It occurred to me that this sense of irrelevance and worthlessness was what most Indians probably experienced constantly around white people. To be agreeable or invisible was the best one could hope for. What one knew mattered little, because it was irrelevant. All that mattered about Indians in our current climate was earth-sated pronouncements of wisdom. I could see why Dan was more willing to be seen as a drunk than as a wise man. To be seen as a drunk was at least to be seen; to be seen as a wise man was to be reduced to a projection of a white fantasy.

Kent Nerburn, Neither Wolf nor Dog