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Rez life : an Indian's journey through reservation life
David Treuer
Adult Nonfiction E93 .T74 2012

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Novelist Treuer (Little) offers an ambitious, impressionistic study of life on Native American reservations. His blending in of the history of his Ojibwe tribe and his own family results in a nuanced view of personal and tribal identity. It's neither definitive nor a work of full personal disclosure, but it is "the story of the paradoxically least and most American place in the twenty-first century. Welcome to the Rez." Whether he's describing the central role of fishing walleye, the region's signature fish; the Ojibwe's treaty right fights; or the timeless method for harvesting wild rice, Treuer paints a picture of a vital if economically strained tribal life, deftly supplying historical context to explain how the Mille Lacs, Red Lake, and White Earth reservations came to be and survive. If the stand-alone chapters don't always flow smoothly into one another, the vignettes-of treaty rights fishing activists; of how casinos have changed economic life on the rez; how his mother, a tribal judge, dispensed justice; how an Ojibwe language teacher ensured the viability of the tribal language for another generation; and most powerfully, how Treuer's grandfather's suicide left the family reeling-bring the world and personalities of the rez to vivid, heartrending life. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Treuer (The Translation of Dr. Apelles), a prize-winning writer of fiction and member of Minnesota's Ojibwe tribe, has fashioned a compelling work of nonfiction, knitting together his own personal narrative, the perspectives of friends and family, and the complex history of reservations and Native and non-Native relations. The result is at once sweeping in its historical and political scope and deeply personal and engaging. Treuer's prose can be both thoughtful and sardonic, occasionally at the same time, and his treatment of the history and policy that have shaped contemporary reservation life is never academic. Instead, he uses history to illustrate how decisions made decades, even centuries, ago still have an impact on the lives of individuals and families. He introduces individuals who defy the traditional stereotypes of Native people and is at his best when focusing on personal narratives. The book is affectionate, but unsparing, and exposes the beauty and devastation of reservation life while exploring those areas where the personal and the political converge-in treaty rights, hunting and fishing rights, law enforcement, tribal justice systems, among others. VERDICT A look into Native life from a Native perspective, this is recommended for anyone interested in how history has shaped Native people and the ways in which Native peoples are shaping their future.-Julie Edwards, Univ. of Montana Libs., Missoula (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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