It’s time to read more books by Native women

A list of female Native authors who are due for more recognition.

 

This article was originally published on  and is republished here with permission.

On a cold evening 20 years ago, I left my favorite historic cinema, the Harvard Exit, with a belly full of Market Spice tea and an inspired heart. It was the first time I had watched a feature film made by Native people, made clearly from an Indigenous point of view. It was strong, cleverly written, funny and poignant. I knew that night the film was an historic game-changer. The joy of seeing “Smoke Signals” was such a significant moment in my life that to this day, I still feel it in my bones. I immediately headed to our local bookstore, Bailey-Coy, to buy my first book by Sherman Alexie.

It was no picnic to grow up with pop-bottle glasses and brown skin in Edmonds during the 70s. It felt as if I was constantly negotiating a different universe, floating through a world that I did not belong to or was necessarily welcome in. My reality felt surreal and it seemed to me that I was a constant side note in someone else’s story.

As a child, I was withdrawn and did not do well in school. None of the teachers seemed to mirror my own life experience and I felt invisible. When we see ourselves reflected in others, there is a certain sense of acknowledgement and validation. Representation matters. Positive role models can shed light on potential paths to take in life and provide windows of hope. For those of us who had challenging upbringings, we need these lifelines and heroes.

Literary works by female Native authors include (from L to R, top row): "Crazy Brave" by Joy Harjo, "La Rose" by Louise Erdrich, "Patriarchy Blues" by Rena Priest, "My Body is a Book of Rules" by Elissa Washuta, (bottom row) "Heart Berries" by Terese Marie Mailhot, "Ceremony" by Leslie Marmon Silko, "Blues Divine" by Storme Webber and "The Woman Who Married a Bear" by Tiffany Midge.

As a young single mother without a college education, I often felt stuck or alone. In many ways, I was resigned to being incapable of even having choices. My self-esteem was painfully low. My frame of mind was that of defeat and as a perpetual “other,” never belonging. I was hungry for examples of survival and resilience. By reading Sherman’s books and watching his film, I experienced a breakthrough moment in my self-acceptance. His stories made it OK to be different and to struggle with what seemed to be the norm. In “Smoke Signals,” Victor’s journey opened the door for many of us to take a first step towards our dreams and realizing our potential power in the world.

Hope matters so much for those of us who carry deeply embedded historic trauma and grief. This is why, in my opinion,  have been so devastating. His success in many ways was intimately bound with community identity and pride  signaling to many of us that if you can be yourself and follow your dreams, things might just work out.

In 2005, we started , a Native nonprofit dedicated to bringing the tools of media to Indigenous communities for self-expression, cultural preservation and social change. Our focus was to work with Native youth interested in filmmaking. As we were looking for funding and legitimacy, I was over the moon when Sherman agreed to be a founding board member; his name was power and lent a certain amount of prestige to our organization. Over the six years that he served on our board, Sherman’s complex and messy nature revealed itself. I felt pity for him and could recognize the all-too-familiar trauma response that is a result of colonization, systemic racism and pervasive toxic masculinity that supports misogyny and male privilege.

We all have a lot of work to do right now. None of us live simplified black and white, good or bad, neat and tidy lives. We are human and make mistakes. But we can no longer keep secrets if we want to rise to our potential and move forward in a constructive way.

I believe we can work towards rehabilitation and reintegration for those who truly want to change and are willing to put in the long-term work. What would happen, for example, if Sherman and other Native perpetrators were asked to come before a council of women? If they were asked to sincerely assess the impact of their actions and be partners in the healing? Or what if they were “thrown off the island” and made to experience the loss of community reserved only for those who’ve done the greatest damage?

Honestly, I really don’t have any clear answers but my gut intuition tells me that, as oppressed people reeling from the chains of racist policies, it’s essential to ask if we really want to enact a colonizer’s response to harmful behavior? I want to see Sherman and all men who abuse their power be held responsible in the most meaningful way possible. We need long-term change that will last beyond news headlines or hashtags.

At this point in time, I still recognize and appreciate Sherman’s contributions to literature, even though I find him more distasteful for irresponsibly wielding his power over women. His behavior cannot be condoned and the brave women who have come forward must be honored. Let’s use this very disturbing moment to challenge the literary world to take responsibility for putting him on such a high pedestal and utilize the current spotlight to educate the broader public about the many talented and diverse Indigenous writers that exist.

