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By Jesse Thistle. 2019
Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers,… cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, but their tough-love attitudes meant conflicts became commonplace. And the ghost of Jesse's drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. One day, he finally realized he would die unless he turned his life around. 2019.
By Paul Seesequasis. 2019
A revelatory portrait of eight Indigenous communities from across North America, shown through never-before-published archival photographs--a gorgeous extension of Paul… Seesequasis's popular social media project.In 2015, writer and journalist Paul Seesequasis found himself grappling with the devastating findings of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on the residential school system. He sought understanding and inspiration in the stories of his mother, herself a residential school survivor. Gradually, Paul realized that another, mostly untold history existed alongside the official one: that of how Indigenous peoples and communities had held together during even the most difficult times. He embarked on a social media project to collect archival photos capturing everyday life in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities from the 1920s through the 1970s. As he scoured archives and libraries, Paul uncovered a trove of candid images and began to post these on social media, where they sparked an extraordinary reaction. Friends and relatives of the individuals in the photographs commented online, and through this dialogue, rich histories came to light for the first time.Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun collects some of the most arresting images and stories from Paul's project. While many of the photographs live in public archives, most have never been shown to the people in the communities they represent. As such, Blanket Toss is not only an invaluable historical record, it is a meaningful act of reclamation, showing the ongoing resilience of Indigenous communities, past, present--and future.
By Ray Young Bear. 2015
The definitive collection from a groundbreaking Native American poet whose work traces the fault lines between past and present, real… and surreal, comedy and tragedy to unveil a transcendent new vision of the world Hailed by the Bloomsbury Review as "the nation's foremost contemporary Native American poet" and by Sherman Alexie as "the best poet in Indian Country," Ray Young Bear draws on ancient Meskwaki tradition and modern popular culture to create poems that provoke, astound, and heal. This indispensable volume, which contains three previously published collections--Winter of the Salamander (1979), The Invisible Musician (1990), and The Rock Island Hiking Club (2001)--as well as Manifestation Wolverine, a brilliant series of new pieces inspired by animistic beliefs, a Lazy-Boy recliner, and the word songs Young Bear sang to his children, is a testament to the singularity of the poet's talent and the astonishing range of his voice.
By Peter Cozzens. 2020
"An insightful, unflinching portrayal of the remarkable siblings who came closer to altering the course of American history than any… other Indian leaders."--Professor H.W. Brands, author of The Zealot and the Emancipator and Heirs of the FoundersThe first biography of the great Shawnee leader in more than twenty years, and the first to make clear that his misunderstood younger brother, Tenskwatawa, was an equal partner in the last great pan-Indian alliance against the United States. Until the Americans killed Tecumseh in 1813, he and his brother Tenskwatawa were the co-architects of the broadest pan-Indian confederation in United States history. In previous accounts of Tecumseh's life, Tenskwatawa has been dismissed as a talentless charlatan and a drunk. But award-winning historian Peter Cozzens now shows us that while Tecumseh was a brilliant diplomat and war leader--admired by the same white Americans he opposed--it was Tenskwatawa, called the "Shawnee Prophet," who created a vital doctrine of religious and cultural revitalization that unified the disparate tribes of the Old Northwest. Detailed research of Native American society and customs provides a window into a world often erased from history books and reveals how both men came to power in different but no less important ways.Cozzens brings us to the forefront of the chaos and violence that characterized the young American Republic, when settlers spilled across the Appalachians to bloody effect in their haste to exploit lands won from the British in the War of Independence, disregarding their rightful Indian owners. Tecumseh and the Prophet presents the untold story of the Shawnee brothers who retaliated against this threat--the two most significant siblings in Native American history, who, Cozzens helps us understand, should be writ large in the annals of America.
By Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard. 2020
The latest installment of the multimillion-selling Killing series is a gripping journey through the American West and the historic clashes… between Native Americans and settlers. The bloody Battle of Tippecanoe was only the beginning. It’s 1811 and President James Madison has ordered the destruction of Shawnee warrior chief Tecumseh’s alliance of tribes in the Great Lakes region. But while General William Henry Harrison would win this fight, the armed conflict between Native Americans and the newly formed United States would rage on for decades. Bestselling authors Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard venture through the fraught history of our country’s founding on already occupied lands, from General Andrew Jackson’s brutal battles with the Creek Nation to President James Monroe’s epic “sea to shining sea” policy, to President Martin Van Buren’s cruel enforcement of a “treaty” that forced the Cherokee Nation out of their homelands along what would be called the Trail of Tears. O’Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the legends to reveal never-before-told historical moments in the fascinating creation story of America. This fast-paced, wild ride through the American frontier will shock readers and impart unexpected lessons that reverberate to this day.
