Gazelle, or “Zelle,” has volunteered to share her story with Intercultural Communication Students since 2016, “I have been coming to Lori Halverson-Wente’s class with my Mom who is Blind since I was really young. It helped my mom to have me guide her, so I came with her. My teachers excused me from classes, but I enjoyed coming too. One “Snow Day” when I came and other speakers were not there to interview, I asked if I could volunteer and Lori said yes. I began to share my stories of being bullied, being homeless, and how ‘Savage’ is the new ‘N’ word.”
Since then, Gazelle has continued to be interviewed by college students for their class and has volunteered at the Human Library to share her story. Recently Gazelle shared her story once more as she prepared for the “Minnesota Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year Competition” – which she went on to win!
Listen to Gazelle’s story posted below. Then, prepare 3 questions you’d like to ask Gazelle when she visits the class later this semester.
Gazelle’s Story as Shared on April 16, 2021
KTTC’s Story On Gazelle: “People Who Care: Boys & Girls Club of Rochester”
Gezelle’s Mother Videotaped (with permission) the Interview:
More about the MN Youth of the Year Competition
- Post Bulletin’s Story on Gazelle
- Red Lake Nation News story on Gazelle
- Video: https://www.facebook.com/cherrieo1/videos/10159204658179817 (on FaceBook)
Application to the Writing Assignment – Language is Powerful
Gazelle shares that “Savage” is the “N-Word” for Indigenous Individuals. When she shared this in a middle school project, she was bullied. Here are some resources that support her view. These are links to “popular opinion.
- BBC Article: ‘This word is our N-word’: Indigenous teacher asks Urban Planet to drop racial slur
- A Blog Discussing this topic from a Popular “Influencer:” Words That Don’t Belong to Us: Why It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Using the Word ‘Savage’
- “Yes, You’re Being Racist When You Use The Term ‘Savage‘”