Let’s say their names and celebrate the fact that there’s not just one Native writer but at least hundreds who, for a long time, have written stories that also can affirm the existence of little brown girls everywhere, inspiring them to dare to dream and giving them hope.

I’m ready to celebrate Native creatives who identify as female as a way to soothe the disappointment and anger that Sherman has triggered. Join me this year in committing to discover the many voices of Native women in literature.

Let’s put our attention and money towards their stories and share with others our new inspirations and celebrate each unique author on their own terms. Let’s claim visibility and fill social media platforms, the airwaves, news, schools, blogs, libraries and our personal shelves with the likes of , , , , , , , , , ,  , and so many more.

For a great list of Indigenous authors, check out . Or this CBC list of .

Thursday was International Women’s Day. Its theme this year is #pressforprogress. And while the day celebrates the achievements of women, it also pushes for further advances for women socially, economically, culturally, religiously and politically. We are experiencing the fruits of labor by many generations of courageous women who pressed on to defy the odds.

The gender hierarchies of the past can’t be overturned, but the sexism of today can. We can collectively do this and we need our men to be allies in holding one another accountable and correcting those who try to abuse their power or impinge on the rights of women and children.

When I think of the mass confusion and shock the allegations against Sherman have created, I can’t help but wonder how we can use this energy for constructive community dialogue and healing. We can applaud the men who have come forward to articulate their support of the women who have been victimized. We can proactively seek out and support the many talented women who do creative work. It’s a start at the very least.

Tracy Rector is a mixed-race (Choctaw/Seminole) filmmaker, curator, community organizer, co-founder of Longhouse Media and a 2016 Stranger Genius.

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Exciting opportunity to lead the charge on meeting the future transportation demands of our community! This position will develop, coordinate, and implement the Integrated Transportation...
  • with Robert Michael Pyle September 26-30, 2018, in Missoula MT.
  • Boise State Public Radio is hiring a Reporting Fellow as part of a new nationwide collaborative, Guns & America. Based in the state capitol, Boise...
  • Middle Colorado Watershed Council. Rifle, CO.
  • RiversEdge West is seeking an entrepreneurial leader with solid nonprofit management skills to lead our high functioning team and help us make an impact on...
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a talented, organized person with great people skills, who is passionate about protection of the natural environment to work...
  • The Wilderness Society is recruiting for an experienced Communicator for our Northwest Region. This position is located in Seattle, WA. For more information please visit...
  • Here is an opportunity to have a piece of self-sufficient paradise on Idaho's Main Salmon River adjacent to the largest Forest Service wilderness area in...
  • in 5-home conservation community & botanical sanctuary on 20 acres.
  • The Montana Wildlife Federation is looking for an enthusiastic and innovative Membership and Engagement Coordinator to help grow and maintain our grassroots voice for wildife,...
  • The City of Fort Collins is excited to announce a Sr Environmental Planner position within the Natural Areas Department. This position will be housed within...
  • on beautiful Snow Angel Ranch located within San Juan National Forest near Pagosa Springs, CO. Lakes, fly-fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, horse trails, horse accommodations...
  • 5 acres, well. Abuts Carson NF; hike fish ski; deer turkey elk.
  • Paonia, CO - Part-time, live-out, Tues to Fri. Childcare and light housekeeping. Able to interact with children and speak English, non-smoker. REFERENCES. Contact [email protected]
  • The Marketing Director develops the strategy and leads all marketing efforts at NOLS. The director is first and foremost responsible for driving enrollment of over...
  • The Nature Conservancy, one of the world's leading conservation organizations, seeks a Program Manager to help advance our Sierra Nevada conservation and restoration efforts. Working...
  • Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance is looking for an experienced and highly motivated individual to organize our annual Backcountry Film Festival and Tour and coordinate additional...
  • Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon
  • 9+ acre inholding. Passive solar strawbale off the grid and next to the Continental Divide Trail in ponderosa pine/doug fir forest at 7400.

Был найден мной классный портал на тематику Stanos источник
Этот классный блог на тематику Транспортные услуги в Германии.