By Gerry Spence. 2019
The search for justice for a Lakota Sioux man wrongfully charged with murder, told here for the first time by… his trial lawyer, Gerry Spence. This is the untold story of Collins Catch the Bear, a Lakota Sioux, who was wrongfully charged with the murder of a white man in 1982 at Russell Means&’s Yellow Thunder Camp, an AIM encampment in the Black Hills in South Dakota. Though Collins was innocent, he took the fall for the actual killer, a man placed in the camp with the intention of compromising the reputation of AIM. This story reveals the struggle of the American Indian people in their attempt to survive in a white world, on land that was stolen from them. We live with Collins and see the beauty that was his, but that was lost over the course of his short lifetime. Today justice still struggles to be heard, not only in this case but many like it in the American Indian nations.
By Billy-Ray Belcourt. 2020
The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his own personal history to reconcile the world he was born… into with the world that could be.Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
By Shonda Buchanan. 2019
Black Indian, searing and raw, is Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple meets Leslie… Marmon Silko’s Ceremony—only, this isn’t fiction. Beautifully rendered and rippling with family dysfunction, secrets, deaths, alcoholism, and old resentments, Shonda Buchanan’s memoir is an inspiring story that explores her family’s legacy of being African Americans with American Indian roots and how they dealt with not just society’s ostracization but the consequences of this dual inheritance. Buchanan was raised as a Black woman, who grew up hearing cherished stories of her multi-racial heritage, while simultaneously suffering from everything she (and the rest of her family) didn’t know. Tracing the arduous migration of Mixed Bloods, or Free People of Color, from the Southeast to the Midwest, Buchanan tells the story of her Michigan tribe—a comedic yet manically depressed family of fierce women, who were everything from caretakers and cornbread makers to poets and witches, and men who were either ignored, protected, imprisoned, or maimed—and how their lives collided over love, failure, fights, and prayer despite a stacked deck of challenges, including addiction and abuse. Ultimately, Buchanan’s nomadic people endured a collective identity crisis after years of constantly straddling two, then three, races. The physical, spiritual, and emotional displacement of American Indians who met and married Mixed or Black slaves and indentured servants at America’s early crossroads is where this powerful journey begins. Black Indian doesn’t have answers, nor does it aim to represent every American’s multi-ethnic experience. Instead, it digs as far down into this one family’s history as it can go—sometimes, with a bit of discomfort. But every family has its own truth, and Buchanan’s search for hers will resonate with anyone who has wondered "maybe there’s more than what I’m being told."
Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men--President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross--who led their respective nations… at a crossroads of American history. Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy. Jacksonland is their story. One man we recognize: Andrew Jackson--war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South--whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure: John Ross--a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat--who used the United States' own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson. Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the ways of white settlers--cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school--Ross championed the tribes' cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committed civil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events like the Civil War and set the pattern for modern-day politics. At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonland reveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies' conquest of native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres--"Jacksonland"--in today's Deep South. Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR's Morning Edition, who offers here a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives. Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep's Jacksonland is the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men. CANDICE MILLARD, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt"Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragic and transformative stories in American history, in swift, confident, colorful strokes. So well, and so intimately, does he know his subject that the reader comes away feeling as if Jackson and Ross's epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday rather than nearly two hundred years ago." From the Hardcover edition.
By Alicia Elliott. 2020
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTIONNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF… 2019 BY THE GLOBE AND MAIL • CBC • CHATELAINE • QUILL & QUIRE • THE HILL TIMES • POP MATTERSA bold and profound meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America from award-winning Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott.In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism. She engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrifcation, writing and representation, and in the process makes connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political—from overcoming a years-long battle with head lice to the way Native writers are treated within the Canadian literary industry; her unplanned teenage pregnancy to the history of dark matter and how it relates to racism in the court system; her childhood diet of Kraft Dinner to how systemic oppression is directly linked to health problems in Native communities. With deep consideration and searing prose, Elliott provides a candid look at our past, an illuminating portrait of our present and a powerful tool for a better future.
