Personal Awareness and Responsibility

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Ceremony
Traditional Territory: Laguna Pueblo
Format: Paperback
  • More than thirty-five years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.

    Leslie Marmon Silko was born in 1948 to a family whose ancestry includes Mexican, Laguna Indian, and European forebears. She has said that her writing has at its core “the attempt to identify what it is to be a half-breed or mixed-blood person.” As she grew up on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation, she learned the stories and culture of the Laguna people from her great-grandmother and other female relatives. After receiving her B. A. in English at the University of New Mexico, she enrolled in the University of New Mexico law school but completed only three semesters before deciding that writing and storytelling, not law, were the means by which she could best promote justice. She married John Silko in 1970. Prior to the writing of Ceremony, she published a series of short stories, including “The Man to Send Rain Clouds.” She also authored a volume of poetry, Laguna Woman: Poems, for which she received the Pushcart Prize for Poetry.

    In 1973, Silko moved to Ketchikan, Alaska, where she wrote Ceremony. Initially conceived as a comic story abut a mother’s attempts to keep her son, a war veteran, away from alcohol, Ceremony gradually transformed into an intricate meditation on mental disturbance, despair, and the power of stories and traditional culture as the keys to self-awareness and, eventually, emotional healing. Having battled depression herself while composing her novel, Silko was later to call her book “a ceremony for staying sane.” Silko has followed the critical success of Ceremony with a series of other novels, including Storyteller, Almanac for the Dead, and Gardens in the Dunes. Nevertheless, it was the singular achievement of Ceremony that first secured her a place among the first rank of Native American novelists. Leslie Marmon Silko now lives on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona.
    Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-one bestselling novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show. He lives in Texas.

$24.00

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Crazy Horse's Girlfriend
Author: Erika T. Wurth
  • Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.

$23.50

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Curse of the Shaman: A Marble Island Story
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
  • Sometimes even shamans get cranky. That was baby Wolverine’s misfortune — to be cursed by an out-of-sorts shaman frustrated by his own baby daughter’s incessant crying. Not only has shaman Paaliaq forbidden the future marriage of Wolverine to Breath, Paaliaq’s beautiful but teary baby girl, he has cursed Wolverine, banishing him when he becomes a young man. And even when a contrite Paaliaq later revokes the curse, the shaman’s even crankier magic animal will not. Now Wolverine finds himself stranded on a barren island, locked in a life-or-death struggle to return to his home, his family and a very special young girl.

    Michael Kusugak, consummate storyteller and bestselling author,conjures up an Inuit tale of adventure, perseverance and first-time love shot through with humanity and humour. This is a story perfect for its pre-teen and Â’tween audience, where even the strong and the mighty have bad days, the bully gets his due and a dream can come true.

$12.99

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In the Shadow of Our Ancestors
Author: Wayne Arthurson
Format: Paperback
  • Searching through the annals of North American history uncovers the diverse and astounding contributions by the Natives of the Americas who formed the world we know today. In the Shadow of Our Ancestors explores the rich history of the Indigenous peoples of North America and leaves us in awe of their stunning achievements and inventions:

    The Great Law of Peace -- The ideals, words and symbols of the Iroquois Confederacy inspired the governments of the New World to form democracies that recognized, in their constitutions, the rights of all people

    Potatoes -- The lowly potato, a staple food of Natives for almost 15,000 years, was unknown outside the Americas until Europeans arrived; now, with almost 4000 varieties, it is the fourth most-consumed agricultural product in the world

    Sacagawea -- The settlement of western North America was inspired and influenced by the results of the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s, with the journey's success made possible because of a Native woman named Sacagawea, whose presence paved the way for the explorers to be seen as a peaceful party.

    Kayaks -- It may be that the Inuit of the Arctic were the first to circumnavigate the globe in these simple craft. Kayaks have been in use for at least 4000 years as a form of transportation and for hunting, and the technology spread throughout northern waters and was adopted by the Scots and the Irish

    Code Talkers -- During World War II, more than 400 Navajo soldiers, recruited by the United States Marine Corps, transmitted secret tactical messages over military telephone or radio communications using codes built upon their Native languages.

$18.95

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Traditional Territory: Spokane
Format: Paperback
  • In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

$20.99

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Author: Bev Sellars
Traditional Territory: Xat'sull
Format: Paperback
  • Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

    These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

    In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

$19.95

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