How we go home Voices from indigenous North America

Book - 2020

"In myriad ways, each narrator's life has been shaped by loss, injustice, and resilience--and by the struggle of how to share space with settler nations whose essential aim is to take all that is Indigenous. Hear from Jasilyn Charger, one of the first five people to set up camp at Standing Rock, which kickstarted a movement of Water Protectors that roused the world; Gladys Radek, a survivor of sexual violence whose niece disappeared along Canada's Highway of Tears, who became a family advocate for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and Marian Naranjo, herself the subject of a secret radiation test while in high school, who went on to drive Santa Clara Pueblo toward compiling an environ...mental impact statement on the consequences of living next to Los Alamos National Laboratory. Theirs are stories shaped by loss, injustice, resilience, and the struggle to share space with settler nations." --

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 323.1197/How Checked In
Chicago, Illinois : Haymarket Books [2020]
Other Authors
Greg Ballenger (illustrator)
Physical Description
323 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
  • Editor's Note
  • Introduction
  • Executive Editor's Note
  • Map
  • "When Tamara went missing, it took the breath out of me."
  • "My son's buried by the river.... I vowed to him that he's going to be safe, that no oil was going to touch him."
  • "On the reservation, you have the beauty of the culture and our traditional knowledge contrasted with the reality of poverty."
  • "The nurse was trying to get me to sign a paper to put our baby, Derrick, up for adoption."
  • "A part of the soul sickness for me was being ashamed.... What we were being taught about Indians was so minimal and so negative."
  • "I didn't work my ass off to get to Yale to be called a squaw."
  • "They said I fit the description because I looked like six other kids with leather vests and long hair who looked Indian."
  • "You're a stakeholder because you ve got to walk these streets every day."
  • "Indigenous peoples' reason for being is to be the caretakers of the air, the water, the land, and each other."
  • "When I was twenty-five, thirty, there was more salmon and I was fishing every other day. Now I'm lucky to go once a week."
  • "I had three babies under three years old and I was homeless."
  • "I was a 'scabby, dirty little Indian.'"
  • Glossary
  • Historical Timeline of Indigenous North America
  • Contextual Essays
  • The Trail of Broken Promises: US and Canadian Treaties with First Nations
  • "Indigenous Perspectives on Historical Trauma": An Interview with Johnna James
  • Indigenous Resurgence
  • Ten Things You Can Do
  • Further Reading
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Library Journal Review

Aiming to make oral history more accessible, Sinclair (coeditor, Robert Rauschenberg) partnered with the non-profit Voice of Witnes to collect the stories of Indigenous people in the United States and Canada. Though each interview has a distinct focus, the legacy of residential and boarding schools looms large, as does the number of Indigenous people who spent part of their childhood in the foster care system. Sharing knowledge and insight are Glady Radek, Gitxsan/Wet'suwet'en First Nations, an advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and bringing awareness to Canada's Highway of Tears. Other affecting stories come from Ashley Hemmers, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, returning home to become a tribal administrator, as well as Wizipan Little Elk, Rosebud Lakota, a descendant of a survivor of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Especially noteworthy are stories of Winnipeg, home to Canada's largest Indigenous population, and the inadequate housing throughout the city. Sinclair lets people tell their stories in their own words, adding footnotes, a glossary, and an historical time line for context. She concludes by asking people to be aware of whose land they live on. VERDICT A seminal collection of perspectives that are often unheard or overlooked, this work deserves a broad audience.--Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

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