By Ramsey Clark, E. C. Belli, Harlyn Geronimo, Corine Sombrun. 2014
The name "Geronimo" came to Corine Sombrun insistently in a trance during her apprenticeship to a Mongolian shaman. That message… and the need to understand its meaning brought her to the home of the legendary Apache leader's great-grandson, Harlyn Geronimo, himself a medicine man on the Mescalero Apache reservation in New Mexico. Together, the two of them-the French seeker and the Native American healer-would make a pilgrimage that retraced Geronimo's life while following the course of the Gila River to the place of his birth, at its source.Told in the alternating voices of its authors, In Geronimo's Footsteps is the record of that journey. At its core is an account of Geronimo's life, from his earliest days in a Chiricahua Apache family and his path as a warrior and chief to his surrender and the years spent in exile until his death, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Recounted by his great-grandson, his story is steeped in family history and Apache lore to create a portrait of a leader intent on defending his people and their land and traditions-a mission that Harlyn continues, even as he campaigns to recover his ancestor's bones from the U.S. government. Completing Corine's circle, the book also explores the links, genetic and possibly cultural, between the Apache and the people of Mongolia.
By Dianne Meili. 2012
"The elders in Those Who Know have devoted their lives to preserving the wisdom and spirituality of their ancestors. Despite… insult and oppression, they have maintained sometimes forbidden practices for the betterment of not just their people, but all humankind. First published in 1991, Dianne Meili’s book remains an essential portrait of men and women who have lived on the trapline, in the army, in a camp on the move, in jail, in residential schools, and on the reserve, all the while counselling, praying, fasting, healing, and helping to birth further generations. In this 20th anniversary edition of Those Who Know, Meili supplements her original text with new profiles and interviews that further the collective story of these elders as they guide us to a necessary future, one that values Mother Earth and the importance of community above all else."
By Stephen E. Ambrose. 2014
<P>On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611 men of the United States 7th Cavalry rode toward the banks… of Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where three thousand Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer. <P>Both were men of aggression and supreme courage. Both became leaders in their societies at very early ages. Both were stripped of power, in disgrace, and worked to earn back the respect of their people. And to both of them, the unspoiled grandeur of the Great Plains of North America was an irresistible challenge. <P>Their parallel lives would pave the way, in a manner unknown to either, for an inevitable clash between two nations fighting for possession of the open prairie. <P><b>A New York Times Bestseller</b>
By David Treuer. 2012
A prize-winning writer offers “an affecting portrait of his childhood home, Leech Lake Indian Reservation, and his people, the Ojibwe”… (The New York Times). A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, David Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture, Rez Life is a strikingly original blend of history, memoir, and journalism, a must read for anyone interested in the Native American story. With authoritative research and reportage, he illuminates issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the policies that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that marks the historical relationship between the US government and the Native American population. Ultimately, through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges, he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of modern Native American life. “Treuer’s account reads like a novel, brimming with characters, living and dead, who bring his tribe’s history to life.” —Booklist “Important in the way Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was when it came out in 1970, deeply moving readers as it schooled them about Indian history in a way nothing else had.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune “[A] poignant, penetrating blend of memoir and history.” —People
By Geronimo, S. M. Barrett. 1903
A pivotal piece of nineteenth-century Native American history from a tireless warrior seeking justice for his people. Storied leader of… the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, Geronimo led resistance against Mexican and American troops seeking to drive the Apache from their land during the 1850s through the 1880s. In 1886, he finally surrendered to the US Army and became a prisoner of war. Although he would never return to his homeland, Geronimo became an iconic figure in Native American society and even had the honor of riding with President Theodore Roosevelt in his 1905 inaugural parade. That same year, he agreed to share his story with Stephen M. Barrett, a superintendent of education from Lawton, Oklahoma. In Geronimo's own words, this is his fascinating life story. Beginning with an Apache creation myth, he discusses his youth and family, the bloody conflicts between Mexico and the United States, and his two decades of life as a prisoner. Revered by his people and feared by his enemies, Geronimo narrates his memoir with a compassionate and compelling voice that still resonates today.
