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September 3, 2015

30 Days: Life on an Indian Reservation (season finale)

by Paul Goebel, posted Jul 8th 2008 11:18PM

Morgan Spurlock(S03E06) After two weeks of hard core issues, it's nice to take a break and get an episode that isn't quite so divisive. I was hoping that this final 30 Days would be like the season premiere in that it showed me some things I wasn't aware of.

Growing up in Arizona, I went to school with quite a few Native Americans. I remember my friend Dave King would always make jokes about how I (the white man) took everything from him. It was all in good fun but it was one of the things that made me sensitive to the plight of the Native Americans. Now, as an adult, I always vote in favor of keeping the Native American casinos exempt from paying state taxes. Maybe it has more to do with feeling guilty but, that's how I roll.

I always like the episodes where Spurlock himself is the subject because it's fun to see him go back and forth between narrating and just talking.

From the very beginning, I was taken aback. I honestly thought that life on the reservation wasn't much different from others in the state. But when I saw how elated Grandma was that Morgan brought the family a sheep, I had a feeling I was going to be shocked.

My first big shock was seeing where Spurlock had to bunk. Even a tent would have been better than the Hogan. At least a tent doesn't have a dirt floor.

I liked seeing Mr. Dennison's morning routine. At first, I thought it was kind of ridiculous and it reminded me of the kinds of things you see in movies, but after watching it, I realized it wasn't any different than what millions of Christians do every morning.

Spurlock's observations about connecting to your heritage really hit home for me. Because my ancestors came from just about every country in Europe and North America, I have no connection whatsoever with my forefathers. The only time I feel bad about that, however, is when I spend time with someone who is clearly in touch with their heritage. I remember once when I ate Easter dinner with the Glorioso family and I was not only amazed by the incredible food but I was really touched at what a great celebration it was.

I was hoping that Morgan would look into the alcohol problem because I, personally, had a lot of misconceptions. First, I was surprised that alcohol was illegal on the reservation. In my uninformed opinion, I would think prohibition would be one of the white man's mistakes to learn from. I was also surprised to learn that there was no proof that Native Americans are more susceptible to alcoholism. I grew up believing that was the truth and the fact that I am now just a little less ignorant is one of the biggest reasons I watch this show.

I don't really know what to say about the sweat ceremony except that it looked very cool.

As the episode wrapped up, I was surprised to find that this was the first time I was actually jealous of Spurlock. I have no desire to work in a coalmine or spend a month behind bars, but seeing how deeply he was affected by his stay with the Dennisons reminded me of when I was a kid and I got invited to a Bat Mitzvah. I've never felt that kind of connection to my culture and I wonder if I even could.

Which season of 30 Days was your favorite?
One14 (36.8%)
Two5 (13.2%)
Three19 (50.0%)

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When I say this show I was so amazed at what I saw. I just couldent belive it! I want to know if there is anything I can do to help.

July 10 2008 at 12:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to morgan spurlock,

hey my name is Dan Robinson and like your show alot but if i can talk to you on the phone that would be very nice to do that. and see if i can be on your next show about eney thing you are going to do next that would be cool. here is my cell you can call me if you wont to when you have some time . 650-867-1983 please call or send me a email to big_sexxy_man@yahoo.com.

thanks alot you rock...

Dan Robinson

July 09 2008 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agreed with everything you said! Wow!

The sheep, the link to alcoholism, the misconception that their language has a connection to Spanish and the importance of connection to one's heritage. My grandmother recently passed away at 97 and we lived so far away that I wasn't emotionally impacted as I would have been if we were close. But going to the funeral, seeing the pictures, hearing the stories, feeling the history...it makes me sad that that door is closed and for the Native American community their history it is being diluted and lost over time.

I would have liked to hear more of the connection between the reservation and the casino industry. There are about 10 within a 2 hour drive from where I live and I would be curious how that is impacting them as well.

July 09 2008 at 12:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has the show been picked up for future seasons? I just found this show prior to the Season Three premiere (I saw previews and rented S1 and watched it in one day) and have really enjoyed what I've seen.

July 09 2008 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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