
[22] The idea of the “cowboy” or explorer as I have chosen to describe it here, was discussed time and again in the research I conducted for this project, linking science fiction exploration narratives with the Western genre.  I use the word “explorer” here to purposefully make a connection to this colonialist image.
[23] He is stated to have been one of the original encoders of the government’s secret files. (Carter and Duchovny 35:00)

Works Cited

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Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books, 1987, 1999.
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Rojas, Maythee. Women of Color and Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2009.
Sky-McIlvain, Elizabeth. "Indian Stereotypes: Lessons and Resources for Middle School and High School." Wabanaki Studies. 16 November 2010 .
The Paradise Syndrome. By Margaret Armen. Dir. Jud Taylor. Star Trek. 4 October 1968.
Thompson, Kara. "The Final Frontier." A Romance with Many Reservations: American Indian Figurations and the Globalization of Indigeneity. Santa Clara: Diss. Santa Clara University, 2001. 173 - 189.