Three powerful tales from the acclaimed chronicler of the American West—including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Bury My Heart… at Wounded Knee. Two profoundly moving, candid histories and a powerful novel illuminate important aspects of the Native American story. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: The #1 New York Times bestseller that awakened the world to the destruction of American Indians in the nineteenth-century West, Dee Brown’s groundbreaking history focuses on the betrayals, battles, and systematic slaughter suffered by Native American tribes between 1860 and 1890, culminating in the Sioux massacre at Wounded Knee. “Shattering, appalling, compelling . . . One wonders, reading this searing, heartbreaking book, who, indeed, were the savages” (The Washington Post). The Fetterman Massacre: A riveting account of events leading up to the Battle of the Hundred Slain—the devastating 1866 conflict at Wyoming’s Ft. Phil Kearney that pitted Lakota, Arapaho, and Northern Cheyenne warriors—including Oglala chief Red Cloud, against the United States cavalry under the command of Captain William Fetterman. Based on a wealth of historical resources and sparked by Brown’s narrative genius, this is an essential look at one of the frontier’s defining conflicts. Creek Mary’s Blood: This New York Times bestseller fictionalizes the true story of Mary Musgrove—born in 1700 to a Creek tribal chief—and five generations of her family. The sweeping narrative spans the Revolutionary War, the Trail of Tears, and the Civil War—in which Mary’s descendants fought on both sides of the conflict. Rich in detail and human drama, Creek Mary’s Blood offers “a robust, unfussed crash-course in Native American history that rolls from East to West with dark, inexorable energy” (Kirkus Reviews).
By Tracy Potter. 2017
Steamboats transformed the Missouri Valley. Enterprising men like Joseph La Barge and Grant Marsh braved financial and mortal danger to… reap fantastic profits from trade in furs and buffalo robes. But steamboats also brought smallpox, soldiers and settlers to the lands of Native Americans. Although they began as agents of commerce, steamboats came to represent confinement and war to Sitting Bull and his people. Railroads made Yankton, Bismarck and Fargo rise as ports for a few years and then drove steamboats out of business, ending an era filled with colorful characters and dramatic moments. Author Tracy Potter takes an in-depth look at the boats, trade and cultural and military relations between the United States and the native inhabitants of Dakota Territory.
By Cecil Paul. 2019
A remarkable and profound collection of reflections by one of North America’s most important Indigenous leaders. My name is Wa’xaid,… given to me by my people. ‘Wa’ is ‘the river’, ‘Xaid’ is ‘good’ – good river. Sometimes the river is not good. I am a Xenaksiala, I am from the Killer Whale Clan. I would like to walk with you in Xenaksiala lands. Where I will take you is the place of my birth. They call it the Kitlope. It is called Xesdu’wäxw (Huschduwaschdu) for ‘blue, milky, glacial water’. Our destination is what I would like to talk about, and a boat – I call it my magic canoe. It is a magical canoe because there is room for everyone who wants to come into it to paddle together. The currents against it are very strong but I believe we can reach that destination and this is the reason for our survival. —Cecil Paul Who better to tell the narrative of our times about the restoration of land and culture than Wa’xaid (the good river), or Cecil Paul, a Xenaksiala elder who pursued both in his ancestral home, the Kitlope — now the largest protected unlogged temperate rainforest left on the planet. Paul’s cultural teachings are more relevant today than ever in the face of environmental threats, climate change and social unrest, while his personal stories of loss from residential schools, industrialization and theft of cultural property (the world-renowned Gps’golox pole) put a human face to the survivors of this particular brand of genocide. Told in Cecil Paul’s singular, vernacular voice, Stories from the Magic Canoe spans a lifetime of experience, suffering and survival. This beautifully produced volume is in Cecil’s own words, as told to Briony Penn and other friends, and has been meticulously transcribed. Along with Penn’s forthcoming biography of Cecil Paul, Following the Good River (Fall 2019), Stories from the Magic Canoe provides a valuable documented history of a generation that continues to deal with the impacts of brutal colonization and environmental change at the hands of politicians, industrialists and those who willingly ignore the power of ancestral lands and traditional knowledge.